IBA Champions Night

Boxers in heated face off in Moscow ahead of IBA Champions’ Night in Serpukhov

July 5th, 2024 / IBA Champions Night

The rivals had their first chance to look each other in the eyes at the press conference dedicated to the upcoming IBA Champions’ Night in Serpukhov. Two titles are at stake during the night full of action.

As the event set to take place at the newly built IBA Coliseum on 12 July, Muslim Gadzhimagomedov from Russia and Zhaoxing Zhang from China will fight for the WBA World Bridgerweight championship belt. Russian Albert Batyrgaziev and Jono Carroll from Ireland are to meet for WBA Interim Super Featherweight title in a co-main event.

IBA President Umar Kremlev said, that ‘Competitive and spectacular fights are the priority. We welcome the best boxers at IBA Champions’ Night, as our main goal is to organize interesting and unpredictable action. We are building the IBA Coliseum that will attract more people to watch a great night of boxing.’

‘IBA is developing the sport of boxing worldwide, helping athletes grow. We support all professional boxing bodies and do not limit our boxers from competing for one or another title. There shouldn’t be any limits for boxers to excel and earn a living, including their participation at the Olympics. The IOC should remove all sanctions and allow all boxers to compete without limitations, as well as sharing all that they earn from the athletes,’ IBA President added.

Gadzhmagomedov added that he dreamed about the professional title from his early years. ‘I’ve been watching pro fights from my childhood and always had a dream to have a champion’s belt on my shoulder one day. Now I got this chance, and I will not waste this opportunity. The WBA belt is going to stay in Russia,’ he said.

His rival mentioned that a boxer could improve only by fighting against the strongest. ‘This bout will be the third fight against a Russian boxer for me. I am ready to fight more Russians, they have good boxing schools, are confident and strong. Should you win or lose, you learn in any case. That is the only way to become a champion,’ Zhang said.

Batyrgaziev told the media that his 3-month preparations camp went “really well”.

‘We analyzed Carroll thoroughly and learned a lot. I know that Irish boxers have strong character, but I have no less. The one with better preparation should win, and I’ll prove it,’ he claimed.

Batyrgaziev’s coach, Eduard Kravtsov, added that the Russian is awaiting surprises from the seasoned opponent.

‘I am looking forward to great competitive fight, as I know that both sides were doing great preparations. Let the strongest win,’ he claimed.

Carroll had his training camp in Uzbekistan, where he worked a lot with similar boxing style to get used to Batyrgaziev’s one. He shared his story, saying, ‘I lost my mom in a car crash when I was 15 and I didn’t care about my life any longer; but in the ring, my life gets the purpose back. During the first year of my amateur career, I had two fights, in the next two years I took part in 67 more. I couldn’t be an amateur boxer any longer because I needed to provide for the family, so I chose professional boxing. I didn’t dream to become an Olympic champion because I needed to earn money first.’

He claimed that their fight with Albert Batyrgaziev is no less than “the clash of two worlds”.

‘I’ve never boxed against someone with Olympic gold medal, and he didn’t have any seasoned pro on his record,’ he added.

IBA Champions’ Night will kick off at 19:00 MST on 12 July and will be live streamed at