Yesterday in the US we saw unbeaten Welterweight Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] continue his perfect unbeaten record as he scored the biggest win of his career, over-coming former world champion Luis Collazo (39-8, 20), in a clear 10 round technical decision win.
The talented Uzbek spent much of the fight on the back foot, soaking up pressure from Collazo who came forward almost all night. Unlike many fighters on the back foot however Abdukhakorov didn't really just hit and run. Instead he actually let combinations go, before getting back on his toes and skirting away. This made for an exciting back-foot showing from the IBF #1 contender.
Although Abdukhakorov dominated much of the bout, and showed he could switch it, there were times where Collazo pressure had some success, notably in round 3 when the American cut the distance. They were short lived success though and it didn't take long for Abdukhakorov to resume control.
As the bout wore on both slowed down, but the real talking point came in round 10 when a headclash left Collazo badly cut, and dazed. It was a "gusher" to say the least, and rightfully ended the bout around 1 minute early.
When the scorecards were read out Abdukakhorov was well ahead on all 3 cards and the worthy winner.
Sadly it's hard to see Abdukhakorov making a mark against the champions in the Welterweight division, though given the fact he is the IBF mandatory challenger there's a clear route to a world title fight. Also given Errol Spence hasn't made a mandatory in a fairly long time, there is a chance the IBF may strip him, giving Abdukhakorov an easier chance to win a title.. Even if that happens though it's hard to imagine Abdukhakorov holding a belt long in this current Welterweight scene.
According to reliable Uzbek sources unbeaten Welterweight Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан]will be returning to the ring on October 18th, and is likely to face former world champion Luis Collazo (39-7, 20).
The bout, which will take place Stateside, will be Abdukakhorov's first since beating Japanese puncher Keita Obara in March in an IBF world title eliminator, and appears to be a stay busy fight for Abdukakhorov whilst awaiting a shot at the IBF title, currently held by Errol Spence Jr. At the moment the unbeaten Uzbek is ranked #1 by the IBF and is the mandatory for Spence, but Spence has got a unification bout with WBC champion Shawn Porter booked for later in the year and that has taken priority over the mandatory defense.
The 38 year Collazo has been a professional since 2000 and has fought a genuine who's who during his 46 fight career. he won the WBA Welterweight title in 2005, beating Jose Antonio Rivera, and would defend it against Miguel Angel Gonzalez before suffering a very narrow defeat to Ricky Hatton in 2006. In the years since the loss to Hatton we've seen Collazo battle Shane Mosely, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan and Keith Thurman.
Interestingly Collazo was supposed to fight in August, though has had out of the ring issues which has left Collazo free and opened up the opportunity for this bout.
More details of the bout are expected to be revealed in the coming days, with Top Rank likely to announce the bout, and the full card in the near future.
Back in March Uzbek Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 6) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] beat Japanese puncher Keita Obara (20-4-1, 18) [小原 佳太] to book himself an IBF world title fight. Despite the win for the Uzbek it now seems like Obara will actually be back in the ring before Abdukakhorov.
Earlier today Obara revealed that he would be returning to the ring on June 13th at the Korakuen Hall, as part of a Diamond Glove card, which will also feature his Misako stable mate Norihito Tanaka (18-7, 10) [田中教仁] defending the Japanese Minimumweight title against Naoya Haruguchi (15-10, 6) [春口直也].
At the moment Obara's opponent hasn't been announced, though the Obara bout is expected to be the show's main event. Strangely it has been stated that Obara's bout will headline above the Japanese title bout, despite their being no title on the line in his contest.
At the age of 32 Obara cannot afford nay more setbacks if he's to earn himself one more notable bout. The loss to Abdukakhorov was a big one, but he does still have a fan friendly style and can make for fun fights, potentially getting one final shot at the big time if he can run off a few wins. This bout in June is expected to be an easy one, though he can't have many easy ones if he's to try and charge back up the rankings for another world title eliminator.
At the moment there's not been much else announced about the card, though we are expecting at least 1 other notable name to be featured on the show as Misako look to build on a pretty good start to 2019.
Yesterday evening in the US fight fans had the chance to see an IBF Welterweight world title eliminator, between unbeaten Uzbek Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0, 6) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] and Japanese puncher Keita Obara (20-4-1, 18) [小原 佳太].
The bout was relatively competitive, at times, but there was no doubting the winner with the Uzbek racking up the early rounds, to cruise in the final stages.
For the most part Abdukakhorov just did that bit more, was the bit smoother, sharper and smarter. He was caught by some solid counters, but Obara struggled to follow up his success as the Uzbek got out of range and reset.
After 12 rounds the judges all favoured the unbeaten Uzbek, who took the decision with scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 115-113. The 118-110 card seemed a rather harsh score but the other two were pretty spot on.
For "The Punisher" this win moves him towards a bout with IBF world champion Errol Spence, though on this showing he would be given no real chance against the American champion. For Obara the loss leaves his career hanging by a thread.
Later today Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0, 6) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] and Keita Obara (20-3-1, 18) [小原 佳太] will face off in an IBF Welterweight title eliminator. Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight.
On the scales the unbeaten Uzbek was 145.8lbs, well under the 147lb limit, whilst the hard hitting Japanese fighter was 146.2lbs.
At the weigh in the Uzbek looked a tad fleshy, but confident and calm. Obara on the other hand looked better physically, but also seemed more tense, likely knowing it's now or never for his career.
Related- Abdukakhorov and Obara battle for mandatory position
(Photo by Mikey Williams)
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