By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Israil Madrimov performed like a seasoned veteran in his scheduled 10-round pro debut Saturday night.
The decorated amateur dominated game Mexican Vladimir Hernandez until referee Harvey Dock understandably stopped their one-side junior middleweight match in the sixth round on the Dmitry Bivol-Jean Pascal undercard at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Etess Arena.
Uzbekistan’s Madrimov nearly knocked out Hernandez during the third round, but Hernandez showed incredible resilience to survive that trouble. The 23-year-old Madrimov knocked him into the ropes, then to the canvas, right around the midway mark of the third round.
Hernandez answered Dock’s count at nine and took even more punishment prior to the round ending.
Hernandez hit Madrimov a few times in the ensuing rounds to keep his skilled, strong opponent honest. But Madrimov battered Hernandez with enough hard head shots to make Dock step in to stop their fight at 1:24 of the sixth round.
A dejected Hernandez (10-3, 6 KOs) was still standing when Dock halted their bout. Hernandez hadn’t been knocked out as a pro prior to Saturday night.
All three judges had Madrimov in front by big margins when their fight was stopped (50-44, 50-43, 49-45).
Madrimov won countless tournaments as an amateur.
He also fought six times in the World Series of Boxing, three times apiece in 2017 and this year. The World Series of Boxing affords amateurs opportunities to compete in professional fights while maintaining their amateur status.
World Series of Boxing bouts don’t count of fighters’ pro records, which is why Madrimov’s victory over Hernandez on Saturday night technically was his pro debut.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.