Yesterday fans were able to see talented Kazakh hopeful Sadriddin Akhmedov (12-0, 10) [Ахмедов Садриддин] score his latest win, as he defeated Dutch fighter Stephen Danyo (17-4-3, 6) in Mexico, via wide 10 round decision.
From the opening round Akhmedov pressed the action, making the tough Danyo back up and cover up. Through out the bout the Kazakh pretty much did what he wanted against a fighter who looked worried and ultra-cautious through out. In fact it regularly looked less like Danyo was there to win, and more there to survive.
Despite the negativity of Danyo the bout served as the sort of match up that Akhmedov needed. The Canadian based Kazakh had been out of the ring for more than a year and the 10 rounds he had here would have done him the world of good, shaking some ring rust against a technically solid but negative opponent, and showing that he has got the stamina for 10 rounds, something he's only done once.
As for the performance it's self, it seemed like Akhmedov figured out quite early on that he wasn't going to stop Danyo, but that he was also not going to be punished, and tried a few things out. It was far from a perfect performance from the "Soldier of Q", but in reality it didn't need to be. The focus was clearly on getting into the ring, getting rounds and that's what he did.
Fingers crossed when Akhmedov returns to the ring for next bout his opponent will have a bit more ambition than Danyo had here.
Yesterday the WBA announced that Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39) was no longer the WBA "super" champion at Welterweight. Instead they have made it clear they will recognise him as the WBA "champion in recess", a status typically given to a fighter who is injured or otherwise unable to fight.
As a result of this decision Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12) has been promoted from the "regular" champion to the "super" champion.
Pacquiao became the "super" champion in July 2019, when he beat Keith Thurman. He has, sadly, been inactive since then, leading to the WBA's decision.
Thankfully if you're reading this you're probably a boxing fan, but if you feel like giving yourself a headache try explaining that to a non-boxing fan.
Sadly though this does leave the WBA in a position where they appear to lack inconsistency. For example WBA Featherweight "super" champion Leo Santa Cruz hasn't defended his title since February 2019 and WBA regular Light Flyweight champion Carlos Canizales last defended his belt in May 2019*.
It's rare we'll agree with the WBA, and the decision to determine Pacquiao as the champion in recess is actually the right idea. But then again Pacquiao is one of the few fighters in the sport who doesn't need a belt. And lets not ignore the fact that the decision was almost certainly made just so the WBA can collect another sanctioning fee in early 2021, and have a Champion in Recess, Super champion, Regularly Champions and Gold champion. Further muddying in the water in what it means to be a world champion.
*Canizales had a title defense that fell apart at short notice in 2020
Yesterday the WBA announced that they had stripped WBA "regular" Cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov (18-2, 12) [Бейбут Амирханович Шуменов], a decision that was very much over-due, and seems to have been a token move by the WBA to try and clear a situation that they have caused. Not only is it over due, but it is a horribly over0due decision, that should have been done at least a year ago, if not 2 years ago!
The Kazakh won the title in July 2018, when he stopped Hizni Altunkaya. The same year he was ordered to fight Arsen Goulamiriam, in a bout that never happened, despite purse bids taking place in 2019, won by Don King. Shumenov was prevented from fighting due to an issue with his sight. Rather than stripping Shumenov the WBA made him champion in recess and we saw Goulamiriam win the vacant regular title.
Whilst that was going on the WBA also had a "Super" champion, Murat Gassiev.
The eye was rumoured to be career ending, back in 2018, though the WBA showed incredible patience and allowed Shumenov to sit on the title, whilst they allowed Goulamiriam and Gassiev to defend their titles.
In 2020 Shumenov's team revealed he was ready to return to the ring and the WBA ordered a purse bid for a bout between Shumenov and Ryad Merhy. This bout was ordered, before Shumenov's team asked for permission for their man to defend the title against the hapless Raphael Murphy. A man who shouldn't be near the world rankings, never mind being allowed to step in front of a mandatory challenger!
The bout between Shumenov and Murphy was set to take place on January 29th, before Shumenov pulled out of the bout. Finally making the WBA take the decision they should have taken years ago.
We don't want to bash the WBA for doing the right thing and stripping Shumenov, but to take in excess of 2 years to make the decision, after Shumenov and his team jumped through hoops, asked for special permission and various other things really does sum up the WBA. Absolutely pathetic.
Yeah, they have got it right. At least. But that's not an excuse for their inaction, and seemingly being happy to bend over backwards for the WBA and for Don King.
The WBA have now got a chance to sort out their mess. But sadly they have also dropped the ball there. Rather than heading towards a single champion the WBA have now ordered Ryad Merhy, who has been promoted from the interim champion to the regular to champion, to take on Yuniel Dorticos. This is another bad decision, and completely ignored the fact they have a Super Champion, Arsen Goulamirian, who has been out of the ring for over a year and should have been involved in any bout the WBA ordered for the title.
On Saturday night in Costa Rica we'll see Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] take on IBF Minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9) in a mandatory title defense. For Hazuki this is a huge opportunity, and a massive chance for her to become a world champion, though she will enter the bout as a big under-dog against a very talented champion, looking to make her second defense.
On Friday the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters easily made the 105lb limit.
On the scales the champion, the shorter lady, was 104.7lbs, under the limit and easily so. She was however heavier than Hazuki, who was closer to 104.25lbs. Both fighters also looked in very, very good shape and condition.
Related - Hazuki takes on IBF champion Valle in Costa Rica!
(Image credit - YuKO Fitness Gym)
Earlier today in Moscow, Russia there was a show held by Patriot boxing. Whilst the card wasn't a massive one it was one with two very highly regarded Uzbek fighters involved.
One of those Uzbek's was former 2-time Uzbek amateur champion Lazizbek Mullajonov (1-0, 1) [Лазизбек Муллажонов], who made his professional record as he took on Alexander Stepanov (2-3, 1). Stepanov, a late replacement opponent. The bout, scheduled for 6 rounds, saw Mullajonov force the referee to step in and save Stepanov in the second round.
Following the bout Mullajonov stated that he would return to Uzbekistan on January 31st and begin his next training came on February 5th.
The other notable Uzbek fighter on the show was rising Light Heavyweight hopeful Rustam Tulaganov (4-0, 1) [Рустам Тўлаганов], who scored his latest win as he over-came Spanish based Colombian puncher Beibi Berrocal (17-8, 16). The bout went the scheduled 8 rounds and saw Tulaganov have too much of everything for Berrocal, apart from power. It's a shame in some ways that the talented Tulaganov has little in the way of stopping power, but he certainly has the skills, and we suspect he'll manage to knock on the door of a world title fight in the coming years.
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