Sultan Ibragimov retires – Boxing
By Erik Schmidt: Former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov (22-1-1, 17 KO’s) has reportedly retired, according to Scoop Malinowski from Boxing Insider. Samson Lewkowicz, from Warriors Boxing, says that “He’s [Ibragimov] retired. He doesn’t want to go back and sweat in the gym. He got married, he’s happy, he lives in Russia,” says Lewkowicz. Apparently, Ibragimov made a lot of money while challenging for a defending the WBO heavyweight title and came out a millionaire.
Although it’s hard to say how much money that Ibragimov made in the brief time he held the WBO title, it is probably enough to live the rest of his life in Russia, where money goes a lot farther than elsewhere like the United States. Ibragimov, only 34, accomplished a lot in his seven year pro career, beating Shannon Briggs to capture the WBO title in a 12-round decision victory.
Ibragimov then successfully defended his title against former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in October 2007, beating Holyfield by a lopsided 12 round decision in Moscow, Russia. However, Ibragimov would then lose his WBO heavyweight title in a one-sided 12 round decision against 6’6” Wladimir Klitschko in February 2008. Only 6’2” 219, Ibragimov was far too small to compete against the much taller Klitschko and was unable to get close enough to land anything of substance.
A counter puncher by nature, Ibragimov was given no opportunities to land his left handed shots, because Wladimir rarely took chances in the fight, staying on the outside and using mostly his jab the entire fight. In the later rounds when Ibragimov was way behind in the fight and desperately trying to attack Wladimir to make something happen, Wladimir would quickly back away or clinch Ibragimov to prevent him from landing anything.
The Madison Square Garden crowd in New York booed the fight in the later rounds and were very unhappy with the lack of action between the two fighters. It’s hard to blame Ibragimov because he was at least trying to make something happen, but he was simply too short to compete adequately against the towering Klitschko.
It was assumed by many that Ibragimov would retool his offense and then go after WBA middleweight champion Ruslan Chagaev. This was an opponent that the southpaw Ibragimov would have done well against with his powerful straight left hand, and crafty counter punching style of fighting. However, instead Ibragimov stayed away from the ring and now hasn’t fought in close to year and a half.
Besides his time at heavyweight, Ibragimov defeated Lance “Mount” Whitaker by a 7th round knockout in December 2005, and Zuri Lawrence by a 11th round TKO in April 2005.
One hopes that Ibragimov changes his mind about his boxing career in the future, because he still had far too much left to retire at this early stage in his career. Of course, he would probably never be able to beat the Klitschko brothers due to his lack of size, but he would have been problems for Nikolay Valuev and Chagaev, and would have had an excellent chance of beating them.