DBB Scout Report: Magomed Abdusalamov – A Russian Wrecking Machine
By Glenn Desmond
Magomed Abdusalamov of Dagestan Russia has been putting the heavyweight division on alert since turning pro in 2009. The former two time Russian amateur champion currently sports a record of 18-0, with all of his wins coming by way of knockout, and even more impressively, 11 of which have come in the first round.
Reminiscent of a fledgling Mike Tyson, 32 year old Abdusalamov trudges forward with good elusive head movement and feints to set up a wicked left hand. He particularly likes to throw the left hook to the body, as well as the left uppercut in high volume, and the accuracy with which he connects, is at times almost inconceivable.
Everything he throws is thrown with bad intentions, as he looks to finish fights early and exit the ring unscathed. He will sit down on nearly everything he throws, detracting from the speed he is able to throw combinations with but with such high risk, comes such a high reward, and some of his knockouts are simply terrifying.
He has not rested on his laurels coming up in the professional ranks, starting off weighing 263 lbs, a weight at which he looked a little soft around the mid section raising potential unwelcome questions about cardio levels and his ability to traverse longer spells of boxing at this high a level against more formidable opponents. He has duly dispelled any such potential questioning by cutting down to under 227lbs , where he looks a much leaner, fitter fighter.
Abdusalamov started boxing late, at age 22, after sustaining a knee injury in his amateur muay thai career, a fighting style you see much of his defensive boxing adapted from; elbows to the ears blocking, and pawing to set up heavy strikes. His ability to smell blood and swarm on vulnerable opponents will be something that will threaten almost every boxer on his way up the rankings as he is relentless in his constant pursuit of the finish.
If there is a glaring criticism and something that could also come from Muay Thai is his tendency to take damage during rounds that he should be dominating. The head movement I mentioned before is only when he is being offensive, but his countering and defensive head movement is a little below par and would get exploited at a higher level. He has incidentally been dropped by Jameel McCline, but subsequently stopped his opponent in the next round.
Certainly a rough diamond, and undoubtedly with the correct polishing could become a name in the heavyweight division, but he does need to sharpen his skills. One can only imagine that the Klitschko brothers are not clearing their calendars just yet, but such an impressive 18-0 record is not anything people should be taking lightly.
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