Matchroom and DAZN brought professional boxing to Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and the packed Humo Arena saw homecoming hero, Murodjon Akhmadaliev make a first defence of his WBA ‘Super’ and IBF Super Bantamweight titles with a fifth round stoppage win against the teak tough Ryosuke Iwasa on Saturday.
Akhmadaliev (9-0, 7 KOs) won the belts in his last contest back in January 2020 with a split decision win against Daniel Roman, while Iwasa (27-4, 17 KOs) came into the contest as IBF interim champion, defeating Marlon Tapales in December 2019.
After a pretty even first round, the champion went to work at the start of round two, with his jab a potent weapon allowing him to cut off the ring and get chopping punches away, and Iwasa was struggling to get himself out of the firing line.
The 26-year-old’s fast hands were befuddling the Japanese challenger, whose face had reddened and the Uzbek was going through a full repertoire of punches in a dominant third round.
Iwasa was showing fleeting glimpses of what he could do though, and he wasn’t being discouraged from coming forwards, and he had a much better fourth.
The end though was only one more round in coming, and Akhmadaliev landed an uppercut that moved the 31-year-old at the start of the fifth, and he went to work, piling the pressure on his opponent with clean punches.
7 KOs 💥
Unified World Super-Bantamweight Champ 🇺🇿 @AkhmadalievMj pic.twitter.com/KRw5OepkP9
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) April 3, 2021
The former IBF champion was still in full control of his senses whilst under fire, and it was a surprise to see the referee step in when he did to end the fight, with Akhmadaliev claiming a ninth straight win.
There were a host of Uzbekh talent on the undercard, with all impressing in solid wins.
Shakhram Giyasov (11-0, 9 KOs) successfully defended his WBA International Super Lightweight title, as he utilised some wicked work to the body to knockout Patricio Lopez Moreno in three rounds.
‘Wonder Boy’ made a powerful start, and the Mexican didn’t seem to like the pace being set by the champion, and although he showed more resolve in the second, he was decked by a short hook to the body near the end of the round, but the bell came to his aid.
‘The Wonder Boy’ ends things with a BIG right 💣 @ShakhramG pic.twitter.com/1bAyzlCfKE
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 3, 2021
A round later, Moreno (28-5, 20 KOs) was down and out for the full count, as a right hand to the head followed by another wicked body shot crumpled the visitor, and he was never likely to beat the referee’s count.
Israel Madrimov remained undefeated with a dominant points win over ten against the previously undefeated Emmany Kalombo at Super Welterweight.
Madrimov (7-0, 5 KOs) controlled the action on the whole and countered Kalombo (14-1, 14 KOs) to perfection in the eighth, connecting with a well-timed left hand that caused the 28-year-old to reel back towards the ropes and then to the canvas.
Kalombo survived the round, but Madrimov felt the time was right to end matters, and stepped on the gas in the penultimate round as he attempted to remove the challenger from battle, and a big left hand landed that Kalombo absorbed well.
’The Dream’ again poured on the pressure in the final frame, but Kalombo was game enough to see the final bell, where scores of 100-89, 99-90 and 98-92 saw the 26-year-old pick up his seventh win.
Madrimov finally send Kalombo to the mat in round 8 💥 pic.twitter.com/oXMgQ6GBTO
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 3, 2021
Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3 KOs) took the vacant WBA International Light Flyweight title with ease, stopping the overwhelmed Muhsin Kizota early in the second round of their scheduled ten rounder.
The 2016 Olympic Gold medalist had Kizota (11-3, 5 KOs) on the floor within the first minute of the contest from a left hand, and the Tanzanian was way out of his depth.
Dusmatov’s left hands just simply couldn’t fail to find the target, and Kizota was on the canvas twice more from them in round two, before the referee called a halt to the action.
Promising Heavyweight, Bakhodir Jalolov (8-0, 8 KOs) made light work of Kristaps Zutis (7-2-2, 7 KOs), dropping the Latvian twice in a straightforward second round win.
Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (1-0, 1 KO) made his professional debut, and blasted Tanzania’s Tasha Mjuaji (17-8-2, 5 KOs) out inside a round at Featherweight.
An innocuous looking right hand felled the visitor early on in the opening round, and he was over again from nothing more than a flicked jab and he decided to sit out the count.
At Cruiserweight, Sanjar Tursunov (3-0, 1 KO) claimed a points win over Ivan Yukhta (3-2-1, 2 KOs) to remain unbeaten.