Heavyweight knockout artist Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov has signed a multi-year co-promotional contract with Top Rank, who will work in conjunction with Camille Estephan’s Eye of the Tiger. Makhmudov, born in Russia and now residing in Montreal, Canada, has knocked out all 14 of his professional opponents, including 10 in the first round.
The co-promotional agreement will see Makhmudov fight on Eye of the Tiger-promoted shows in Canada and on Top Rank on ESPN cards.
Makhmudov will defend his NABF belt against Carlos Takam on Friday, Sept. 16, at the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal. Makhmudov-Takam headlines a loaded fight card that will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.
“I’m fortunate to work with the top promoters in the world,” Makhmudov said. “This represents an important step toward achieving my goal of becoming a world champion.”
Estephan said, “I am very pleased and look forward to a long-term partnership with Top Rank, a force for decades in boxing. We look forward to adding to the legacy with high-level shows in Canada on ESPN+ and crowning world champions together.”
“Arslanbek Makhmudov has true heavyweight knockout power, and at 6’6 and 260 pounds, he is a force of nature inside the ring,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I look forward to working with Camille and his team at Eye of the Tiger to help Arslanbek achieve his dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world.”
Makhmudov turned pro in December 2017 with a first-round stoppage over Jaime Barajas. He knocked out six of his first seven foes in the opening round, and in 2019, he became the first man to stop noted spoiler Jonnie Rice. Later that year, he iced former world champion Samuel Peter in just 2:23, which started a streak of four consecutive first-round knockouts. He last fought in February in Montreal, where he broke down former world title challenger Mariusz Wach in seven rounds. Makhmudov is currently ranked No. 6 by the WBC and WBA.