Earlier today Uzbek sports news website Olamsports.com reported that Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] is looking to defend his WBA "super" and IBF Super Bantamweight titles on March 13th at the Humo Arena in Tashkent. The site also reports that the expected opponent for that bout would be IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], from Japan.
It should be noted that this isn't the first time two men have been linked together, or with the Humo arena, with the bout being discussed last year for a November date, before that fell through.
For Akhmadaliev this would be his first bout since usurping Daniel Roman in early 2020, in what was a massive win for Uzbek boxing and a career defining victory in just his 8th fight for "MJ". Sadly following his win the world quickly went into various stages of lockdown as Covid19 began to take a hold on travel, transport and sport in general, preventing him from getting his first defense last year and building on his big victory.
Of course it's not just Akhmadaliev who has been out of the ring but also Iwasa, who was last seen winning the IBF "Interim" title in December 2019 when he stopped Marlon Tapales, in what was genuinely one of his most impressive and dominant performance in a career that has promised so much but never quite lived up to expectations.
Olamsport also state than an official announcement is expected in the near future.
It should be noted that a somewhat similar report has been made over on Sports.uz where they quote refer to interview with Akhmadaliev's trainer Joel Diaz, done with "Desertsun.com", as saying the champion could fight in March, though they suggest that the bout could be in the US on a Matchroom card, also on March 13th.
The Olamsport report can be read here whilst the Sports.uz report is available here.
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.
Earlier today it was announced that the August 31st YouTube stream of "First Rate Presents A-SIGN BOXING" would feature two guest commentators working the event.
The event, which will be free to watch, will feature IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] and former WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (26-2-1, 14) [伊藤 雅雪] working the event on the microphone, as the event organisers keep making the show more and more attractive.
The event, which has been heavily crowd funded, has taken a novel approach to presenting a show online with things like a special salon set up, crowd funding for the specific fighters, and documentaries on the fighters, in what is essentially shoulder programming for an online boxing show.
Not only will Ito be involved in the commentary for the event but it's also been announced that his next bout will be announced on the show, before the main event.
Given that the folk behind A-SIGN are trying something new, it's great to see the success they are having with it, and fingers crossed it a success when all is said and done, as this really could help revolutionise how live boxing is shown for free online.
For fans who want to watch this, and remember it is completely free, there is no catch, it will be streamed on the A-SIGN Youtube channel.
Earlier today the Japanese Boxing Federation announced that they would be doing a special competition this year due to the fact all other high school boxing events had been cancelled.
Current face to face competition isn't allowed due to the current "on going situation". As a result the Japan Boxing Federation has set up a shadow boxing challenge, asking high school student to submit videos of them shadow boxing.
The competition will run from August 1st to August 16th and will be judged by a who's who of top Japanese fighters. These include:
WBA and IBF Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥]
WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]
WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔]
WBA Light Flyweight "Super" champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人]
WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
IBF "interim" champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Former WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama (24-2-1, 20) [内山 高志]
Former WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (13-1, 3) [井上 拓真]
and former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16) [八重樫 東]
The judges will select a winner and the winners will be given an award on August 22nd.
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.
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