In a few moments we'll see Dmitri Bivol look to defend his WBA Light Heavyweight "Super" title against Saul Alvarez. Prior to that we've had an interesting under-card with a number of Asian fighters on it.
The first of those, competing on the preliminary portion of the show, was unbeaten Uzbekistani hopeful Elnur Abduraimov (9-0, 8), who put in a very impressive performance and dominate the previously unbeaten Manuel Correa (11-1, 7). Heading into the bout with an 11-0 record Correa was expected to put up a good fight, but he offered almost no challenge to Abduraimov. Correa was hurt early in round 1 and although he survived the round it felt very much like he going to be taken out, sooner or later. The power of the Anduraimov was simply too much, and in round 2 Correa was dropped twice early in the round, and hurt again late on with the referee waving it off with Correa proving to be too tough for his own good.
In the first bout of the main card we saw unbeaten Chinese Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (24-0-1, 19) [张志磊] score an opening round KO win against the horribly over-matched Scott Alexander (16-5-2, 8), who replaced Filip Hrgovic at short notice following Hrgovic pulling out. The bout was a farce in many ways with hang taking control almost immediately and knocking out Alexander with a straight left hand through the guard.
The third of the Asian fighters on the under-card was Uzbekistani fighter Shakhram Giyasov (13-0, 9) [Shahram G‘iyosov], who was given a genuine test by the heavy handed Christian Gomez (22-3-1, 20). The hard hitting Gomez was a genuine threat though out the contest, and came ouit looking to land power shots, damaging the face of Giyasov early on. Giyasov was however the cleaner, more accurate puncher and in round 4 the accuracy paid off as he dropped Gomez for the first time. Gomez was down again in round 7, as Giyasov landed a gorgeous uppercut, showing his class and timing in the process. Amazingly however Gomez bounced back from that knock down to hurt Giyasov later in the round and had a solid 8th round, landing a huge uppercut part way through it. After a good round 9 for Gomez he was dumped on the canvas again in the first minute of round 10 as Giyasov put to bed any doubts about the scorecards. Sadly though despite dropping his man 3 times Giyasov continued to show a lot of respect to Gomez and didn't look to close the show in the final minutes, but did win a very wide unanimous decision.
After weeks of rumours and talk we can now officially confirm that the unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] will be defend his IBF and WBA "Super" Super Bantamweight titles on April 3rd as Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], the current IBF "interim" Super Bantamweight champion.
The show, which is now less than 3 weeks away, was finally confirmed by Matchroom today, which have also confirmed the show will be broadcast on DAZN.
For Akhmadaliev the bout will serve as his first defense of the unified crown, which he won in 2020 when he defeated Danny Roman in a career defining victory. As for Iwasa the bout will be his first since late 2019, when he claimed the IBF "interim" title with a TKO win over Marlon Tapales.
As well as the brilliant main event the card will also feature Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов], who will be facing unbeaten puncher Emmany Kalombo (14-0, 14), a South African based Congolese fighter who was last seen in the ring winning the WBO Africa title at 154lbs. Kalombo enters the bout ranked #15 by the WBO at Light Middleweight whilst Madrimov enters the bout ranked #1 by the WBA.
Others confirmed for the show Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8) [Шаҳрам Ғиёсов], Hasanboy Dusmatov (2-0, 2) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов], Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7) [Баҳодир Жалолов] Elnur Abduraimov (6-0, 6) [Элнур Абдураимов], Sanjar Tursunov (2-0, 1) [Санжар Турсунов ] as well as the debuting pair of Ikboljon Kholdarov (0-0) [Иқболжон Холдоров ] and Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (0-0) [Миразизбек Мирзаҳалиловнинг ], though none of these men have officially had their opponents named as of yet.
The event will take place at the Humo Arena in Tashkent, be shown on DAZN, as mentioned, and tickets will be sold for the event, with iticket.UZ being the website selling them.
Way back in February we saw rumours begin to fly regarding a bout between unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] and Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]. It now appears that those rumours have been confirmed and that the card is well under way to being sorted out and completed.
Earlier this week there was a press conference to announce the show, which will take place at the Humo Arena in Tashkent on April 3rd.
