Bakhodir Jalolov believes he could be undisputed world heavyweight champion within two years.
The hammer-fisted Uzbek rates Tyson Fury as the leading big man in boxing but is confident that he will, one day soon, takeover from the ‘Gypsy King’.
Jalolov, the 2020 Olympic champion, has won all 11 of his professional contests by shuddering KO and looks to add American Curtis Harper to his hit-list on Saturday night, in California on the undercard of the Jose Zepeda vs Regis Prograis world title fight.
The 28-year-old is seen by many boxing insiders as the heir to the heavyweight throne and has warned his rivals that he possesses a potent combination of devastating punch power allied with movement, footwork and boxing intelligence.
“I think the Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight in the world, and Oleksandr Usyk is very good, obviously, too,” Jalolov told Probellum.com.
“Fury for his size, he moves unbelievably. He has unbelievable movement and once again, he is big and heavy. Usyk is a great boxer, but obviously he’s small for the weight class.
“For me, I’m not a hero in Uzbekistan for winning the Olympics, I’m not there yet.
“But once I become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world at that time, maybe they’ll call me a hero.
“Maybe it’s not going to happen tomorrow, but maybe it’s going to be next year or in two years. But God bless, it is going to happen.”
“I’m not just a puncher,“ Jalolov added.
“Of course, I can punch, and I know that I have power because every time I land, people go down. But I have much more than that. I have a great footwork, feeling of distance and timing and speed.
“And my style is not to take nine shots to land 10. I’m not working like that. Instead of winning 10-9, I’ll win 1-0. I’ll land one, but I’m not going to get hit and that’s my goal. Boxing is about hit and don’t get hit.”
Jalolov (11-0, 11KOs) says former two-time heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is his all-time favourite fighter and rates Dr Steelhammer’s win over David Haye as his best victory.
“Wladimir Klitschko was tall and fought really smart, he fought behind the jab and was very intelligent,” said Jalolov.
“He was also a good person, in and out of the ring. Klitschko was a great, great example.
“A long time ago, I had a nickname, the ‘Uzbek Klitschko’. And, God bless, soon he’ll know my name and who I am.”
The Olympic gold medal was Jalolov’s crowning moment in an amateur career that also saw him win at the World Amateur Championships in 2019.
But the savage southpaw has revealed that defeat at the 2016 Olympics, to Britain’s Joe Joyce in Rio, proved a turning point.
“I missed a lot of shots in that fight,” he said.
“It was hard for me. I was barely growing, and it was a tough time. But the defeat motivated me to stay in boxing and do everything possible for me to reach the highest level. And I understood everything. I was young and I weighed 94 and 95 kilos at that time, which is only a little bit above the weight class limit.
“And if you watch this fight, I actually won the first round. No problem. But judges still give him the first round. So that was also discouraging for me but I’m very grateful to those Olympic Games because they pushed me to become who I am today.”
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