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)
One of the big fights this weekend will see unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] take on Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] in Tashkent, in a bout that has been in the works for well over a year. Despite the long delay the match up is an excellent one, and will see the winner making a strong claim as the best fighter at 122lbs.
Despite being an excellent match up the bookies do strongly back one of the two men and have priced the bout like something of a mismatch.
The odds on the "To Win" market make the unified champion a 2/11 favourite to retain his IBF and WBA "Super" Super Bantamweight titles. Iwasa on the other hand is best priced at 6/1, with many other bookies having him around 5/1. The draw is available at 25/1.
Whilst "MJ" being the clear favourite is no surprise what is a bit of a shock is the "Method of Victory" market. The favoured outcome here is a stoppage for Akhmadaliev, which is priced at 8/15 whilst a decision for the champion is 10/3. When it comes to Iwasa a stoppage for him is available at 8/1 whilst a decision in Tashkent for the Japanese puncher is a huge 14/1.
Given the odds on a stoppage for champion it's little surprise to see the bout is not expected to go the distance. In fact the bout ending early is 1/3 whilst the bout is 5/2 to go the scheduled 12 rounds and for the men to hear the final bell.
Related- Akhmadaliev and Iwasa clash at last!
On Saturday we'll get the chance to see the highly anticipated match up between unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] and IBF mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], in what is expected to be a brilliant match up.
Today the two men took part in a press conference, speaking about the contest.
Akhmadaliev had sounded confident at the event and was quoted at stating "I'm happy to be in Uzbekistan. I'll do my best."
After the press conference he answered some questions afterwards, where he told reporters "Whether you're tall or short, you have to respect the opponent. It's not the first time I've fought with a tall boxer. Everything is decided in the ring. A lot can be said, but after entering the ring, you have to answer what you said. We sparred with boxers. I am ready for the fight. In Shaa Allah, I will take advantage of the opportunity and raise our flag in our country,
Iwasa, who traveveled through Turkey to get to Uzbekistan from Japan, stated "I am grateful to Uzbekistan, Matchroom, Teiken Jim Honda, DAZN, and everyone who held the match in the situation of Corona. It will definitely be a good match"
His promoter, Celes Kobayshi, revealed that Iwasa was having no problems at all with his weight and that that his man has been staying sharp whilst staying at their hotel in Tashkent.
The two men also went face to face today and the height difference, something Akhmadaliev spoke about, was pretty clear, as can be seen in the video below thanks to Olamsport.
Related- Akhmadaliev and Iwasa clash at last!
(Image credit - Celes Gym)
We are now just a week away from the much anticipated showdown between unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] and IBF mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], which will take place in Tashkent on April 3rd.
Yesterday Iwasa left Japan, flying out of Haneda airport, and will land in Uzbekistan later today.
Prior to leaving his homeland he spoke to the Japanese press about the contest.
The heavy handed southpaw, who has been out of the ring since December 2019, sounded full of confidence here stating "I will definitely win in Uzbekistan on April 3 and bring back two belts."
Iwasa's promoter Celes Kobayashi has revealed that the Japanese fighter is a much more confident fighter than he once was. Kobayashi explained that Iwasa's recent bouts on the road, including wins against Cesar Juarez and Marlon Tapales, have helped him with his nerves. He has been relaxed in Japan and will be making final adjustments in his hotel in Uzbekistan.
Despite being the more experienced man Iwasa is widely regarded as the under-dog coming into this one, with Akhmadaliev expected to shine in front of his countrymen. Despite that it's good to know that the Japanese visitor is more relaxed going in to fight week than usual.
(Image courtesy of Celes Gym)
Yesterday we, finally, saw the official announcement that unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] would be facing off with mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] on April 3rd at the Humo Arena in Tashkent.
Today, following that announcement, Iwasa and promoter Celes Kobayashi held an online press conference to talk about the contest and their plans.
Iwasa explained that he managed to endure the wait, and made it clear that waiting well over a year to fight was frustrating and that he had lost motivation during some of the wait. That was notable when a scheduled date in November vanished. Since February however he has found his hunger and been sparring at the Teiken Gym against the likes of Yamato Hata (11-1, 10) [波田 大和], Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4) [中野幹士], Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] and Subaru Murata [村田昴]. He explained the reason for sparring those 3 in particular was their speed and their styles. When sparring stops he will be training alongside Celes gym stablemate Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁], with the two focusing on weight loss and staying sharp.
Talking about the contest Iwasa openly stated "I have a special feeling. It will be the biggest match in my boxing life so far." He also explained that he has no anxiety about fighting away from home, something he's done several times now, with bouts in the UK and the US.
In regards to his approach to the bout, Iwasa stated "I won't let my opponent get into the rhythm." Kobayashi added that the key was to start fast and not lose the early rounds against Akhmadaliev, who they seem to see as a momentum fighter, and they need to stop the momentum from forming early on in the bout.
If he wins Iwasa has his "Eagle Eye" on one man, and that's a bout with WBC Super Bantamweight champion Luis Nery, who he wants to face due to Nery's two wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka. He added that Nery had to be "blown away".
Interesting more TV details regarding the fight became available. It was known that DAZN would be airing the bout, and will be in Japan as well, but for those in Japan without DAZN the bout will be shown on Tape Delay on BS NTV, though the date of that replaying airing wasn't announced.
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