Earlier today Vesti.kz reported that the scheduled bout between Ali Akhmedov (16-1, 12) [Али Ахмедов] and American veteran Scott Sigmon (34-14-1, 17), which was set for March 12th, has fallen through.
Earlier today Kazakh website Vesti.kz reported that the bout has collapsed and has spoken to Sigmon regards to the reason for the bout not taking place. That report states a response from Sigmon explaining:
“I was interested in the fight with Ali Akhmedov. I think our fight would have been spectacular. However, his promoter offered the amount for the fight well below market value. This makes me think that the promoter may have lost confidence that Akhmedov's investment will pay off. The last time I was contacted was in mid-February. You don't have to look at Box Rec. Our fight with him will not take place,"
On paper this looked a good bounce back bout for Akhmedov, following his December loss to Ecuadorian fighter Carlos Gongora (19-0, 13), but if it is off then that's a huge disappointment, especially if it's over money, which really should have been sorted well before now.
Whilst there is a chance that Sigmon is just trying to get an increase on his pay, we can't help but think that he's being honest here and that the fight is now off, and Akhmedov will face some lesser opponent at short notice, rather than a decent and well established veteran like Sigmon.
Back in December we had a sensational bout in the US between Kazakh fighter Ali Akhmedov (16-1, 12) [Али Ахмедов] and Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora (19-0, 13), who put on a show before Gongora broke down Akhmedov and took a 12th round TKO win.
That win was huge for Gongora, who put himself on the map in a big way, and sadly saw some write off Akhmedov, despite the fact the Kazakh is still a youngster with an exciting, fan friendly style.
Since the loss to Gongora we've not heard too much about what's next for Akhmedov, however that all changed today when Vesti and Boxrec put up the details for Akhemdov's next contest.
We now know that Akhmedov will return to the ring on March 12th in Florida, where he will battle against American veteran Scott Sigmon (34-14-1, 17) in a 10 round bout.
The 25 year old Akhmedov is expected to learn following his loss to Gongora, and we're expecting a less intense, all action, energy draining style from him. Even though his aggression and offensive work rate has made him great fun to watch it is a stamina intensive style, and he would have more success by relaxing a little bit more and slowing down. We expect that to be seen here.
As for Sigmon he's a 33 year old who is best known for his 2018 bout with Roy Jones Jr, in what was Jones' final professional bout, and his 2012 bout with Kelly Pavlik. He's typically a durable fighter who went 10 rounds with Luis Arias, 8 rounds with Matt Korobov. With that in mind we expect him to take Akhmedov in to the second half of the fight and give Akhmedov the stamina check he needs after the Gongora bout.
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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!