Sampson Boxing proudly announces the signing of undefeated IBF #1, WBO #13 and Ring Magazine #8 welterweight contender Kudratillo “The Punisher” Abdukakhorov to an exclusive, multi-year promotional contract.
Originally from Uzbekistan, but currently training at the Elite Pro Boxing Gym in Santa Fe Springs, California, under trainer Armando Valenzuela, Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KOs) has already held the WBC Silver welterweight Championship and is now the IBF mandatory for unified champion Errol Spence Jr.
Abdukakhorov was a four-time national Uzbekistani champion as an amateur, finishing with an impressive record of 170-10. The 27-year-old was originally signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank and had his first two fights in the US under their banner. In March 2019, he took a unanimous decision over former world title challenger Keita Obara. And then in October 2019, Abdukakhorov became the IBF’s #1 by winning a clear-cut 10-round technical decision over former world champion Luis Collazo.
Abdukakhorov was scheduled to face Russia’s Sergey Lipinets for the interim world championship last year, but the fight never materialized because of visa difficulties and the ongoing pandemic. Citing diverging business concerns, Abdukakhorov and Top Rank amicably parted ways recently.
“I’m every excited to sign with Sampson Lewkowicz and Sampson Boxing,” said Abdukakhorov. “I’ve been the mandatory for Errol Spence for the past 19 months. I want to fight the best and working with Sampson and the PBC, I will get the shots I’ve been waiting for.”
Abdukakhorov’s Malaysia-based manager, Vikram Swapragasam, says the move to Sampson will open new doors for his young fighter.
“Sampson can provide us more opportunities to have more fights and work with the PBC,” he said. “That’s where all the welterweight champs are. I’ve known Sampson for years and he has a great reputation. He keeps his word.”
Lewkowicz says the plan is to give Abdukakhorov one keep-busy fight around March and, after that, face Spence or fight for the interim championship if Spence declines the bout.
“There will be many opportunities for this future champion from Uzbekistan,” said Lewkowicz. “His manager, Vikram, and I share the vision to let him shake of the rust for one fight and then we will be looking to finally put him in his dream fight. A shot at a world championship. He’s a very skilled and strong fighter with the potential to become a star in one of boxing’s deepest divisions.”