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World Championships preview in freestyle wrestling at 74 kg

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | Aug. 26, 2014, 4:16 p.m. (ET)

VIDEO: Jordan Burroughs vs. Ezzatollah Akbari (Iran)

Jordan Burroughs is shooting for his third straight World title. USAW photo.

Date of competition: Tuesday, Sept. 9

American Jordan Burroughs remains the heavy favorite to continue his dominance in this weight class.

It’s fitting that the only freestyle weight class FILA didn’t change was 74 kg/163 lbs. That’s the division Burroughs, arguably the best pound-for-pound wrestler on the planet, has ruled the past four seasons.

Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is seeking his third straight World title after winning Worlds in 2011 and 2013.

Burroughs won the 2013 World title in Budapest, Hungary less than a month after breaking his ankle in training.

Burroughs is back on a roll again after fellow American Nick Marable snapped Burroughs’ American record 69-match winning streak. Marable defeated Burroughs in the quarterfinals of February’s Yasar Dogu event in Turkey.

Burroughs has stormed back to win 19 straight matches and is now a remarkable 88-1 on the Senior level in freestyle wrestling. He remains unbeaten against foreign competition.

Burroughs is ranked No. 1 in the World by international governing body FILA at 74 kilos.

The World Championships are set for Sept. 8-14 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Past World medalist Yabrail Hasanov of Azerbaijan is ranked No. 2 after beating World bronze medalist Rashid Kurbanov of Uzbekistan by technical fall at last month’s Golden Grand Prix.

Iran’s Reza Afzali Paemami is ranked third after winning the Asian Championships.

Burroughs beat Iran’s Sadegh Goudarzi in the 2011 World finals and 2012 Olympic finals before he defeated Iran’s Ezzatollah Akbari in the 2013 World finals.

Goudarzi has not posted any international results since finishing third at the 2013 World Cup. Akbari, who lost to Burroughs 7-0 at the 2014 World Cup, has fallen to No. 19 in the rankings.

The toughest challenge Burroughs may face is from two-time World champion Denis Tsargush, who won the 2014 Russian Nationals. Tsargush lost to Burroughs in close matches at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics. Tsargush won World titles in 2009 and 2010 before Burroughs burst onto the international scene.

Returning World bronze medalist Ali Shabanov of Belarus is back on the mat this season. Shabanov is ranked fifth in the World.

Past World champion and Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has entered the rankings at No. 8 in this division after winning the Commonwealth Games at 74 kilos. He previously competed at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Cuba’s Livan Lopez, second in the 2013 Worlds at 66 kilos, moved up a weight for this summer’s Pan American Championships in Mexico City. Lopez rolled into the finals at 74 kilos but then was overpowered 13-2 by Burroughs in the finals.

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Gabor Hatos of Hungary also has been competing in this class in 2014.


74 kg/163 lbs. – 1. Jordan Burroughs (USA); 2. Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan); 3. Reza Afzali Paemami (Iran); 4. Aniuar Geduev (Russia); 5. Ali Shabanov (Belarus); 6. Soner Demirtas (Turkey); 7. Krystian Brzozowski (Poland); 8. Sushil Kumar (India); 9. Kamal Malikov (Russia); 10. Magomed Zubairov (Russia); 11. Luca Lampis (France); 12. Georg Harth (Germany); 13. Livan Lopez (Cuba); 14. Unurbat Purevjav (Mongolia); 15. Innokenti Innokentyev (Kyrgyzstan); 16. Leonid Bazan (Bulgaria); 17. Hamid Reza Rezaei (Iran); 18. Gabor Hatos (Hungary); 19. Ezzatollah Akbari (Iran); 20. Kiril Terziev (Bulgaria)


2013 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Jordan Burroughs (USA); Silver – Ezzatollah Akbari (Iran); Bronze – Ali Shabanov (Belarus); Bronze – Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); 5th – Narasingh Yadav (India); 5th – Jakob Markarashvili (Georgia); 7th – Sohsuke Takatani (Japan); 8th – Jabrayil Hassanov (Azerbaijan); 9th – Grigor Grigoryan (Armenia); 10th – Yunieris Blanco Mora (Cuba)

2012 Olympic Games
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Jordan Burroughs (USA); Silver – Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran); Bronze – Gabor Hatos (Hungary); Bronze – Denis Tsargush (Russia); 5th – Matt Gentry (Canada); 7th – Davit Khutishvili (Georgia); 8th – Augusto Midana (Guinea-Bissau); 9th – Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan); 10th – Abdulhakim Shapiev (Kazakhstan)

2011 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Jordan Burroughs (USA); Silver – Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran); Bronze – Ashraf Aliyev (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Davit Khutshishvili (Georgia); 5th – Ricardo Robertty Moreno (Venezuela); 5th – Abdulkhakim Shapiyev (Kazakhstan); 7th – Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); 8th – Murad Gaidarov (Belarus); 9th – Chongyao Zhang (China); 10th – Andriy Skyyka (Germany)

2010 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Denis Tsargush (Russia); Silver – Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran); Bronze – Gabor Hatos (Hungary); Bronze – Abdulkhakim Shapiev (Kazakhstan); 5th – Krystian Brzozowski (Poland); 5th – Ivan Fundora (Cuba); 7th – Kiril Terziev (Bulgaria); 8th – Volodymyr Syrotyn (Ukraine); 9th – Andriy Shyyka (Germany); 10th – Roman Dermenji (Moldova)

2009 World Championships
74 kg/163 lbs. – Gold – Denis Tsargush (Russia); Silver – Chamsulvara Chamsulvarayev (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Ramesh Kumar (India); Bronze – Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran); 5th – Alexandr Burca (Moldova); 5th - Murad Gaidarov (Belarus); 7th – Apostolos Taskoudis (Greece); 8th – Kiril Terziev (Bulgaria); 9th – Bi Shengfeng (China); 10th – Andrej Shyyka (Germany)