Abdusalamov vs. Rodriguez Heating Up
Tensions rose and a scuffle broke out between heavyweight prospects Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov (12-0, 12 KOs) and Pedro Rodriguez (8-0, 6 KOs) at todays’ Superbrawls weigh-in for tomorrow’s (Friday, February 3) ESPN Friday Night Fights broadcast from the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas.
The two undefeated big men will meet in a potentially explosive eight-round televised feature attraction tomorrow night.
“This is typical Russian/Cuban rivalry that goes back to amateur boxing for many, many years,” said Superbrawls co-promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing.
Abdusalamov was the 2005 and 2006 Russian amateur champion at super heavyweight and Rodriguez is a former member of the Cuban national team. “These two countries are always at the top and they’ve learned to despise each other and yet respect each other. You won’t see a Russian give any ground to a Cuban and vice versa. It’s a matter of national pride.”
Lewkowicz was forced to step in and separate the two giants when the publicity staredown led to forehead contact and then pushing.
“Magomed is extremely confident in himself and his power and Rodriguez made it clear he plans on exposing him tomorrow night,” continued Lewkowicz. “I think they both want to let the other one know they’re in for a surprise tomorrow. Only one of them is right!”
Thankfully for Lewkowicz, cooler heads prevailed and no punches were exchanged. He wasn’t so lucky in 2005 during the buildup to his former fighter Sultan Ibragimov’s fight against Lance “Mount” Whitaker.
Lewkowicz stepped in to stop a pushing match between Ibragimov and Whitaker during a press conference at Gallagher’s and when the punches started flying, he took most of them on his chin and was knocked out cold in such spectacular fashion he made the front page of the New York Daily News and was splashed all over television.
“You’d think I would have learned my lesson,” laughed Lewkowicz after the conference.
Superbrawls will be topped by a 10-round light heavyweight main event between Colombian powerhouse Edison “Pantera” Miranda and South Africa’s WBC #6, WBA #13, and WBO #14-rated Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, and also feature two up-and-coming warriors in the eight-round co-main event: Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (14-0, 11 KOs) against fellow undefeated Hylon Williams Jr. (15-0, 3 KOs).