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Bivol vs Pascal Co-Main Event: Akhmadaliev vs.Zarate

Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0, 3 KOs), age 24, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and accomplished amateur originally from Uzbekistan, will make his American television debut in the co-main event of the HBO World Championship Boxing show featuring Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal fighting for the WBA World Light Heavyweight title at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, November 24.

Akhmadaliev will face Isaac Zarate of San Pedro, California, (16-3-3, 2 KOs) in a 10-round fight with the WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title at stake. Zarate, age 27, is hot off his upset split decision victory over Horatio Garcia in September.

The bout will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Akhmadaliev lives in Brooklyn, New York, and trains in Indio, California with Joel and Antonio Diaz. “It’s been my dream to fight on HBO where Roy Jones, Manny Pacquiao, and many other great fighters have fought. I can’t believe that I’ll have this opportunity,” said Akhmadaliev. “I’m grateful to my promoter World of Boxing, to Dmitry Bivol for this chance, and of course HBO.

“Don’t miss my fight. I’ll bring the New Drama Show on HBO on November 24th,” promised Akhmadaliev.

“We are very excited that Akhmadaliev will be featured with Dmitry Bivol’s HBO appearance,” said Vadim Kornilov, Akhmadaliev’s manager. “This should be an exciting night of boxing. Akhmadaliev really knows how to get the fans out of their seats. I promise you’ll be sorry if you miss this debut on November 24th.”

As an amateur, Akhmadaliev won the 2012 and 2015 World Championship Silver Medal. In the 2015 final, he knocked down Michael “Mick” Conlan of Ireland, but lost the gold in a controversial decision. He won a Bronze Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and closed his amateur career as a 2017 Asian Games Gold Medalist. His amateur record stands at 300 wins with 80 knockouts, against just 15 losses.

After turning professional in 2018 and signing with Andrey Ryabinsky and World of Boxing, Akhmadaliev has now fought four times, with three knockout wins and one decision. A southpaw with power in both hands, it won’t take long for American boxing fans to discover “MJ’s” fan friendly, aggressive style, which should suit him well in the professional ranks and quickly make him a star.

“Every time MJ steps in the ring it is a spectacular show,” said Kornilov, who co-manages Akhmadaliev with Oleg Frolov. “His favorite fighters are Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Vasyl Lomachenko, exceptional role models. He wants to become undisputed champion and a major star in his division in the first three years of his career. He is one to watch.”

Murodjon Akhmadaliev
Isaac “Dinamita” Zarate
4-0-0 (3 KOs)
16-3-3 (2 KOs)
Akhmadalieiv is a busy fighter in the ring. He has a high punch output and is always looking to finish. He is light on his feet and consistently keeps it moving during his fights, making it difficult for his opponents to get going offensively.
Zarate has a stiff jab that he uses extremely well in setting up his shots. He has legitimate defense and is a solid counter-puncher. He has been in the ring with high-quality contenders throughout his career.
“MJ” lacks the experience at this level when compared to his opponent.
“Dinamita” comes into this fight lacking the punching power his opponent possesses.
Akhmadaliev lacks experience at the professional level. This will be his toughest test to date.
He has much more experience at this level than his opponent. He is also a very active fighter. This will be his fourth bout of 2018.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist is a great body puncher. He attacks from all angles, and has a vicious left hook.
Zarate is not known for being a knockout artist, or having much power. However, he is a technician in the ring, and makes his opponents work rigorously from start to finish.
Akhmadaliev has quick hands and even quicker feet, he is always on the move and keeps a rapid pace throughout the fight
He is very fast defensively, moves his head well and does a superb job of keeping out of harm’s way.
His endurance is still in question. The furthest he has gone in previous bouts is six rounds. This will be a giant step up for the young prospect.
Zarate will have the advantage. Seven of his last eight bouts have gone the distance.
Akhmadaliev is a very accurate body puncher and has a pinpoint accurate jab.
Similar to his opponent, Zarate is an accurate body puncher and picks his shots wisely.
Akhmadaliev is stronger on offense than he is on defense. He likes to drop his guard at timea in hopes of diverting his opponent’s attention. This tactic could backfire if he attempts it against his seasoned opponent.
Zarate has effective defense that has gotten him to this point in his career. He moves his head and slips punches well. He also has sharp body movement and a pinpoint accurate jab that has posed problems for his previous opponents
Akhmadaliev’s chin is still a question. If he decides to stand in front of Zarate, there is a good chance it will be tested
Zarate has a sturdy chin. He has never been stopped in his professional career.
Akhmadaliev is a highly regarded prospect who has an exciting style. He comes forward with fast combinations and delivers a high punch output each and every fight.
Zarate is a technician in the ring and a solid defensive fighter. He doesn’t carry big pop in either hand, but he does let his hands go and keep a consistent and entertaining pace throughout the fight.
Akhmadaliev has opted to take a challenging road to start his young career. With a professional record of just 4-0, he will take another huge step-up in competition when he takes on Zarate. This is his second consecutive bout scheduled for 10 rounds. He made a statement in his recent bout when he scored a first round knockout over Ramon Contreras.
His opponent this time around is a tremendous defensive fighter, and has yet to be stopped. A win this Saturday would be game-changing for his career, and would undoubtedly put the entire super bantamweight division on high Akhmadaliev alert.
Zarate has been taking on tough opposition throughout his entire career. He will fight anyone and everyone and has proved it throughout the years. He is coming fresh off a win two months ago over formerly ranked and always tough Horacio Garcia. Rather than take some time off and embrace other potential opportunities, Zarate will instead jump right back in the ring and put a stamp on what has been a successful year for him so far.
A win over the highly regarded prospect will cap off an outstanding year for the veteran, and will leave Zarate in a strong position to make the case for a shot at a title.
Crowd Support
Akhmadaliev has an exciting style that will inevitably earn him some fans by the time the fight is over.
Zarate has never competed in New Jersey, but if he can find a way to put an end to the hype behind his opponent, then he will be on the radar of fight fans for sure.
The Match-Up
  1. Will Zarate be able to handle the body punches and power from Akmadaliev?
  2. Will Akmadaliev be able to handle Zarate’s nonstop, come forward style?

Main Events matchmaker Jolene Mizzone says, “I like this match-up. You have a guy in Akmadaliev who is only 4-0, and not wasting any time in challenging himself against a tough opponent in Zarate.

“Zarate has been on the short end of the stick in many fights. Out of his three losses, only one was a unanimous decision. All the others were split decisions. Zarate is going into another tough fight with Akmadaliev, so kudos to him. Akmadaliev is taking his toughest fight to date in only his fifth fight.

“This says so much about him. These are the kind of guys I love as a matchmaker and as a fan!” said Mizzone.

About Bivol-Pascal: Bivol vs. Pascal is a 12 round fight for Bivol’s WBA Light Heavyweight World Title on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The event is promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

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