Proficient IBF and WBA junior featherweight titleholder Murodjon Akhmadaliev will make the primary protection of his titles when he faces former IBF beltholder Ryosuke Iwasa on the Humo Area in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Saturday.
The DAZN broadcast will start at 10:00 a.m. ET/ 7:00 a.m. PT.
Akhmadaliev, who’s rated No. 1 by The Ring at 122 kilos, is trying ahead to defending his belts in entrance of his followers.
“I like preventing, all my life I’ve been preventing, so I’m very completely satisfied that I might be preventing towards my necessary [challenger],” Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 knockouts) advised The Ring by means of Alik Frolov.
“After all, it’s a giant honor for me to combat in entrance of my nation. It’s a giant honor but additionally a giant accountability. That’s why I’m very targeted on defending my belts.”
The 26-year-old former beginner standout appreciates what Iwasa brings to the combat.
“Iwasa is a really skilled former world champion – a tall, sturdy, aggressive lefty,” mentioned Akhmadaliev. “I feel he’s an actual samurai. He all the time comes ahead and goals for a giant combat. I respect him and his mentality. I anticipate an excellent, thrilling combat.”
As all the time, Akhmadaliev has educated in Indio, California underneath the watchful eye of the Diaz brothers, Joel and Antonio. He’s working alongside compatriots Bakhodir Jalalov, Israil Madrimov, Shakram Giyasov and Elnur Abduraimov, who will all seem on his undercard.
“It’s a blessing for us to be right here collectively,” he mentioned. “God bless, quickly my brothers will turn out to be world champions, too.”
Murodjon Akhmadaliev celebrates profitable two 122-pound world title belts. Picture by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA
It’s been 14 months since “MJ” final fought, when he edged Daniel Roman to turn out to be unified titleholder.
“It was an amazing combat, an excellent expertise for me preventing an amazing champion like Danny,” recalled Akhmadaliev. “Danny is an excellent fighter, a real Mexican warrior. It was [my] first time going 12 rounds.
“I’m completely satisfied and proud to turn out to be the primary ever Uzbekistan unified champion, it’s a giant honor for me.”
The momentous event was not wasted on the boxing loopy nation, who had been fast to greet their new star when he returned residence two days after his triumph.
“It’s unbelievable how folks and my authorities welcomed me in Uzbekistan,” Akhmadaliev mentioned proudly. “There was a parade, 1000’s of individuals, orchestra, authorities representatives, flags all over the place, large boards with my photos throughout the nation. It was unreal… I can’t describe it. After all, my mother and father, who I like greater than something, had been there.
“The subsequent day we went to satisfy with the Premier Minister who, by the order of the President, [presented me with] the medal of honor referred to as ‘Satisfaction of Uzbekistan.’”
Resulting from COVID-19 restrictions, Akhmadaliev was unable to capitalize on his newfound standing, however that was not his first concern.
“The entire world suffered, so I’m not going to complain about one thing like defending the title when persons are dying from this horrible virus,” he mentioned. “God bless, issues are getting higher for everybody and that is most vital.”
Akhmadaliev’s supervisor, Vadim Kornilov, who’s famed for his work with Dmitry Bivol, Ruslan Provodnikov and Viktor Postol, is trying ahead to this groundbreaking present.
“It’s the primary boxing occasion of this magnitude that may occur in Uzbekistan,” mentioned Kornilov. “I’m very excited, and I’m being advised by many [people] that this might be a really particular occasion for the nation and all people concerned.”
Iwasa (27-3, 17 KOs) turned skilled in 2008. After dropping to future world titleholders Shinsuke Yamanaka (TKO 10) and Lee Haskins (TKO 6) at bantamweight, he moved as much as junior featherweight and claimed the IBF title by stopping compatriot Yukinori Oguni (TKO 6). Iwasa made one protection earlier than dropping to TJ Doheny (UD 12). The Japanese star has since scored spectacular wins over Cesar Juarez (TD 10) and Marlon Tapales (TKO 11) to reposition himself as a prime contender.
Questions and/or feedback could be despatched to Anson at [email protected] and you may observe him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright