Alex Dilmaghani takes on Samir Ziani for the EBU European Super Featherweight Title on Saturday night which is being classed as the battle of the southpaws. Samir will be looking for his second successful defence after beating Juli Giner for the Vacant tile before successfully defending the belt against Faroukh Kourbanov in October 2019. The bout was due to take place on the 25th April 2020 but due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of live sport, the date had to be pushed back.
Crayford based, Alex Dilmaghani has been described as “Boxing’s best-kept secret” by Mick Hennessy and will certainly be looking to make it not a secret anymore with a victory over current champion, Samir Ziani. Alex has been sparring partners for the likes of Chris Eubank Jr, Francisco Vargas and most notably Juan Manuel Marquez before his final fight of the Pacquaio sequel. He has had to learn the sport quickly and his tough introduction to the sport will hopefully see him reap the rewards on big nights like this. In his last fight, he came away with a majority decision draw against Francisco Fonseca at York Hall and will certainly be hoping to go one better on Saturday night.
“It was a tough start to my career in boxing, I travelled to Canada and Mexico to learn my trade and I had to learn it properly. It helped shape me physically and mentally living in some rough parts on my travels; the mental side of boxing is what some boxers lack but I don’t. I spent time dabbling in and out of boxing as I was not totally committed but I masked myself into the culture and became focused. There were times when I fought in Canada, I had no idea who would be in my corner and I even had to wrap my own hands, it was tough.”
Alex will be taking on a fellow southpaw which brings different obstacles than fighting an orthodox fighter and he is certainly looking forward to it.
“Samir is tough, he throws a lot of punches and throws them at awkward angles. I don’t mind fighting southpaws and I am looking forward to putting on a performance.”
The common denominator for all sports professionals is having to perform their trade without a crowd. The arenas are now empty but the quality of boxing since the restart has been fantastic. I asked Alex how lockdown for him was and how he is feeling about fighting in front of an empty area.
“Lockdown for me was okay, I managed to spend some time with the family, and we are all healthy which is the main thing. I cannot really complain about it because I kept training, I was still able to hit a pad and most importantly, carry on learning my craft. In terms of fighting in an empty arena, it would have been nice to fight in front of a crowd to but to be honest, it is indifferent. I still have to get myself prepared, it is still just me and my opponent.”
Speaking to Alex, he sounded confident and bullish ahead of his toughest fight to date. I did ask for his prediction for the fight and how does he beat Samir, his answer was simple.
“Tune in and you will find out. I will beat him and do it convincingly.”