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Austin & Ibragimov fight to a draw

By Zach Arnold | July 28, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

On Friday night, ESPN2 in America aired an “eliminator” boxing match (IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator) between Sultan Ibragimov of Russia and Ray Austin from Cleveland. Two heavyweights fighting for the chance at a shot at Klitschko, with the fight taking place at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida. More details here.

Usually, heavyweight fights are not action-packed these days. However, this fight was the complete opposite of what you would expect going in. It had a little bit of everything – knockdowns (Ibragimov scored one in the 4th round, Austin scored one in the 10th round), aggressiveness, action, smart pacing, good crowd heat, etc. The result of the fight ended up being a draw (115-111, 112-114, 113-113), so neither guy lost any standing — although Austin did gain some exposure and credibility afterwards.

If you can find a replay of the fight on ESPN2, watch it. I’m curious to get reader reaction about what they thought regarding the fight. I thought the draw decision was the correct one.

Topics: All Topics, Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “Austin & Ibragimov fight to a draw”

  1. Tomer says:

    Sultan is lucky he got the draw, because Wlad would have splatterjobbed him had he actually won and got the #1 contendership. Really, I don’t see what is so great with the guy. At least Samuel ‘I have no head movement or fundamental boxing technique’ Peter has crazy power. Sultan’s power, while up there in the division, isn’t really going to save him from getting massacred by a big guy who can commit to popping him jabs and countering him to death.

  2. Chuck says:

    That was a great fight. But Zach, why did you explain it like it was a pro wrestling match? Smart pacing? Good crowd heat? Alright, I do agree with you that this fight had that stuff, but come on man!

    The only thing your mini review didn’t have. THE STAR RATING!!! What would you give it? ***3/4? In all seriousness, it was a very good heavyweight fight, and I do advise to anyone who likes pro boxing to catch it. The next replay is on at I think three in the morning. This morning.

    And to those who were confused on seeing the scores. It was 115-111 Ibrigamov, 114-112 Austin, 113-113 for the split draw. I am still holding out for a mixed rules Ibrigamov vs. Yoshihiro Takayama. Why not?

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    [That was a great fight. But Zach, why did you explain it like it was a pro wrestling match? Smart pacing? Good crowd heat? Alright, I do agree with you that this fight had that stuff, but come on man!]

    The next thing I know, you’ll be saying that I use the terms “mark,” “mizark,” “carny,” “jobber,” “ham ‘n egger,” and “enhancement talent.”

    Oh, wait. 🙂

  4. ditch says:

    I better not see the concept of “selling” come up unless it’s in the context of Fedor not feeling pain.

  5. Chuck says:

    HAHA! It’s all right Zach. I was just busting your cajones. And ham ‘n egger was a boxing term WAY before it was ever used in wrestling. But I digress.

    Seriously man, what is your star (or even letter grade) rating for the fight? I would give it probably B+/A-. Either one, depending on my mood.

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    I thought it was a four-star fight probably, easily a B+. It was entertaining and, although I despised the studio cut-ins between Teddy Atlas & Michael Moorer, the overall commentary was good. Tessitore is serviceable, although I do miss Bob Papa.

  7. Tomer says:

    I thought most of the middle rounds were actually pretty uneventful and that the crux of the action was in Rounds 1, 4, 7 (I think this was the one that they stood toe to toe) and 10. For the most part they seemed to posture and didn’t really want to engage, with Austin being hesitant after being made to fish dance in Round 1 and Sultan fearing Austin’s reach advantage. Also, I think the knockdown that was ruled a slip should have been ruled a KD which would have given Austin the fight.

    This fight wasn’t close to as good as another HW bout earlier this year, Lamon Brewster vs. Serguei Lyakhovich and it wasn’t close to being the top tier of overall fights this year (Eagle Kyowa vs. Rodel Mayol, Somsak Sithchatchawal vs. Mahyar Monshipour, Martin Castillo vs. Nobuo Nashiro & to a lesser extent, Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales II). Hell, it wasn’t even the best ESPN 2 fight put on this year (Kermit Cintron vs. David Estrada probably takes that honor). It was a C+/B- level, in my opinion. Solid fight for average ESPN 2 card, but nothing spectacular. And both guys (Austin & Ibragimov) looked like crap when being compared with Wlad after their performance, hence why they should be happy it was a draw endings.

  8. Tomer says:

    Oh yeah, Round 12 had some decent action as well with Sultan stunning Austin a few times at the end.

  9. Tomer says:

    Forgot about Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Rocky Juarez as being another very good fight. 😀

  10. Chuck says:

    Tomer, don’t forget about Alfonso Gomez vs. Jesse Feliciano and Willie Gibbs vs. Lenord Pierre.

  11. Tomer says:

    Some other fights worth mentioning as more entertaining (at least IMO) from the HBO telecasts are Luis Collazo vs. Ricky Hatton, Walter Matthysse vs. Paul Williams, Jermain Taylor vs Winky Wright and Joel Julio vs Carlos Quintana.

  12. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Zach’s point is well taken that it was a tremendously entertaining Heavyweight fight. I’d say easily the 2nd best HW boxing match this year. Second to Klitschko v Sergei Liakhuvitz (sp?).

    This was a great week for ESPN boxing. Wednesday’s show had a David Tua squash match that resulted in a KO. And a very interesting fight between Cuban defector Eliseo Castillo vs an up and coming Kronk gym Cruiserweight named Jonathan Banks. Banks got knocked down twice in the 1st then won via KO in the 4th.

  13. Chuck says:

    Roadblock, Sergei never fought Klitschko. Sergei fought (and beat) Lamon Brewster.

  14. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Typo. My bad. Sergei v Brewster is the best HW fight so far in 2006.

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