Just moments ago on DAZN we saw a notable upset as the highly regarded and previously unbeaten Ali Akhmedov (16-1, 12) [Али Ахмедов], from Kazakhstan, was worn down and stopped by Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora (19-0, 13) in a really interesting bout of two halves.
Early on it was Akhmedov who looked in control. The heavy handed Kazakh pressure fighter started fast and had Gongora shaken in round 2, as he seemed to be on the way to an early victory. He piling on the pressure and landing some solid shots, in both combinations and single blows. This success and pressure from Akhmedov continued through the first 4 rounds or so, with Gongora having moments in each, but losing them under the intense pressure and work rate of the Kazakh.
By round 5 however Gongora's amateur experience and technical schooling was beginning to shine through. He wasn't just riding shots from Akhmedov, but really starting to pick apart the Kazakh's technical flaws, and there was plenty for him to pick on. The straight shots up top from Gongora were landing time and time against and Akhmedov was looking one-paced and one-dimensional. Despite Akhmedov's flaws he was getting through with some heavy leather, but wasn't shaking Gongora with any regularity as he had at the start of the fight. He did seem to hurt him once one twice, but the follow up attack never managed to get to Gongora.
By round 7 Akhmedov's pace had slowed drastically, and by the end of the round he was sporting a very notable cut on his right cheek. He was beginning to look like a damaged fighter, and Gongora, although not fresh, appeared to have far, far more in the tank. In fact if anything Gongora was starting to break down Akhmedov, round by round, and you could see Akhmedov wilting as Gongora's confidence increased, his output became more sustained and he really got his way back into the fight.
After 11 rounds it was clear the bout was close, really close. Neither man would have felt confident of getting the win had it gone 12, and it really did seem in the balance as we entered the final round. For Gongora however his energy, his calm clean and accurate punching, and his confidence saw him managing to continue to land clean punches on Akhmedov who was down around a minute into the round. The Kazakh beat the count but looked a beaten man. Just moments later Gongora began to unload again, sending his man down again. The referee counted, but he needn't have bothered, Akhmedov was done, and part way through the count the referee said enough was enough and waved off the bout.
For Akhmedov this is a major set back and a big upset. He was viewed as one of the next big stars of Kazakh boxing, and in some corners that he was the spiritual successor to Gennady Golovkin. This loss however left us with a lot of questions, and really exposed a lot of his flaws. It's not the end for him, not even close, but there will be a lot of work to do on his defense, his pacing, time, creativity and his confidence.
As fo rGongora, he is now the new IBO Super Middleweight champion, he has taken the biggest win of his career, and will be looking to build his name in 2021 to earn a shot at a more noteworthy belt than the IBO one.
Tomorrow in Florida we'll see an IBO Super Middleweight title bout, as unbeaten Kazakh power puncher Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) [Али Ахмедов] takes on Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13) in a mouth watering match up.
Earlier today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men came in under the 168lb weigh limit.
Gongora stepped on the scales first, and was wearing full length bottoms and socks, weighing in at 167.2lbs. He looked in good shape but we dare say he could have cut down further. We don't think he could have made Middleweight but he didn't look big at the Super Middleweight limit and wasn't close to the maximum allowed. He was underweight, and partly dressed.
The unbeaten Kazakh then got on the scales and he came in at 167.4lbs, whilst wearing just his underwear. He looked much bigger, much stronger and much more powerful on the scales. He looked like a natural Super Middleweight, despite only coming in .2lbs heavier than Gongora.
Following the weigh in the two men held the IBO title together and once again it looked like Akhmedov was the bigger, thicker, wider man. He looked like a legit Super Middleweight whilst Gongora, who did look in good shape, looked the much smaller man. We do wonder if Akhmedov is going to pile on the pounds over night, and come into the ring significantly heavier than Gongora when the two men face off tomorrow.
On Friday in the US, live on DAZN, we'll see Kazakh power puncher Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) [Али Ахмедов] take a major step up in class as he battles unbeaten Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13) in what is, a really interesting looking match up. On paper it's a rarity, as both men are taking steps up in class to face each other, and although both men are unbeaten neither man has too much on their record to get excited about.
Despite being a notable step up for Akhmedov, who is probably facing the first opponent who feels he can beat him, the unbeaten Kazakh hopeful is a clear betting favourite, priced at 1/16 to take home the victory here. Gongora on the other hand has been priced at 7/1 to pick up the upset win, and continue his own unbeaten record.
The draw can currently be backed at 22/1.
For Akhmedov backers out there it could be worth looking at the Method of Victory market, where things could, potentially, get more interesting. It's there we find odds of 2/7 for Akhmedov to win inside the distance, by TKO, KO or DQ. On the other hand he is 10/3 to win some form of decision. Gongora, who was a solid amateur, is priced at 12/1 to win by stoppage or DQ and a huge 18/1 to win a decision.
The "Total Rounds" market has been set at an interesting 6.5 rounds, with the over priced at 8/11 and the under available at even money. Given that just 1 of Akhmedov's last 6 has gone beyond that point, and only 1 in Gongora's last 8 that may look like an interesting market. Notably the bout is not expected to go the distance, with the bout priced at 2/9 to not complete the scheduled and 3/1 to actually see both men on their feet at the final bell.
Earlier today Boxrec.com listed parts of the under-card for the recently announced IBF Middleweight title bout between Kazakh great Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). Among those now lined up for the under-card is unbeaten WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) [최현미].
Choi, signed with Matchroom earlier this year, had stated that she was going to be defending her title in December in the UK, though it now appears that those plans have changed to the point where Choi will instead be in action in Florida on December 18th.
At the time of writing she hasn't had her opponent named, though the bout is expected to see Choi making her 8th defense of her WBA title.
The 30 year old Korean fighter has one of the sports most amazing modern day stories. She picked up the sport in North Korea as a youngster, when officials saw him being much bigger than other girls the same age, and the hope was that she would represent the Hermit Kingdom at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That plan fell apart when the IOC decided not to have women's boxing at the 2008 games, and it also fellow apart when Choi and her family defected from North Korea to the South, to set up a new life.
After a successful amateur boxing career Choi turned professional in 2008 and made history, claiming the WBA female Featherweight title on her debut. She would defend that title 7 times before moving up in weight and claiming the interim WBA Super Featherweight title, and then be upgraded to the full champion. She has since defended that belt 7 times.
Notably all of her bouts, to date, have taken place in South Korea so her position on the Florida card isn't just her US debut but also her international debut.
As well as Choi the under-card to Golovkin's next bout will also feature rising Kazakh power puncher Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) [Али Ахмедов], who is expected to fight in a 12 rounder. As with Choi we have not yet had an opponent named for Akhmedov.
The first of 3 Central Asian fighters in action at Madison Square Garden today was the unbeaten Kazakh prospect Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) [Али Ахмедов] who successfully defended his WBC International Silver Super Middleweight title, with an incredibly quick win against the usually durable Andrew Hernandez (20-8-2, 9).
The aggressive and popular Kazakh dropped Hernandez after around 30 seconds, with a hard right hand around the back of the ear and although Hernandez got to his feet the bout was quickly waved off by the referee as Hernandez did seem to stumble.
Whilst Hernandez did take the bout on short notice, around 2 weeks notice, we had expected a bit more of a work out for Akhmedov, who really didn't break a sweat here. Sadly not getting much of a chance to show what he can do or answering any questions about his ability or potential.
It's unclear what the immediate plan is for Akhmedov, but there's no real reason for him to not fit in one more fight before the end of 2019, following this very quick win.
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