Murodjon Akhmadaliev can’t wait to defend his 122-pound crowns in his house nation Saturday evening.
The IBF/WBA champ will battle in his native Uzbekistan for the primary time since he turned professional three years in the past in opposition to an non-obligatory opponent, Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa. The 12-round championship bout between Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) and Iwasa (27-3, 17 KOs) will headline DAZN’s stream from Humo Enviornment in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan (10 a.m. ET; 7 a.m. PT).
The 26-year-old Akhmadaliev will make his first defenses of the 2 titles he received from Daniel Roman 14 months in the past in Miami. Akhmadaliev edged Los Angeles’ Roman by break up determination of their 12-rounder in January 2020.
“Ryosuke Iwasa is a warrior,” Akhmadaliev mentioned. “He’s been within the ring with the easiest. I charge him very extremely and imagine he’s a really harmful fighter. I’ve studied him and am prepared for him, as at all times. My group has completed the work and I’ll do the work within the ring. I’m not going to surrender something to anyone.
“He’s attempting to get what’s mine, however that’s not going to occur. Boxing is just not at all times straightforward, similar to life. It’s just about at all times onerous. You will have powerful fights within the ring and in life.”
The 31-year-old Iwasa is a former IBF junior featherweight champ who, like Akhmadaliev, is a southpaw. The William Hill sports activities ebook lists Akhmadaliev as a couple of 6-1 favourite over Iwasa.
“I’m solely targeted on Iwasa, however as a champion my dream is to win each belt,” Akhmadaliev mentioned. “If every part goes properly [Saturday] evening, I cannot keep away from anyone. I need all of the belts. I’m blessed to be a world champion. Now defending my belts at house is the subsequent objective for me.”
Mexico’s Luis Nery (31-0, 24 KOs), who owns the WBC championship, and Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs), who holds the WBO belt, are the opponents Akhmadaliev would want to defeat if he’s to change into a totally unified champion within the 122-pound division.
On Saturday evening, he’ll headline a card that additionally will function two different Uzbekistan-born boxers.
Within the 10-round co-feature, junior welterweight Shakhram Giyasov (10-0, 8 KOs) is scheduled to satisfy Mexico’s Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-4, 20 KOs). Earlier Saturday evening, junior middleweight Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5 KOs) and The Republic of Congo’s Emmany Kalombo (14-0, 14 KOs) are set to sq. off in a 10-rounder.
Giyasov received a silver medal on the 2016 Summer season Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the place Akhmadaliev captured a bronze medal.
“Once you battle at house, defending what belongs to you, that’s most likely crucial battle,” Akhmadaliev mentioned. “To provide an excellent battle below the intense lights, that’s what I’m trying ahead to. It’s a dream for any fighter to carry out at house. Israil, Shakhram and I’ve been collectively for 15 years. We labored for world novice rankings and changing into Asian champions, world champions and Olympians.
“We’ve been collectively by way of every part. Now being knowledgeable and having the possibility to battle in an enormous occasion at house, already being the champion, is large. … I’m trying ahead to showcasing myself, which is vital to my countrymen, household and mates. I sit up for bringing the eye of the boxing world to Uzbekistan.”
Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.