By Alexey Sukachev
It has been confirmed today, that Argentinean cruiserweight Victor Emilio Ramirez (14-1, 12 KOs) will take on WBO #12 Ali Ismailov (15-1-1, 10 KOs) for a full WBO title on April 11th at Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The contract between two parties was officially signed two days ago, ending a lengthy period of preliminary negotiations.
The exact status of the fight, however, remains uncertain. It was earlier reported by a bunch of boxing media, that Ramirez, who upset huge favorite Alexander Alexeev in January to capture an interim version of the belt, would make an optional defense of the full WBO title against current WBO Latino beltholder Ismailov. On the other hand, Jab Promotions president Vitaly Supichenko, who is guiding Azerbaijani’s career, told this correspondent that the bout is scheduled for a vacant WBO belt, while WBO #1 Enzo Maccarinelli (29-2, 22 KOs) and WBO #2 Ola Afolabi (13-1-3, 5 KOs) would most probably collide for an interim version of the title on March 14th. The WBO official web portal lists Victor Ramirez as a full champion.
Ali Ismailov, now 34, turned a pro in December 2004 after a lengthy and successful amateur career. Ismailov was a two-time former Olympian for Azerbaijan (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) and took bronze medals in both European (Tampere 2000) and world (Houston 1999) championships. In his only fifth fight at paid ranks in February 2006, Azerbaijani slugger took then undefeated (20-0-1) prospect Vadim Tokarev in deep waters before losing to him a spirited ninth-round TKO due to an injury. Ismailov is 12-0 since then.