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Sultan-Ahmed Magomedsalihovich Ibragimov (Russian: Султан-Ахмед Магомедсалихович Ибрагимов; born 8 March 1975)[1] is a retired Russian professional boxer of Dagestani descent who competed from 2002 to 2008, and held the WBO heavyweight title from 2007 to 2008.[2] As an amateur he won silver medals at the 2000 Olympics and 2000 European Championships, and bronze at the 2001 World Championships, all in the heavyweight division.

Sultan Ibragimov
Султан Ибрагимов
Real nameSultan-Ahmed
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Reach193 cm (76 in)
Born (1975-03-08) 8 March 1975 (age 44)
Tlyarata, Dagestan ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Boxing record
Total fights24
Wins by KO17

Ibragimov is one of six southpaws to become world heavyweight champion: the others being Michael Moorer, Corrie Sanders, Chris Byrd, Ruslan Chagaev, and Charles Martin.

Amateur careerEdit

Ibragimov took up boxing at the age of 17, when he came to Rostov-on-Don and joined a local college, training under a tutelage of Anatoly Chernyayev. Soon after he was spotted by the AIBA Vice President and Russia's top boxing official Ramazan Abacharayev, his compatriot from Dagestan, who became his trainer and mentor for a long time.

Ibragimov had over 130 fights as an amateur, competing in heavyweight, claiming 135 victories, and having at least 6 known losses (no stoppages.)


Professional careerEdit

Ibragimov turned professional and rose through the heavyweight ranks by knocking out journeymen Al Cole, Zuri Lawrence, Friday Ahunanya and Lance Whitaker. On 28 July 2007, Ibragimov's record improved to 19-0-1 when he fought to a draw with Ray Austin in a grueling 12 round IBF heavyweight title eliminator.

WBO heavyweight championEdit

Despite the draw against Ray Austin, Ibragimov received a title shot from another sanctioning organization, the WBO. He was scheduled to challenge Shannon Briggs for the WBO heavyweight title on 10 March 2007, but because Briggs became ill with pneumonia, Ibragimov instead faced Javier Mora at Madison Square Garden in New York on that date. Ibragimov knocked out Mora 46 seconds into the first round. This win broke the record for the quickest knockout in a main event bout in Madison Square Garden, which was previously held by Lee Savold who defeated Buddy Walker in 1948.

Ibragimov faced the heavy-handed WBO Heavyweight Champion Shannon Briggs in Atlantic City, New Jersey on 2 June 2007. With an exception of an early and late pressure by Briggs in round one & twelve, rounds two to eleven were mostly controlled by Ibragimov, out-boxing his larger opponent with fast combinations.

On 13 October 2007, Sultan Ibragimov won his first title defense against the aging former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield by unanimous decision[3] for the WBO heavyweight title at Khodynka Arena in Moscow, Russia.[4]

Ibragimov fought Wladimir Klitschko on 23 February 2008 at Madison Square Garden. This fight was a unification bout laying the two fighters' IBF, IBO, and WBO titles on the line. This was the only title unification since 1999 when Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fought.

Unification bout against Wladimir KlitschkoEdit

He was defeated by Wladimir Klitschko by way of a unanimous decision. Ibragimov had his moments, but for the most part was unable to get past Klitschko's long jab and occasional straight right hand, he struggled to land any significant punches on his larger opponent.


In February 2009 there were rumors about Ibragimov's retirement from boxing following his loss to Wladimir Klitschko,[5] which were later confirmed in July 2009.[6][7] Despite a largely undistinguished career, Ibragimov retired as one of only five heavyweight champions, along side Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Riddick Bowe and Nicolai Valuev to have never suffered a stoppage defeat.

