Matchroom and DAZN promote in Uzbekistan this Saturday night, with a unified world champion heading the action.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, KO6) makes a homecoming first defence of his title, and the 26-year-old southpaw now residing in California defends his WBA (Super) and IBF Super Bantamweight crowns against Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, KO17), a former holder of the IBF title himself.
Akhmadaliev is another off the long conveyor belt of Uzbekh talent, and won his duo of belts in his last contest, taking a competitive and close split decision win over the champion, Daniel Roman, in January 2020.
Iwasa should prove a decent first test for Akhmadaliev, and the 31-year-old Kashiwa native comes into this contest as the IBF number one ranked contender, and interim champion.
The challenger is best known to UK fans for a June 2015 stoppage defeat to Lee Haskins in Bristol, but he rebounded, and just over two years later became IBF champion with a sixth round stoppage of his countryman, Yukinori Oguni.
After one straightforward defence, Iwasa shipped the belt in a home loss to Australia’s TJ Doheny in August 2018.
He has only fought twice since, his most recent an eleventh round stoppage of Marlon Tapales in December 2019 to take the interim crown.
Prediction: Akhmadaliev certainly looks a real talent and could dominate the weight and further weights if he chooses to.
Iwasa is experienced, but will need that and a lot more to compete with the champion. I think the Uzbekh can grind down Iwasa in around six to retain his belts.
Another Uzbekh talent based in the USA is Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, KO8), and ‘Wonderboy’ defends his WBA International Super Lightweight title over ten against Mexico’s Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-4, KO20).
Giyasov won his belt in April 2019, and has made two impressive defences, against former world title challenger, Darleys Perez inside a round, and last time out he knocked out Wiston Campos in three in August 2020.
Moreno has a solid enough record, but Giyasov should have this one wrapped up in the early stages.
At Super Welterweight, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Israil Madrimov (6-0, KO5) continues his education by taking on undefeated South Africa-based Congolese, Emmany Kalombo (14-0, KO14).
Kalombo’s record looks intimidating, but it is heavily padded, and Madrimov can take him out inside schedule here.
A ten rounder at Light Flyweight sees Hasanboy Dusmatov (2-0, KO2) take on Venezuela’s Alexis Diaz (25-2, KO17).
Dusmatov is vastly inexperienced compared to his opponent, but has a wealth of amateur experience to draw on.
Diaz has been stopped in both of his defeats, and Dusmatov can add to that list here with a stoppage win after the halfway mark.
Debutant, Ikboljon Kholdarov should have too much over six for Volodymyr Hordiienko (8-3, KO3) and should seal a simple points win.