The main event will see Akhmadaliev defending his IBF and WBA "super" titles at Super Bantamweight against Iwasa, the IBF interim champion and the mandatory challenger to the IBF title, but the under-card is just as interesting as the main event.
One of the main supporting bouts will see Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8) [Shahram G‘iyosov] defending his WBA International title at 140lbs. He's expected to face Russian foe Isa Chaniev (14-3, 6), in what looks to be a solid match up for the unbeaten Uzbek. It's not an amazing bout, by any stretch, but a very solid one all the same.
Another supporting bout will feature 2016 Olympic Gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (2-0, 2) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов], who's expected to face former world title challenger Alexis Diaz (25-2, 17). There is talk that a minor title will be on the line here, but that has yet to be confirmed. On paper this is a huge step up in class for Dusmatov, but one he is expected to make without any real issues.
A third supporting bout listed for the show will be the long awaited debut of amateur standout Ikboljon Kholdarov (0-0), who is likely to face Ukrainian youngster Volodymyr Hordiienko (8-3, 3) in a 6 rounder. This looks like a tough debut for the talented Kholdarov, though it should be noted that he really was a stellar amateur, with gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games along with a silver medal in the World Amateur Championships.
Another debutant listed for this show is fellow amateur standout Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (0-0), who has won gold at the World Amateur Championships along with Asian Championships and Asian games and is regarded as a sensational talent.
Mirzakhalilov, along with Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов], Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7) [Баҳодир Жалолов] Elnur Abduraimov (6-0, 6) [Элнур Абдураимов] and Sanjar Tursunov (2-0, 1) all scheduled for the card though have had no opponents named as of yet. They are all expected to have their opponents named in the coming weeks.
For fans wanting to watch, the card is expected to be shown on DAZN Worldwide, though that is yet to be confirmed with confirmation expected to come in the next week or two.
ast night in Mexico there was two notable Uzbek prospects in action picking up their latest wins in very key fashion.
One of those Uzbek fighters was Lightweight hopeful Elnur Abduraimov (6-0, 6) [Элнур Абдураимов], who faced the previously unbeaten Abraham Oliva (4-1, 3), and blew him out in spectacular fashion.
The bout was less than a round in when Abduraimov landed a big left hand up top, dropping the Mexican in very ugly fashion, with his legs bending underneath him. This was a brutal 1-punch KO and one of the best finishes of the weekend. Sadly for the Uzbek this is his first professional bout since May 2019, and his career really has slowed in the professional ranks after 5 fights in 8 months, from September 2018 to May 2019. It also didn't help that the end it was on was a very, very low key one in Mexico.
Despite being inactive in the pros Abduraimov has been busy in the amateurs.
The other Uzbek on the show was highly regarded Heavyweight hopeful Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7) [Баҳодир Жалолов], who defeated the very poor and out of shape Wilfrido Leal (10-18-3, 8) inside a round. Leal didn't look like he should have been allowed in the ring and Jalolov proved that he didn't want to waste time in his first professional bout since April 2019. As with his countryman Jalolov has has been very active in the amateurs since his last professional bout,
Earlier today Olamsports reported that unbeaten Lightweight prospect Elnur Abduraimov (5-0, 5) [Элнур Абдураимов] had returned to the US to begin his latest training camp.
At the moment it's unclear who Abduraimov will be facing, and when, but it's great to see that his return is being planned, and it seems likely that announcements of who, and when, will be made shortly.
The former amateur standout made his belated debut in September 2018 and fought 3 times by the end of the year. As we headed into 2019 we were really exciting by his potential and activity.
Sadly though momentum was lost in Abduraimov's career in 2019, with the talented youngster fighting just twice as a professional during the year, with the most recent of those bouts coming in May 2019.
Despite not fighting as a professional since May 2019 Abduraimov's not actually been inactive. In fact he's been very busy, fighting in the amateur ranks. He actually qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, winning the Asia/Oceania qualifying competition this past March in Amman, Jordan. It seems likely that the Olympics will be his focus in 2021, but rather than sit on the side he will fight again in the pro ranks to tick over this year, with a US bout part of that process.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!