Earlier today Matchroom announced their return to Uzbekistan, now set for December 17th at the Renaissance Hall in Tashkent. No only that but they almost announced that the card would be one stacked with Uzbekistani hopefuls, and feature a world title eliminator.
That world title eliminator will see Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] taking on French veteran Michel Soro (35-2-1, 24) in a WBA world title eliminator at 154lbs. On paper the bout is a major step up for Madrimov who is has looked class at times, but has also put in some frustrating and underwhelming performances in recent contests, and looks, possibly, like a man who may come un-done when fighting at a higher level. As for Soro he is a top class fighter, but at the age of 34 we do wonder if, or when, father time will begin to get to him.
Not only is the main event a great bout, but the under-card is also stacked with top Uzbek talent, featuring the likes of Shakhram Giyasov (11-0, 9) [Shahram G‘iyosov], Bektemir Melikuziev (7-1, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев], Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов] and Ikboljon Kholdarov (1-0, 1) [Иқболжон Холдоров]
Today DAZN took their focus to the Humo Arena in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, for the biggest professional boxing event in the countries history. The event featured 8 bouts in total including some of the best emerging talent from the country.
Before the TV cameras were had already had 2 bouts in the venue. The first of those saw amateur standout Ikboljon Kholdarov (1-0, 1) [Иқболжон Холдоров] make his professional debut in impressive fashion, stopping and his opponent Kulwa Bushiri (13-6-1, 5) in 2 rounds. The second non-televised bout saw the unbeaten Sanjar Tursunov (3-0, 1) [Санжар Турсунов] out class Ivan Yukhta (3-2-1, 2) to a clear unanimous decision over 6 rounds.
The first of the televised bout saw 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов] battle against the very negative Muhsin Kizota (11-3, 5). From the off this looked like an horrendous mismatch, with Dusmatov dropping his man in the opening round. The knockdown was a solid one and saw Kizota resort to clinching and doing anything to survive. The second round was even worse for Kizota, who was dropped twice before the referee stepped in and saved him from further punishment. Whilst this was a solid win on paper for Dusmatov, it should be said that Kizota looked awful.
With this win Dusmatov claimed his first title, the WBA International Light Flyweight title, and took a huge step towards his first world tile fight.
The second televised bout saw rising Heavyweight star Bakhodir Jalolov (8-0, 8) [Баҳодир Жалолов] dominante the over-matched Kristaps Zutis (7-2-2-1, 7).
Jalolov patiently controlled the action behind his long reach and rocked Zutis late in the opening round, who appeared to be in survival mode very early. To his credit Zutis survived the first round, but was marked up as we ended the round. After about 40 seconds of round 2 Zutis was dropped for the first time in the bout, following a right hook-left hand combination. He recovered to his feet but was dropped again soon afterwards, from a left hand-right hook combination, and the referee quickly waved off the bout.
Sadly for Jalolov this was pretty much a cameo against someone horribly out of his depth. He now deserves a more serious role on a show and a more notable opponent. It's time his team steps him up, and puts him in with someone who will ask questions of him.
The third televised bout, which was a swing bout, saw former amateur standout Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (1-0, 1) [Миразизбек Мирзаҳалиловнинг] battle against Tanzanian opponent Tasha Mjuaji (17-8-2, 5). As with the other televised bouts this one did not last long. Mjuaji was down very early in the bout, slipped later in the opening round and was then dropped again, for the full 10 count. This was rather a rather shameful mismatch, even if it was Mirzakhalilov professional debut. He would have had tougher tests in sparring.
After several blow outs, and a long musical interlude, boxing resumed with a very interesting match up between Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5)* [Исроил Мадримов] and Emmany Kalombo (14-1, 14).
The opening round saw Madrimov coming forward, applying educated pressure whilst Kalombo showed patience and respect, looking to counter whilst circling and using the ring. It was a feeling out round, and very quiet but one that saw Madrimov showing a surprising amount of patience.
In round 2 we saw Madrimov move out of first gear, and look really solid, as fought methodically, landing numerous solid body shots. Kalombo landed one or two shots, including a good body shot, but was easily out landed during the round. We saw Madrimov again step up a gear in round 3, as he began to grow in confidence, letting his hands go more and showing some touches of flashiness as he continued to outland Kalombo and racked up rounds 3 and 4.
Despite Madrimov looking in complete control through the first 4 rounds he was left bloodied in round 5, with blood trickling from his nose, and he started to become more wild and reckless. He was also under some genuine pressure in round 6 as Kalombo began to show some ambition. That ambition carried over into round 7, though he was on the wrong end of a lot of punishment through the round as Madrimov landed some huge shots. The huge shots of Madrimov finally took it's toll in round 8, when he dropped Kalombo late in the round, with a good sharp right hand.
Having dropped Kalombo in round 8 Madrimov went for the finish in round 9 and to his credit Kalombo gritted his teeth and fought back, hard, despite being visibly hurt several times. Madrimov also seemed to hurt Kalombo again in round 10, though failed to secure the stoppage.
After 10 rounds it was a clear win for Madrimov, who got tested at times, and had to fight through adversity but was a clear winner, with all 3 judges having the bout scored widely in his favour. It wasn't a star making performance, by any stretch, but was a good, solid, 10 round win for the Uzbek, who has a lot of areas to improve upon. As for Kalombo he clearly lost, but he showed enough here to want to see again, and it'd be great to see him face some more notable names going forward.
In the final supporting bout, and the final bout we'll cover here, we saw Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (11-0, 9) [Shahram G‘iyosov] defending his WBA International title against Mexican challenger Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-5, 20).