Personal lifeEdit

Ibragimov is of Avar Dagestani descent, and is Muslim by faith.[8] His cousin, Timur Ibragimov, is also a former heavyweight professional boxer. However, while Sultan competed for Russia, Timur represented Uzbekistan.[9][10]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
24 fights 22 wins 1 loss
By knockout 17 0
By decision 5 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
24 Loss 22–1–1   Wladimir Klitschko UD 12 23 Feb 2008   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Lost WBO heavyweight title;
For IBF and IBO heavyweight titles
23 Win 22–0–1   Evander Holyfield UD 12 13 Oct 2007   Megasport Arena, Moscow, Russia Retained WBO heavyweight title
22 Win 21–0–1   Shannon Briggs UD 12 2 Jun 2007   Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US Won WBO heavyweight title
21 Win 20–0–1   Javier Mora TKO 1 (10), 0:46 10 Mar 2007   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
20 Draw 19–0–1   Ray Austin SD 12 28 Jul 2006   Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, US
19 Win 19–0   Lance Whitaker TKO 7 (12), 2:01 15 Dec 2005   Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
18 Win 18–0   Friday Ahunanya TD 9 (12) 16 Sep 2005   The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth, Georgia, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title;
Unanimous TD after Ahunanya was cut from an accidental head clash
17 Win 17–0   Andy Sample TKO 1 (12), 2:47 24 Jun 2005   The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0   Zuri Lawrence TKO 11 (12), 0:32 22 Apr 2005   Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
15 Win 15–0   Al Cole TKO 3 (12), 1:46 3 Mar 2005   The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
14 Win 14–0   James Walton TKO 6 (12), 3:00 11 Dec 2004   Atlantic Oceana Hall, New York City, New York, US Retained WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
13 Win 13–0   Najee Shaheed KO 3 (12), 2:45 16 Oct 2004   Ovation Club, Boynton Beach, Florida, US Won vacant WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
12 Win 12–0   Onebo Maxime TKO 5 (8), 2:13 28 Aug 2004   Ovation Club, Boynton Beach, Florida, US
11 Win 11–0   Alexey Osokin UD 8 10 Mar 2004   Crystal Casino, Moscow, Russia
10 Win 10–0   Piotr Sapun KO 1 (8) 29 Jan 2004   Centr na Tulskoy, Moscow, Russia
9 Win 9–0   Sedrak Agagulyan TKO 1 (8) 12 Sep 2003   Sports Palace Yunost, Donetsk, Ukraine
8 Win 8–0   Marcus McGee TKO 8 (8) 6 Jun 2003   KSK "Express", Rostov-on-Don, Russia
7 Win 7–0   Carlos Barcelete KO 3 (6) 22 Apr 2003   Casino Kamilla, Moscow, Russia
6 Win 6–0   Chad Butler UD 6 26 Mar 2003   Convention Center, Coconut Grove, Florida, US
5 Win 5–0   Lincoln Luke RTD 2 (4), 3:00 20 Dec 2002   American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, US
4 Win 4–0   Clarence Goins TKO 1 (4), 1:36 6 Dec 2002   Palladium Athletic Village, Davie, Florida, US
3 Win 3–0   Leroy Hollis TKO 1 (4), 2:30 18 Oct 2002   Hard Rock Cafe, Orlando, Florida, US
2 Win 2–0   John Phillips TKO 1 (4), 1:26 7 Jun 2002   DeSoto Civic Center, Southaven, Mississippi, US
1 Win 1–0   Tracy Williams KO 1 (4), 1:19 25 May 2002   Tennis Center, Delray Beach, Florida, US


  1. ^ " - Felix Savon - Jun 8, 2004". Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Sport & Note". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph, Issue No.47, 327 (Friday, 3 August 2007), 'Holyfield steps back into the ring', Article by Gareth A. Davies
  4. ^ "Holyfield replaces Chagaev as Ibragimov's opponent". 2 August 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Sultan Ibragimov Retires". 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Former heavyweight champ Sultan Ibragimov retires". 31 July 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Sultan Ibragimov retires - Boxing - Boxing News". 29 July 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Shannon Briggs Says Nyet". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Exclusive interview with heavyweight boxing prospect Sultan Ibragimov". 13 October 2007. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Kali Meehan
WBO Asia Pacific
heavyweight champion

16 October 2004 – July 2006
Title next held by
Ruslan Chagaev
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Shannon Briggs
WBO heavyweight champion
2 June 2007 – 23 February 2008
Succeeded by
Wladimir Klitschko