Fazliddin “Fayzi” Gaibnazarov, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for his native Uzbekistan, will face the rangy Mykal “The Professor” Fox in a 10-round super lightweight showdown from the Tucson Arena. Fox will have a roughly nine-inch height advantage over Gaibnazarov.
Gaibnazarov-Fox will headline an action-packed slate of fights on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. These bouts will lead into the main card featuring a pait of championship rematches with WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “El Alacrán” Berchelt making his fifth defense against Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas in a rematch of their 2017 Fight of the Year contender, won by Berchelt via 11th-round knockout.
In the co-feature, WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete will look to retain his title against Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe in a rematch of their December bout, won by Navarrete via unanimous decision.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 1, 2019
Gaibnazarov (7-0, 4 KOs) turned pro in 2017 following a storied amateur career that included a pair of Olympic berths,winning the gold medal in 2016 and a victory over current stablemate and WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez. He turned pro with in scheduled eight-rounders and has yet to be seriously tested in the paid ranks. After going 3-0 in 2018, he made his 2019 debut on Jan. 19 in Verona, New York, stopping Ricardo Garcia in four rounds.
“I want the best fighters at 140 pounds, and I want them soon,” Gaibnazarov said. “Fox is a step up for me, but I always rise to the occasion as my opposition gets better. I fought and beat the world’s best fighters as an amateur, and I will do the same as a professional. 2019 is going to be my year.”
Fox (19-1, 5 KOs), a native of Forestville, Maryland, has beaten most of his opponents establishing his long southpaw jab. In his last bout on Feb. 15 in Mulvane, Kansas, Fox was on the wrong end of a 10-round unanimous decision against top prospect Shohjahon Ergashev.
“Most guys would take a step down in competition after a loss, but there is nothing to gain from that. Gaibnazorov is not to be taken lightly but neither am I,” Fox said. “I’m looking to secure a win and get back on the ball. An undefeated Olympian is a hell of a choice to try and do that with, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Plus, the list of guys who will fight me, despite losing, is very short. I’m grateful and looking forward to doing battle with an Olympian.”
Also in action on the undercard:
Albuquerque native and top featherweight prospect Jason Sanchez (14-0, 7 KOs) will face former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6, 15 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
Phoenix native Carlos Castro (22-0, 9 KOs) will defend his WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight belt in a 10-rounder against Mario Alberto Diaz (18-2, 7 KOs). Castro is coming off an upset win over former world title challenger Genesis Servania in February.
Three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (27-3, 23 KOs) returns to action in an eight-round featherweight bout against Naciff Martinez (23-10-3, 9 KOs).
Super lightweight prospect Miguel Parra (16-1-1, 11 KOs) hopes to make it eight wins in a row versus David Morales (13-10, 13 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
Tucson-based middleweight prospect Manny Guajardo (4-0, 0 KOs) will lock in a four-rounder against Jonathan Espino (2-3, 2 KOs).
In a four-round welterweight rematch featuring a pair of local favorites, Nogales’ Judas Estrada (1-1-1, 1 KO) will face Tucson’s Christopher Gonzalez (3-0-1, 0 KOs). Estrada and Gonzalez fought to a draw last November.
Phoenix native Carlos Velasquez (1-0, 0 KOs) will face an opponent to be named later in a four-rounder at lightweight.