Back in September we got a FOTY contender as Batyr Akhmedov (7-1, 6) and Mario Barrios (25-0, 16) put up a thriller for the WBA "regular" Light Welterweight title. The bout resulted in a unanimous decision win for Barrios, and gave fans a really amazing contest, which swung one way, then the other, with a final sting in the tail thanks to a final round knockdown by Barrios.
The bout started with Barrios looking in control and scoring a knockdown before Akhmedov moved through the gears and took the fight to Barrios through the middle and late rounds. It seemed the bout was going down to the final round, a round that saw Barrios pull out a final minute knockdown, but in the end the scorecards meant the final twist in the bout didn't actually matter and that Barrios would have won regardless of the knockdown.
After the bout Akhmedov's team petitioned for a rematch and on October 10th their request was answered with the WBA making a decision to re-run the bout.
On their own website World of Boxing, Akhmedov's promoter, revealed the two teams have 30 days to negotiate a deal before purse bids would be called on the bout, which would favour Barrios in 75/25 split, recognising him as the champion and essentially making this similar to mandatory title bout.
Despite World of Boxing pushing for the rematch they have made it clear that it was an issue with the judging that they had and not Barrios, with Andrei Ryabinsky stating "I want to emphasize that we have no complaints about Mario Barrios. He is a real fighter. I’m sure that the guys will please the audience with another great fight and let the strongest win. ”
Given how badly Barrios' eye was swollen after the fight it would seem likely the bout wouldn't be taking place for a while, but if it's half as good as their first one, we'll have another FOTY contender on our hands.
On Saturday night in the US Batyr Akhmedov (7-0, 6) and Mario Barrios (24-0, 16) clash in a mouth watering match up for the WBA "regular" Light Welterweight title. On paper the bout is one of the best ones this weekend, and despite neither man being a huge name the fight is a great opportunity for both men to knock down the door and open up bigger opportunities in the near future, such as a bout with the winner of the upcoming WBSS final.
The interesting match up has interesting odds, with the bookies struggling to split the two fighters.
The favourite, albeit slight, is Barrios at 4/6 to win, whilst Akhmedov is a 6/4 under-dog. Interestingly draw is available at 22/1, which is shorter than we typically see for a draw.
Although the "To win" market is pretty interesting here, it's certainly not the market that stands out. Instead that's the "Method of victory" market, which is really interesting.The most likely outcome, according to the bookies, is a decision for Barrios at 7/4. A stoppage for Barrios is 11/4 whilst a stoppage for Akhmedov is similarly priced, at 7/2. The outlier is an Akhmedov decision, which is 9/2, and although the outlier it wouldn't be a huge surprise for him to get it.
Interestingly the bout has a very hard to call market, the "To go the Distance" one. The bout is available at evens to go the 12 rounds, and 11/10 to not go 12.
(All odds accurate at the time of writing)
Related - Akhmedov and Barrios face off for WBA secondary belt!
Tomorrow at the Staples Center we'll see Uzbek born Russian-Turk Batyr Akhmedov (7-0, 6) battle against Mario Barrios (24-0, 16) in a bout for the WBA "regular" Light Welterweight title. The match up is an excellent one on paper, between two unbeaten and heavy handed fighters each looking to make the most of a huge opportunity to get themselves in the among the mix for the WBSS winner.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made the 140lb limit on their first attempt.
Akhmedov hit the scales first, weighing in at 139.4lbs. Barrios on the scales just moments later and hit 140lbs dead on.
The winner of this bout may only be the secondary title holder for the WBA but they will be in the mix for the winner of the upcoming WBSS final between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis, who face off on October 26th.
Related - Akhmedov and Barrios face off for WBA secondary belt!
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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