Consistency is key as Dilmaghani sets sights on world title
At 26, a lot of fighters are still trying to find their way. Some are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their careers, others are trying to figure out who they want to be. It’s an interesting point in anyone’s career, boxing or otherwise, as youth slips away and peak adulthood lay ahead.
Alex Dilmaghani - who has split time in his career between England, Mexico and now Canada - is already a veteran of professional boxing. With 17 fights (a 16-1 record), he’s seen the ups and downs that come with being a professional fighter. As he approaches his physical prime, he’s looking to cash in on the dedication he’s paid to the sport in the form of a world title opportunity.
In late 2016, Dilmaghani signed with Ontario’s Lee Baxter Promotions and has not looked back since. On February 10, Dilmaghani makes his return to the ring against Andy Almendras (14-7-1) of Bolivia.
The young fighter is confident in his abilities, as most fighters are, but more than that he knows what he wants and what it will take to get there. A quick visit to his Instagram page shows you the kind of ruthless dedication he’s putting into the sport on a regular basis. There is no offseason for him, no vacation.
“Training is how it always is, hard and daily. Consistency is key, I'm kept very active and that's why I don't take days off,” Dilmaghani said. “I feel I've just got way better all round to better all round to be honest.”
It’s not just Dilmaghani’s nine-year professional career that tips the viewer off that he’s a veteran; his methodical, minimalist style in the ring wouldn’t have been out of place amongst the wily veterans of yesteryear. There is no wasted energy for Dilmaghani, who uses shoulder rolls and slips to make opponents miss and eventually pay for their mistakes. His slick, technical style – focused on no waste of energy and outsmarting the opponent - harkens back to the “Old Mongoose” Archie Moore and other fighters from the golden age of boxing.
For the astute boxing fan, Dilmaghani is a pleasure to watch.
“I think people saw from the last fight what a truly complete fighter I am; how I can stand in the pocket, make a guy miss and pay,” Dilmaghani said. “I threw a lot (of punches), boxed on the back foot and the front foot, worked the body and head well and accurately.”
Looking at Dilmaghani’s career, maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s learned many of the tricks of the trade. After being signed by Hatton Promotions early in his career, going 7-1 under their banner, Dilmaghani made the unconventional move to Mexico to train with Nacho Beristain. A quick Youtube search shows Dilmaghani sparring hard with Juan Manuel Marquez ahead of the Mexican legend’s final fight with Manny Pacquiao. Other footage shows Dilmaghani with veteran contenders like Ashley Theophane. This is a fighter who has travelled the world in search of the kind of training needed to become a well-known commodity in the super featherweight division.
Promoter Lee Baxter has been excited about Dilmaghani’s progress as a fighter and has high hopes for him in the coming years.
“We're going hard, we want a world title show before the end of next year,” Baxter said, suggesting that a fight against competent contender Horacio Alfredo Cabral could be in the works for a headlining March fight in Brampton. “Whether we have to take that (world title) shot on the road or at home depends, but I know he wants to make a statement. We're looking to make a splash in 2018.”
If Dilmaghani can take wins from Almendras and Cabral before the end of March, he’ll likely move into the world’s top 50 ranking at super featherweight, at which point a world title shot becomes more than just a dream. From there, Dilmaghani and Baxter can strategically match up opponents that will push the fighter towards his chosen world champion.
First up is Almendras, who Dilmaghani will look show off his skills against.
“A year from now I see myself as world champion,” Dilmaghani said. “My eyes are on the prize.”