This one started relatively quick, with Giyasov coming out like a man with a point to prove, and pressing hard, and landing some huge shots. By the end of the opening round Moreno was cut around the hairline and looking like a man who was in far too deep. Giyasov kept the pressure up in round 2 and dropped Moreno right at the end of the round. In round 3 Giyasov dropped his man for a second time, and this time Moreno was unable to beat the count.
On paper this looked like a good test, though in reality this was a very, very easy win for Giyasov who looked levels above Moreno from the opening bell.
Tomorrow in Uzbekistan we get the biggest professional show in the nation's history, and it's a genuinely stacked card at the Humo Arena in Tashkent. It features a world title bout, two major debuts, and several massively talented prospects all looking to progress their careers and move world title bouts of their own.
Earlier today the weigh in for the 8 bouts took place
The first men to weigh in were Ikboljon Kholdarov (0-0) [Иқболжон Холдоров] and his opponent Kulwa Bushiri (13-5-1, 5). On the scales Bushiri was 68.6KG's, or around 151.7lbs, whilst the debuting Kholdarov, a former amateur standout, was 69KG's, around 152.2lbs.
The second set of men to weigh in were Sanjar Tursunov (2-0, 1) [Санжар Турсунов] and Ivan Yukhta (3-1-1, 2). The first of these two on the scales was Yukhta, who came in at 89.4KG's, or 197.1lbs. He was followed by Tursunov who was 91.2KG's, or just over 201lbs.
The next set of men to do their weigh in were Hasanboy Dusmatov (2-0, 2) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов] and Muhsin Kizota (11-2, 5), who appeared to be getting called "Mr Covid". These two men are battling for the WBA International Light Flyweight title. Kizota stepped on the scales first and came in at was 48.7KG's, which is around 107.4lbs. Dusmatov then hit the scales at the exact same weight.
The second debutant for the show will be Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (0-0) [Миразизбек Мирзаҳалиловнинг] who was part of the next bout to be weighed, along with Tanzanian opponent Tasha Mjuaji (17-7-2, 5). Mjuaji weighed in first and hit the scales at 55KG's, 121.3lbs, with Mirzakhalilov coming in slightly lighter, at 54.9KG's, or 121lbs.
The next guys to weigh in were the big lads, with Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7) [Баҳодир Жалолов] and Kristaps Zutis (7-1-2-1, 7) stepping on the scales. And by big lads we really do mean big lads as both of these lads weighed in heavier than the two main event fighters. Zutis was up first and weighed in at 115.7KG's, around 255lbs, whilst Jalolov slightly lighter at 113.5KG's, the same as 250lbs. Despite Zutis being the heavier man he looked the much smaller man on the stage, and Jalolov looked about 6" taller than his foe.
The next two men to weigh in were Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] and Emmany Kalombo (14-0, 14). On the scales Kalombo was 69.7KG's, or 153.7lbs, and looked very calm and relaxed for the biggest fight of career. Madrimov also looked very cocksure and confident whilst weighing in slightly lighter, at 69.6KG's, or around 153.5lbs. One notable take away here is that Kalombo looked the much better man physically, and he towered over Madrimov when the stared down.
The penultimate weigh in was for the bout between unbeaten Uzbek Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8) [Shahram G‘iyosov] and Mexican foe Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-4, 20), who will be battling for the WBA International title that Giyasov currently holds. On the scales Moreno was 63.2KG's, 139.3lbs, whilst Giyasov was slightly heavier at 63.3KG's, 139.5lbs.
The main event of the show tomorrow will see unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] defending his IBF and WBA "Super" Super Bantamweight titles against IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]. The challenger hit the scales first and he weighed in at 55.2KG's, 121.7lbs. Comfortably under the limit. Akhmadaliev also had no issues with the weight, coming in even lighter at 55KG's, or 121.25lbs.
Thankfully no one had to re-weigh and every looked in good shape. Whilst plenty of the bouts are expected to be mismatches the very majority of the B-side's looked hungry and have certainly travelled with the intention of picking up wins, rather than just making up the numbers against the very, very strong Uzbek fighters.
Related - Akhmadaliev and Iwasa clash at last! (Preview)
This weekend we'll see a huge show from Uzbekistan featuring some of the countries best talent. Sadly many of the bouts on that show are regarded as mismatches before any of the fighters have even stepped in the ring.
One potential outlier however is the Light Middleweight bout between the highly touted Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] and unbeaten Congolese puncher Emmany Kalombo (14-0, 14), which at least looks like a good bout on paper.
Despite looking good it's fair to say that Madrimov will be widely regarded as the favourite with fans, and the bookies have also swayed that way. In fact the bookies have "The Dream" priced as a 1/10 favourite to pick up another win and move one more step towards his first world title bout. Kalombo however hasn't been written off and he is priced as a 6/1 under-dog, suggesting the bookies see him as a live dog here.
As for the draw that's priced at 6/1.
Whilst Madrimov is a clear favourite we suspect some readers will be interested in the "Method of Victory" market, and that's certainly an interesting one here.
A stoppage for Madrimov is priced at 1/3 whilst a decision for the Uzbek, who did go the schedule last time out, is 4/1. A stoppage for Kalombo, who can genuine punch, is best priced at 17/2, a price that is certainly more attractive than his "to win" odds. A decision for Congolese fighter is a huge 40/1.
Given the records of the two men, who have a combined 95% KO rate, it's fair to suggest this one is not going the distance. The odds on the bout concluding early are best priced at 11/50 whilst the bout going the scheduled distance rounds is a huge 7/2! To be honest we're surprise at these odds and we do not expect this one to even come close to seeing the final bell.
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.
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