Makhmudov-Akpejiori, Anderson-Kossobutskiy doubleheader confirmed for July 1
Montreal-based wrecking ball, Arslanbek Makhmudov, will take on Nigeria’s Raphael Akpejiori in a 10-round heavyweight fight on July 1, 2023. The Makhmudov-Akpejiori showdown rounds out a doubleheader featuring four undefeated knockout artists with a combined record of 64 wins and 61 stoppages. Anderson-Kossobutskiy and Makhmudov-Akpejiori will be broadcast live on ESPN, according to a BoxingScene report.
Jared ‘The Real Big Baby’ Anderson will collide with Kazakhstan’s Zhan Kossobutskiy in a 10-round, main event, at Toledo’s Huntington Centre. Anderson will fight for the first time as a professional in his hometown, just a few days shy of the 104th anniversary of Jack Dempsey’s historic win over Jess Willard on July 4, 1919, at Toledo’s Bay View Park.
Dempsey’s triumph heralded a new era in his illustrious career, and Anderson expects to do the same in his first headlining attraction.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Universum Boxing, tickets went on sale May 2 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
At 6’8’ and 260 pounds, Akpejiori (15-0, 14 KOs) casts an intimidating presence. A former collegiate basketball and football player for the University of Miami, he is a fistic natural, having stopped 10 of his opponents in the first round and another four in the second round.
In June 2022, the 32-year-old went the eight-round distance for the first time in his career against veteran, Terrell Jamal Woods. In his most recent fight, Akpejiori scored a first-round knockout against Dell Long in January. Akpejiori will have a nearly three-inch height advantage over his opponent.
Makhmudov (16-0, 15 KOs) made his professional debut in December 2017 by knocking out Jaime Barajas in the first round. He secured five additional first-round stoppages in his first seven fights, and in 2019, he became the first fighter to knock out tough-as-nails veteran Jonnie Rice. Later that year, he knocked out former world champion, Samuel Peter, in the first round, starting a series of four consecutive first-round knockouts.
In September 2022, Makhmudov went the distance for the first time against former world title challenger, Carlos Takam. In his most recent bout, he stopped Michael Wallisch in only one round in December. The 6’5, 265-pound powerhouse is set to face the tallest opponent of his career.
“Jared Anderson is a proud son of Toledo, and we are thrilled to bring Top Rank and ESPN to the ‘Glass City’,” said Top Rank chairman, Bob Arum. “Ever since Jared turned pro, we have set our sights on Toledo as a fight destination. He is now the best young heavyweight in the world, and the time was right to bring ‘The Real Big Baby’ home. Zhan Kossobutskiy is a ferocious puncher in his own right, and I expect an action-packed fight in front of a raucous, sold-out Huntington Centre crowd.”