Back in February we reported that Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] had been hoping to defend his IBF and WBA Super Bantamweight titles against IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] in Uzbekistan in Summer. Sadly 2020 hasn't gone to plan, for anyone, and those plans were put on ice due to the on going global situation. A situation that essentially put a stop to any boxing in summer, and is still causing problems for fights with fighters from different countries.
Now it appears that those plans aren't off all together, but were merely postponed.
Earlier today Olamsports, a brilliant website for Uzbek sporting news, reported an interview with Akhmadaliev from Uzbek TV in which he states:
"God willing, we are planning to hold the fight on November 28 at the Humo Arena in Tashkent.
An opponent? We are currently studying a Japanese boxer who is a contender for the IBF. He is tall and slender. We work on ourselves with coaches. I will try to work with twice as much force as in the last battle, ”
Although he didn't explicitly name Iwasa he is one of only 3 potential Japanese options from the IBF rankings. The others are Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] and Ryo Akaho (35-2-2, 23) [赤穂亮].
Akaho, who is ranked #13 with the IBF, isn't a "tall and slender" fighter, he stands at 5'6" and is a rather short and stubby fighter.
Teshigawara is stands at 5'7", and is taller and rangier than Akaho, though has just fought this past week and it would be a quick turn around for him to be ready for November 28th. It should, however, be noted that he has hit the gym straight after his last bout, and although it's a quick turn around it is a possible one given that he didn't really take any punishment in his last bout. Interestingly he is ranked #3 by the IBF and has recently transferred to the Misako gym in an attempt to secure a world title fight.
Iwasa, however, is the most likely option and he's the tallest of the trio, standing at 5′ 7½″. He's also the IBF mandatory challenger and the man most likely to get the fight. He has been out of the ring since December 2019, when he won the IBF "interim" title with a TKO win over Marlon Tapales, in one of his best performances to date.
The interview can be seen below about 16 minutes into the video.
Once again we need to say a huge thanks to the fantastic @JalolAkhmedov for bringing this to our attention.
At the very end of January we saw Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] over-come Daniel Roman in a thrilling and hotly contested 12 round contest to claim the IBF and WBA "Super" Super Bantamweight titles. When he won it was known that next bout would almost certainly be against IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], who became the interim champion last year when Daniel Roman was out of the ring due to injury.
What wasn't known was what the plan was for the when or where of that bout.
Now it appears that the plan is for Akhmadaliev to defend the title in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, likely in the summer.
Reportedly the venue being eyed for the bout is the Humo Arena, which can hold around 12-13,000 people.
The negotiations for the bout are reportedly set to begin shortly, and it certainly seems like Akhmadaliev's team are putting things in place to make a strong offer to Iwasa's team.
As for Iwasa he recently stated that he expected the bout to take place as soon as possible. This would likely fit in with the early Summer time table that Akhmadaliev's team seem to have in mind.
Earlier today Japanese fighters were honoured at an annual award ceremony in Tokyo. Whilst certain fighters were unable to attend, such as Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] and Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔], others however were able to attend and took their chance to talk to the press.
Please note all quotes are translated.
Among those who spoke to the press were Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成], who summed up last year:
"I was able to defend three times last year and that was the best. I have a good performance and I want to continue this year."
He also explained that this year he does want to face Ioka:
"I want to do it this year (win the 4th weight class) but I'm not impatient."
Another was IBF "interim" Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]:
"I was delighted to think that I could continue boxing (by winning the provisional championship match). I thought it was the last chance,"
He also spoke about his plans, and how he watched the recent Super Bantamweight world title bout between Murodjon Akhmadaliev [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] and Daniel Roman, with Akhmadaliev expected to be next for Iwasa:
"Ahmadaliev is powerful, fast, competes in the Olympics, and has a good level of skills. As soon as possible, I imagined a match against the new champion."
Unbeaten Flyweight contender Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], who is now expected to get a world title fight in Spring, stated:
"I was confident because people around me said that I could win the newcome prize. I would like to compete in the world early this year."
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last week we saw unbeaten Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] win both the IBF and WBA "Super" Super Bantamweight titles, as he narrowly out pointed Danny Roman (27-3-1, 10) in Miami.
The newly crowned world champion, was given a hero's welcome when he returned to Uzbekistan after the win, sporting clear bruising around his face and a massive smile, arriving to throngs of dignitaries at Tashkent International airport
Today he was honoured in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, where he was awarded a car, a 3 room house in the city and the title of "Uzbekistan Pride".
The unbeaten fighter, who has got a mandatory due with IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] due later this year. It seems like the plan is to try and host it in Uzbekistan, in front of Akhmadaliev's home fans. Obviously Iwasa's team will be looking to get home advantage as well, making it an interesting out of the ring battle for the rights to host the bout, and it'll be interesting to see how this situation unfurls over the coming months.
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
Later today unbeaten Uzbek hopeful Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] will have his most significant fight to date, as he takes on IBF and WBA unified Super Bantamweight champion Danny Roman (27-2-1, 10).
Despite the bout being a big step up for the unbeaten "MJ" he is regarded as a very clear favourite with the bookies, with the best price in the UK being 4/9 on Akhmadaliev to win. Roman on the other hand is backable as high as 11/5 at the moment, with the odds drifting on the talented American. The best price on the draw is 25/1.
The method of victory market has seen an Akhmadaliev decision become the favoured result, with odds of around 5/4 being available. A stoppage for the Uzbek is best priced at 5/2. On the other hand a decision win for Roman is 7/2 whilst a stoppage for Roman is a huge 17/2.
Given that neither man has been stopped it should be no surprise to learn that the bout is expected to go the distance and the odds 1/2 on it going 12 rounds. On the other hand it's 13/8 to end early and not complete the schedule.
Related - Akhmadaliev takes on Roman for unified throne!
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
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