On Friday, July 17 Arif "Mayhem" Magomedov (15-0, 9 KOs) will face Derrick "Take it to the Bank" Webster (19-0, 10 KOs) on ShoBox live from Sands Resort and Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This will be the toughest opponent the young 22-year old from Chekhov, Russia has faced to date. According to Magomedov's trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan, of the Glendale Fighting Club, "He is young, he is hungry, he trains very hard and he really doesn't care who he fights, when he fights or what he is doing."
Tarverdyan and Magomedov started training together about six months ago when Arif came to the United States from Russia. Although the transition from Russia to America has been difficult for Arif, Edmond explains it has also played a major role in his continued success. Edmond said, "Like a lot of other fighters who come over, he had that European style and would move around a little too much. Now he is using his jab way better and sitting down on his feet a bit. He is also getting a lot of sparring in the United States. When he was back home he wasn't getting that. He was getting ready for 12-round fights and would only have one day a week of sparring. It was very difficult for him to get sparring partners when he was in Russia."
The lack of sufficient sparring partners and his young age are two reasons Tarverdyan is so impressed by Magomedov. He explained, "When you consider that he is only 22 years old and he was only sparring once a week, his record becomes even more impressive. He just keeps getting better now. He always wants to go for the finish. He is a great fighter. He knows exactly how to get the win. He is very, very tough, determined and focused. When it comes down to fighting he has a great personality. Outside of the ring he is a great gentleman but when he steps in the ring the attitude kicks in and he knows what he is doing. He's tough and I see it in his eyes. He has everything."
This is high praise considering Tarverdyan has worked with some very impressive fighters. "I train [WBC Featherweight] World Champion Vic Darchinyan and the most famous fighter I train is Ronda Rousey [Women's UFC Bantamweight Champion]," added Edmond. "I started with Ronda Rousey from zero, from the amateurs. Every time I told people she was special, they wouldn't believe me but now everyone sees how great she is. Arif has everything. I see him as a future world champion."
When asked about Arif's place in the hot middleweight division, Edmond was cautious but optimistic when he said, "Time will tell. No need to rush. Gennady [Golovkin, WBA and WBC Middleweight World Champion] is the man. I have been up to Big Bear and their training camp up there and he is an amazing fighter. There are other great guys in the division too. [David] Lemieux just won the IBF [World Middleweight] Title. I have followed his career too. Arif could definitely take him. We've got Andy Lee there too - no problem. He could definitely get in there with any of them and take the title."
But in the meantime Arif and Edmond are focused on Webster. Edmond is assured that Arif will be ready, "Webster is tall and he is a skilled boxer/puncher, so Arif knows exactly what to do. He has to get inside. We have a great game plan. We have been sparring hard so he is ready. He has fought southpaws before. He's tall and lanky so he knows exactly what to do."