Gassiev, Madrimov Added To Garcia-Vargas Card
Former IBF and WBA Cruiserweight Champion Murat Gassiev will be making his heavyweight debut on February 29, while Israil Madrimov will be competing in a title eliminator bout.
Both fighters will be competing on the undercard of the highly-anticipated Mikey Garcia v. Jessie Vargas bout, taking place inside Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Gassiev faces off against Jerry Forrest while Madrimov defends his WBA Inter-Continental Junior-Middleweight Title against Charlie Navarro. The Matchroom Boxing-led event will be live on DAZN and Sky Sports.
Gassiev (26-1) was on a 26-fight win streak before losing to Oleksandr Usyk in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight finals. After losing the WBA and IBF gold, the 26-year-old is hoping to start fresh in a new division. He was to make his heavyweight debut back in July but an injury delayed the opportunity to compete.
“I’m so happy to finally be able to make my debut at Heavyweight,” said Gassiev. “It has been frustrating not being able to fight but I am ready to go now, and I want to make up for lost time. When I box in Frisco it will have been nearly 600 days since I’ve fought and a lot has happened in the Heavyweight division over that time – I know that I can be a World champion at Heavyweight but I need to show to the rest of the division that I am a serious threat, and that starts on February 29.”
The Russian-born fighter faces Forrest (26-3), a 31-year-old with 20 knockouts under his belt. He beat Martez Williamson via KO back in September, and is 5-1 in his last six fights.
Madrimov (4-0) won the WBA Inter-Continental Junior-Middleweight Title back in March against Frank Rojas, beating him via KO. Since then, the 24-year-old has knocked out Norberto Gonzalez and Alejandro Barrera, the latter of the two for the title. A win can put him at number two in the WBA’s rankings, and closer to a world title opportunity in just a short period of time.
“I am so excited to be getting my first fight of 2020 on such a big card in Frisco,” said Madrimov. “I was so happy to watch MJ beat Daniel Roman in Miami last weekend, and that win has spurred me on to join him as a World champion this year.”
Madrimov faces major competition in Charlie Navarro (29-9), who is on a four-fight win streak. The 40-year-old beat Johan Gonzalez via split decision back in July, and is 7-4 in his last eleven fights.