Undefeated Russian heavyweight crusher Magomed "Mago" Abdusalamov (18-0, 18 KOs) is hard at work in Florida with new trainer John David Jackson, preparing for his first premium-cable appearance, a showdown with also undefeated Cuban Mike Perez (19-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, November 2, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City and televised Live on HBO®.
The hard-hitting pair, both southpaws, will meet for Abdusalamov's WBC USNBC Heavyweight Championship on the televised portion of the undercard of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin's World Boxing Association and International Boxing Organization title defense against Curtis Stevens.
Sampson Lewkowicz, exclusive promoter of Abdusalamov, says the addition of trainer Jackson will give the 32-year-old Russian a new dimension to his game. "Who better to train a southpaw to become champion than one who has already done it?" he asked. "Magomed already had the best power in the heavyweight division and now with John David Jackson fine-tuning his defense, he will be unstoppable."
A victory over 27-year-old Perez would be another significant notch on Abdusalamov's belt. The big Cuban is a former Prizefighter UK champion who holds victories over respectable veterans such as Zack Page, Tye Fields and Travis Walker.
"Magomed is training to prove he is the real heavyweight on the horizon," continued Lewkowicz. "Victories over other strong contenders like Perez are how he will do it. I'm very happy that HBO has chosen to spotlight Magomed. This exciting KO victory will allow him to establish himself as the most exciting puncher in the heavyweight division today.
Abdusalamov manager, Boris Grinberg, says his fighter will be the best version of himself he's ever been on November 2.
"John David Jackson is the final piece of the puzzle to make the next heavyweight champion. The strongest offense in the division is now being taught defense by one of the slickest fighters in boxing history. We are very excited for the world to see the improved Magomed on HBO."