Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder may be the centre of attention on December 23, but there is one other heavyweight clash worthy of attention on that night.
Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-0, 17 KOs) and Agit Kabayel (23-0, 15 KOs) face each other over 12 rounds on Saturday. The fight is part of an event billed as “Day of Reckoning” and is taking place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Viewers can catch the action on DAZN as a PPV, while those in the UK can also purchase it on TNT Sports Box Office.
Arslanbek Makhmudov vs. Agit Kabayel
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Makhmudov and Kabayel Working Their Way Up
This marks Makhmudov’s second fight in Saudi Arabia, previously appearing on the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou undercard. That night saw him knock out Junior Wright in 70 seconds. The Russian-born fighter is known for his power, and 12 of his stoppages have come in the opening round.
Makhmudov is a top-15 fighter according to each of the four major boxing-sanctioning bodies. He is third within the WBC and fourth with the WBA. A win for the Canadian-based power puncher would inch him closer to a mandatory title shot.
Germany’s Kabayel is the reigning European heavyweight champion, winning the belt for a second time with a third-round TKO over Agron Smakici in March this year. For the first time since 2017, he will have fought more than once in a calendar year. A recurring should injury, and the COVID-19 pandemic limited him to one fight per year.
Kabayel holds top-15 rankings with three of the sanctioning bodies, though he is currently outside the top ten heavyweights. A win for him on Saturday would help him rise in the rankings. It would also help the German reignite a career that once saw him beat Derek Chisora in 2017.
A lot is on the line for Makhmudov and Kabayel. A loss for either means a tough climb back to where they are. However, a win for either opens up a world of opportunity. This is a clash fight fans should definitely not miss out on.
Check out the surreal promo video for “Day of Reckoning.“