No 2-ranked contender Zelfa Barrett is in line to take on Shavkat Rakhimov for the IBF super-featherweight title in Abu Dhabi, after champion Joe Cordina was stripped of the crown having sustained a serious hand injury.

The clash, which pits against one another the top two-ranked challengers at 130 lbs, is expected to form part of the November 5 card at Etihad Arena.

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When is Rakhimov vs Barrett?

Shavkat Rakhimov will take on Zelfa Barrett on Saturday 5th November 2022 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

The fight will be contested over 12 rounds in the Super Featherweight division, which means the weight limit will be 130 pounds (9.3 stone or 59 KG).

The fighters are expected to ringwalk at around 8:00 PM UTC at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which is 4:00 PM EST or 1:00 PM PST on the West Coast of America, or 8:00 PM GMT in the UK.

What has been said?

Barret: "It's amazing to be fighting for the IBF Super-Featherweight World Title in Abu Dhabi on a big show. I feel like it's deserved. I had a World Title Eliminator last year and I'm ranked No.2 in the world with the IBF. I've been in the gym and I've always said I'm two fights away from being a World Champion. I beat Bruno Tarimo and then I beat Faroukh Kourbanov. So now I'm here and it's my time to shine.

"Rakhimov is a very good fighter. He comes forward, he's aggressive and he's got a good boxing brain. I'm expecting a tough fight and a tough 12 rounds. We're going to have to work every second of every minute of every round. I'm preparing for that and I'm going to leave no stone unturned. We're putting everything into this opportunity.

"Of course, you'd like more notice but I've been in the gym training and working hard anyway. When we got the call, we were ready. No doubt. Anyone would like more time to prepare but this is what makes me different to the other fighters. Some fighters get 12 weeks, some fighters get 10 weeks, I'll do it in 6 and look good doing it too."

Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn: “Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov against Zelfa Barrett for the vacant IBF Super-Featherweight World Title is another 50-50 fight for Abu Dhabi’s new ‘Champion Series’,

“Rakhimov is a very good fighter. He’s a former IBO World Champion and has already fought for the IBF World Title. Zelfa is a guy who’s earned his shot. He fought an IBF Eliminator Tarimo and he’s ready to go. This is a massive opportunity for him in neutral territory on a huge show to go and change his life.

“Zelfa Barrett as World Champion against Joe Cordina coming back to try and regain his World Championship is a massive fight for British boxing. Joe will be really down and frustrated at the moment, but he will get that World Title shot as soon as he resumes his career – hopefully that will be against Zelfa Barrett and we’ll get a massive all-British fight. Three World Title fights and a stacked undercard featuring Olympic Champions, former World Champions and some of the best up and coming prospects from around the world – we can’t wait for November 5!”


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