«We have been preparing as we go to war,» Rakhimov said regarding his bout against Días.

There are only five days left before the IBF World Super Feather Title bout between Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Joseph Días. The Ural boxer is the first number in the Jr. Lightweight division of the International Boxing Federation and has long been a mandatory challenger for the belt.

Shavkat's training camp takes place at the Freddie Roach’s gym located in the USA. Ekaterina Berezovaya spoke with the boxer of RCC and found out how the preparations for the fight against Días are going on, about the secrets of working with the legendary coach and a COVID-19 positive test.

I arrived in Los Angeles on September 17, so I have been training in the Wild Card gym with Freddie Roach for about five months. Now we have a week of sparring, after that we start working on weight and speed training. We are leaving for California in a few days, where the bout will take place. We will have to go in quarantine due to the coronavirus, so we will be forced to finish our preparation at the hotel. 

All my sparring partners are highly skilled athletes. Many are similar in fighting style to Joseph Días. We work out all the strokes and the necessary combinations with the coach. Everything goes well.

First of all, Freddie Roach correctly makes clear the necessary information to the boxer, he is calm. Everyone respects and appreciates him, he is the boss here. No one makes hasty conclusions and makes decisions on their own, everyone obeys Freddie. There is so friendly ambience in Wild Card, everyone supports each other, this is very motivating at the same time.

We are preparing for war, expecting any issue. We work out both the first and second numbers. We will show all my skills on February 13. I really hope that all our plans will be realized in the bout. This victory is very important to me, I think about it every day. I am eager and looking forward to this fight.

We closely scrutinized my opponent. I noticed that he has very slow legs, he always stands in the same place, this gives me a big advantage. I need to show that I am the boss in the ring. He is not a puncher, he doesn't have a hard punch. I do not get excited about anything. I am preparing like a champion. I am very motivated by the fact that I am in this gym with the legendary coach Freddie Roach.

I tested positive for Covid-19 on January 1 so I had not leaved my home for two weeks. The disease was in mild form, I hardly felt it. This was the only failure in the time of preparation. Now is everything well.

The boxer of the RCC Martial Arts Academy defeated South African’s Azinga Fuzile (14-0) and became a mandatory challenger for the fight with the champion. The IBF World Super Feather Title bout between Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov and Joseph Días will take place on February 13.


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