EDDIE HEARN believes Israil Madrimov is the best super-welterweight in the world but understands his fighter is facing a “genius” in Terence Crawford.

Madrimov, 10-0-1 (7), makes the first defence of his WBA world title against Crawford outdoors at the BMO Stadium on August 3. The card marks the first of its kind for Riyadh Season in America and has brought together a number of promoters which has enabled Andy Ruiz, Jarrell Miller, David Morrell, Andy Cruz, Tim Tszyu, Vergil Ortiz Jr and Isaac Cruz to fight on the same show.

The headline fight will see pound-for-pound number one Terence Crawford, 40-0 (31), going for a world title win a fourth weight class. One belt at lightweight, four at super-lightweight and four at welterweight has been his haul to date. Now, the gifted Nebraskan, is looking to enhance his standing in the sport by making a run at super-welterweight.

“Madrimov is the best 154-pounder in the world, I really believe that,” Hearn told Boxing News in New York after today’s launch press conference.

“Terence come straight out the gate and he wanted all the champions. His Excellency (Turki Alalshikh) reached out to me. We made the fight, the main event on a huge card but as I said to him, ‘Every fighter gets old, every fighter steps [up] one weight class too many’.”

Hearn is batting for his guy and that’s to be expected. The Matchroom promoter even offered up some of Madrimov’s best attributes before acknowledging what level of opponent they are up against.

“Madrimov has tremendous footwork, he’s elusive, his defence is good, he punches really hard, but we understand we’re up against the pound-for-pound number one. The guy’s a genius. Undisputed at ’40, undisputed at ’47, trying to be undisputed at ’54. You may look back [at him] as the greatest fighter across our generation.

“A pleasure to be working with Terence again,” Hearn added. “He broke my heart with Ricky Burns many years ago in Glasgow. He broke our hearts against [Julius] Indongo to win undisputed and now it’s time to break his heart.”


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