Ahead of their WBC Asia Championship Middleweight title bout at the "Battle of Champions" event at the Pavilion at Far East Square tonight, defending champion Abdugufarov upped the stakes by taunting his older opponent, who is now 39.
Asked at the weigh-in yesterday if he was worried of losing, Abdugufarov's manager and club owner, Vikram Siva, said: "That's like asking me 'what if the world ends tomorrow?' It'll never happen.
"Sirimongkol's weakness is that he's a dinosaur. He was a great champion and he did a lot for this sport. But he shouldn't have taken this fight.
"Aziz has the advantage of size, power and especially youth."
The Uzbek's coach, Ilgar Aliev, was similarly scathing in his comments on Sirimongkol.
Aliev said: "He's way past his prime. It's best for Sirimongkol to surrender before something regretful happens.
"Out of respect for Sirimongkol, we will give him a chance. We will only knock him out after three rounds."
At a WBC event last year, Abdugufarov won his belt after he knocked Thai opponent Chalermpol Singwancha out with a single punch.
The defeated boxer was Sirimongkol's student, who picked up the sport from him when both of them were in prison.
Boasting a record of 91 wins and two losses, Sirimongkol is a two-time WBC world champion and legendary figure in the boxing arena. He also has 15 years on Abdugufarov.
And while the younger boxer's 4-0 record seemed to pale in comparison to his opponent's record, Abdugufarov's confidence was sky-high yesterday.
The 24-year-old said: "Whether it's Sirimongkol or Gennady Golovkin, it's all the same. It's what I've been trained to do."
This article was first published on Feb 10 , 2017.
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