Back in June we reported that the WBA had ordered unbeaten Uzbek born Russian-Turk Batyr Akhmedov (7-0, 6) to face Mario Barrios (24-0, 16) in a bout for the WBA regular Light Welterweight title. It now been revealed that that bout has got a date and venue.
The bout was announced as part of the September 28th PPV show which will be headlined by Errol Spence Jr's bout with Shawn Porter, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
For the talented Akhmedov the bout is a big step up in class, but the 2016 Olympian, who fought for Turkey under the name Batuhan Gozgec, has always been on the fast track. That fast track has seen him face Ricky Sismundo in his third bout and Ismael Barroso in his 5th bout.
Since going the distance Sismundo back in March 2018 Akhmedov has taken out his following 4 opponents in a combined 23 rounds, showing solid power, good fundamentals and a real desire to make a name for himself as quickly as possible. Aged 28 he likely realises his top earning years aren't going to last for ever and the talented southpaw will be aware that the quicker he makes it to the top the more time he has to earn the big money and to make a big name for himself.
Barrios on the other hand is a 24 year old American fighter who debuted back in November 2013 as a Super Bantamweight. He would step up class in 2016, beating Devis Boschiero, and since then has scored 8 straight stoppage wins, beating the likes of Jose Roman and Juan Jose Velasco. His career has been pretty much the opposite of Akhmedov, turning professional young and having a gradual climb up the rankings.
Although unbeaten Barrios' competition hasn't been the best. The likes of Boschiero have either been beyond their best or, fighting above their best weight or, like Juan Jose Velasco, had been beaten not long before Barrios faced them. Despite that he's looked talented and will know that this is a huge opportunity to shine.
In June the esteemed World Boxing, the promoter of many top Eastern European and Central Asian fighters, reported that their fast rising Uzbek born Lightweight Batyr Akhmedov (7-0, 6) had been ordered to face Mario Barrios (24-0, 16) for the WBA regular Light Welterweight title.
Akhmedov is a really interesting fighter. He was a former amateur standout, who notably fought for Turket at the 2016 Olympics, but is based in Russia and was born in Oktyabr in Uzbekistan. When he turned professional he was immediately put on the fast track and beat Filipino Ricky Sismundo in just his third professional bout. Since then he has scored notable stoppages over Ismael Barroso and Viktor Plotnikov to earn his WBA #2 ranking.
The unbeaten Barrios has a solid looking record, and recent wins over Jose Roman and Juan Jose Velasco look good on his record, as does a 2016 win over Devis Boschiero. He does however seem to be the man moving up in class here if he accepts the bout with Akhmedov, rather than take a bit more time to season and physically mature. He has been touted for quite some time but would be facing his first world class puncher if he does take on Akhmedov.
The winner of this bout, which is yet to have a date or venue set, will become one of the leading challengers for the WBSS winner at 140lbs, which will be either Josh Taylor (15-0, 12) or Regis Prograis (24-0, 20).
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