In 2018 we managed to see a lot of fighters essentially come out of nowhere to make a name for themselves, grab attention and make the most of opportunities put their way. These have included fighters like Shohjahon Ergashev, who grabbed the attention of the American boxing fans by stopping Sonny Fredrickson on January 12th in an eye-catching and exciting performance, and Masayuki Ito, who made his US debut and upset Christopher Diaz in a WBO Super Featherweight title bout. Others have come out and made a mark in 2018 included people who stunned us on debut, like Israil Madrimov, Masahiro Suzuki, Apichet Petchmanee and Ginjiro Shigeoka.
The biggest revelation this year was someone who didn't just make his debut in 2018, but also raced out to being the #1 ranked WBA Super Bantamweight contender, after just 5 fight!
That man is Murodjon Akhmadaliev, the 24 year old Uzbek hopeful who has turned heads in a big way since his debut back in March.
As an amateur Akhmadaliev had a reported 300-15 (80) record, competed at the very highest level, reaching the semi-finals of the 2016 Olympics and winning the 2017 Asian Games. Rather than see the move from amateur boxing to professional boxing as being a time to adapt to a new code the youngster took to the professional ranks like a duck to water. On his stopping David Michel Paz in 68 seconds. He would go on to capture the WBA Inter-Continental title just over 5 months later, in his 4th bout, before stopping the world ranked Isaac Zarate in 9 rounds.
Whilst world rankings aren't always indicative of someones ability or credentials it's hard to doubt how good Akhmadaliev has looked, and there's a great chance that by the end of 2019 he'll be holding a world title. His 2018 has put him firmly on the map, and we expect to see a lot more fans talking about him after his next fight.
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