By Mark Eisner: In a highly questionable stoppage, IBF/WBA super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (9-0, 7 KOs) defeated former IBF 122-lb belt-holder Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4, 17 KOs) by a fifth-round knockout on Saturday night in the main event on DAZN from the Humo Arena in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The referee jumped in and waved off the canvas after the 2016 OlympianAkhmadaliev hit the 31-year-old Iwasa with 10 consecutive headshots without him answering back with a punch of his own.
While you can understand why the referee halted the fight, given how many unanswered shots Iwasa took, but he didn’t look hurt and he smiling through it all.
The time of the stoppage was at 1:30 of round five. Iwasa looked to be in trouble at the start of the fifth when Akhmadaliev unloaded on him with a storm of shots but he appeared to have weathered the storm and was fighting back.
However, when Akhmadaliev tore into Iwasa with a second flurry of headshots that landed one after another, the referee chose to step in and stop the fight.
Obviously, Iwasa was getting hit way too much for the referee to feel comfortable about letting it continue, but it still looked premature.
- Undefeated light welterweight contender Shakhram “Wonderboy” Giyasov (11-0, 9 KOs) dominated Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-5, 20 KOs) in stopping him in the third round in the chief support bout on the card. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Giyasov, 27, knocked Moreno down late in the second round and ended the fight in the third. The time of the stoppage was at 2:21 of round three. With the win, Giyasov retains his WBA International 140-lb strap. Giyasov did a good job of mixing his shots up and delivering some really big punches. His hand speed and defense might limit what he can do at 140, as there is some good fighter in the division that can punch as hard as him but with better speed and defense.
- In a tougher than expected fight, junior middleweight contender Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5 KOs) labored to a 10 round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Emmany Kalombo (14-1, 14 KOs). Madrimov knocked Kalomba down with a left hook in the eighth round. Both guys threw left hooks at the same time and Madrimov’s shot landed the cleaner, causing Kalomba to stumble against the ropes. The scores were 100-89, 99-90, and 98-92. Boxing News 24 scored it 100-89. On the negative side, Madrimov’s face was badly marked up by Kalombo’s shots. If Kalombo had been busier and if he passed more hand speed, Madrimov might have been in trouble. Madrimov resembles middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin, but he lacks his power and he’s not as good of a pressure fighter. For Madrimov to compete with the best at 154, he’s going to need a lot of improvements because the way he fought tonight, it’s not going to be good enough for him to beat IBF/WBA/WBC champion Jermell Charlo or WBO champ, Brian Castano.
- Super bantamweight prospect Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (1-0, 1 KO) obliterated the reluctant-looking Tasha Mjuaji (17-8-2, 5 KOs) in stopping him in the first round. Mirzakhalilov knocked Mjuai down twice with shots that didn’t look that hard. The fight was stopped after Mirzakhalilov dropped Mjuaji with a left hook to the head that lifted him off his feet, sending him on the canvas on his backside. He opted not to get back up and the right was stopped. The time of the stoppage was at 2:24 of round one.
- In a mismatch, super bantamweight Heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov (8-0, 8 KOs) destroyed Kristaps Zutis (7-2-2, 7 KOs) by a second-round knockout. The big 6’6″ Jalolov flattened the heavyset Latvian Zutis with a powerful fight to the head while he was trapped in the corner. The referee then halted the contest. Moments earlier, the 26-year-old Jalolov knocked Zutis down with a left hand to the head. After that knockdown, it was clear that Zutis wasn’t going to last much longer, as he was in serious distress, taking shots and unable to land anything. The time of the stoppage was at 1:16 in round two. It was an impressive performance from the big heavyweight Jalolov, who could give heavyweight world champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua problems in the future if they don’t retire by the time he gets up there.
- Light flyweight Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3 KOs) kept his perfect record intact in defeating Mushin Kizota (11-3, 5 KOs) by a second-round knockout to win the vacant WBA International 108-lb title. The hard-hitting Dusmatov knocked Kizota down three times in the contest. Once in the first and, two more times in the second round The official time of the stoppage was at 2:02 of round two.
Akhmadaliev’s fast rise to world champion status
2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Akhmadaliev is fresh off his 12 round split decision win over IBF/WBA 122-lb champion Daniel Roman a year ago on January 30th.
Going into that fight, many boxing fans assumed that Roman would be too much for the still green Akhmadaliev. The 30-year-old Roman had 31 fights under his belt and had been a pro for ten years at the time of the contest.
It’s a huge accomplishment for Akhmadaliev to have captured a world title in just his eighth fight as a professional. Akhmadaliev turned pro in 2018, and it took him only two years to win his first world title.
The victory showed that fighters that come from great amateur backgrounds don’t need to be brought along at a glacially slow pace.
This was a breakout performance by the 26-year-old Akhmadaliev, who put himself on the map by decisively beating Roman, a fighter that many boxing fans viewed as the #1 guy at super bantamweight at the time.
The undercard for the Akhmadaliev vs. Iwasa fight will have several talented contenders in action with 154-lb contender Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5 KOs), the unbeaten heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov (7-0, 7 KOs), and 140-lb contender Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8 KOs).
Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Ryosuke Iwasa – how to watch
Boxing fans can watch tonight’s Akhmadaliev vs. Ryosuke Iwasa card on the streaming service DAZN. The start time is at 10:00 a.m ET, and the location is at the Humo Arena in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
As mentioned earlier, Akhmadaliev-Iwasa is the headliner on tonight’s cared, and the co-feature bout is light welterweight Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8 KOs) battling Patricio Lopez Moreno in a 10-round bout. Like Madrimov and Akhmadaliev, Giyasov is a 2016 Olympian.
Full card action for the Akhmadaliev – Iwasa fight:
- Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Ryosuke Iwasa
- Shakhram Giyasov vs. Patricio Lopez Moreno
- Israil Madrimov vs. Emmany Kalombo
- Bakhodir Jalolov vs. Kristaps Zutis
- Hasanboy Dusmatov vs. Muhsin Kizota
- Sanjar Tursunov vs. Ivan Yukhta
- Ikboljon Kholdarov vs. Kulwa Bushiri
- Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov vs. Tasha Mjuaji
In a fight that promises to be exciting to watch, Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) will be defending his IBF & WBA super bantamweight titles today against former IBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17 KOs) live on DAZN at 10:00 a.m ET at the Humo Arena in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Akhmadaliev vs. Iwasa is headlining this loaded card and making it a thrill a minute while it lasts. These two fighters prefer to brawl, so fans can expect to be entertained from start to finish in this fight.
Boxing News 24 will be giving live updates below of the results and action.