Agit Kabayel may be in for the fight of his life after being linked with both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in recent weeks.
Joshua and Fury have been left without summer opponents after collapses in various sets of negotiations. For ‘AJ’, a rematch with Dillian Whyte that had so much potential now looks unlikely for his August 12 date in London.
Fury, the current WBC Champion, has name-checked plenty of contenders but is yet to announce a deal. With Andy Ruiz Jr reportedly pricing himself out, Usyk unavailable for the undisputed fight until the end of the year and Joshua not playing ball after a public call out, the Morecambe man has no dance partner for September.
Such difficulty in the financial and logistical aspect of the sport has opened up two voids to fill and German contender, Kabayel, now could be destined to fight one of the Brits.
The Leverkusen-born big man turned professional as a teenager, learning on the job with little experience under his belt and the aim of becoming the first German heavyweight champion since Max Schmelling in the early 1930s.
After a solid 3-0 start, Kabayel entered a tournament named ‘Bigger’s Better’ – a professional eight-man competition that was shown live on Eurosport in 2011, but subsequently left off of the records of the competitors.
A then 19-year-old Kabayel proved to be too raw of a talent to compete, losing in the first round to Evgeny Orlov, who’s current record is 17-18-1, with losses to Mariusz Wach, Francesco Pianeta and Kubrat Pulev before he entered the tournament.
However, one year later, Kabayel returned and reached the final, losing a split-decision to Fabrice Aurieng, who Dave Allen defeated in 2015.
In terms of his official record, Kabayel remains undefeated, with twenty-three wins to his name and a peculiar career thus far. In 2016 he won the EBU European title, a belt he would defend on four occasions, including a career-best performance against Derek Chisora, where he edged a majority-decision victory.
He vacated the belt in 2019 and has fought just once a year since, failing to increase the quality of his opposition, but winning the EBU title once again in his last outing in March.
Now, Kabayel is ranked in the top fifteen with all four governing bodies and seems an option for either Joshua or Fury, having sparred both over the years.
Fury’s US promoter, Bob Arum, named him as a potential fight for ‘The Gypsy King’, and Eddie Hearn said the same on behalf of Joshua. With time ticking away, official announcements are expected soon.