On November 5, Matchroom Boxing made the announcement that Zelfa Barrett will fight Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the vacant IBF junior lightweight title. The fight will take place on November 5.

The fight will take place at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and will feature a total of 12 rounds. It will come before the main event, which will be contested for the WBA light heavyweight title between current holder Dmitry Bivol and mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez.

DAZN will provide live coverage of both fights on their platform.

Joe Cordina was going to make his first defense of the IBF title, but the Welsh boxer sustained a hand injury that necessitated surgery. As a result, the IBF stripped Cordina of his title and gave it to another opponent. On June 4, Cordina had won the championship by defeating Kenichi Ogawa of Japan through knockout.

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Eddie Hearn, the chairman of Matchroom Boxing, described the upcoming bout between Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Zelfa Barrett for the vacant IBF junior lightweight world title as “another 50-50 match” for Abu Dhabi’s new “Champion Series.” This fight will be for the world title. “Rakhimov is a very skilled martial artist. He has already competed for the world title held by the IBF.

Zelfa is a man who has worked hard to deserve this opportunity. After defeating Bruno Tarimo in an IBF eliminator, he is now prepared to move on to the next round. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to go on a large concert in uncontested territory and make significant changes to his life.

This is a major battle for British boxing, pitting Zelfa Barrett, the reigning world champion, against Joe Cordina, who is making a comeback to attempt and recover his world championship. Joe is going to be feeling incredibly sad and upset right now, but as soon as he gets his career back on track, he will have a chance to fight for the world title. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be against Zelfa Barrett, and then we’ll have a huge fight between two British fighters.”

Rakhimov, who is currently based in Los Angeles, California, but is originally from Bokhtar, Tajikistan, won his most recent bout on December 11 by knocking out Sardor Muzaffarov in the second round of a stay-busy fight. Rakhimov has a record of 16-0-1 with 13 knockouts. The victory over Muzaffarov came almost ten months after Rakhimov fought to a majority draw against Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz, who was stripped of the IBF title the day before the fight for missing weight.

The Ring now has the 28-year-old fighter ranked as the third best at 130 pounds, and his manager is Egis Klimas.

Zelfa Barrett, who lives in Manchester, England, has a record of 28-1 and has knocked out 16 of his opponents. In his most recent fight, which took place on June 4, he defeated Faroukh Kourbanov via unanimous decision. The fight between Zelfa Barrett and Kiko Martinez took place on February 13 of the previous year. Zelfa Barrett emerged victorious.

Galal Yafai, winner of the gold medal at the Olympic boxing tournament, will compete in a flyweight match against Gohan Rodriguez Garcia of Mexico, who has a record of 12-1-1 with one knockout.

Galal Yafai’s older brother, Kal Yafai, will also be competing on the Matchroom Boxing card. Kal Yafai has a record of 26-1 with 15 knockouts, although he has not competed since suffering a stoppage loss to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in February of 2020.

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