Saturday, April 3, 2021

Boxing Challenge: Akhmadaliev stops Iwasa in five

    In his home country of  Uzbekistan, M.J.Akhmadaliev easily defended his WBA and IBF junior featherweight titles for the first time with a dominating fifth-round stoppage of former IBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa.

Akhmadaliev won every round and did stun Iwasa in the fifth sending him backward around the ring, but the stoppage seemed premature as Iwasa wasn't in serious trouble when the fight was stopped.

The ending was a bit deflating, but Iwasa seemed to be in need of a miracle to get back into the fight, which he had shown no signs of having any hope of providing.

For Akhmadaliev, who stated that he wants to unify his two titles with those of WBC champion Luis Nery and WBO beltholder Stephen Fulton, he may in a position to be arguably the best fighter in a division that is controlled by another promoter- in this case, PBC.

PBC promotes both Nery and Fulton, WBA minor titleist Brandon Figueroa, top contender Raeese Aleem, and former champion Daniel Roman, who Akhmadaliev won his titles from in 2020 via split decision that could have just as easily tipped towards Roman as Akhmadaliev, as none of those fights seem likely anytime soon, despite any of those matchups appearing to be terrific matchups.

Unless the WBA steps in and mandates an Akhmadaliev-Figueroa or Akhmadaliev-Aleem fight, his best fight that could be made may be against another WBA minor beltholder in Ronny Rios, who is promoted by Golden Boy, but I'd peg Akhmadaliev as a strong favorite against Rios.

Akhmadaliev may very well be in a position that has been so well known in boxing in recent years- a very talented fighter that may be the best in his division, but cannot find any of the top boxers in his weight class willing to agree to fight him.

In the boxing challenge, I added two points to Ramon Malpica's one to move my lead to 38-35.

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