The Murodjon Akhmadaliev-Ryosuke Iwasa stoppage may’ve been controversial however there isn’t any doubt about who was in cost Saturday.
Akhmadaliev, the unified 122-pound titleholder preventing in his residence nation of Uzbekistan, had outworked Iwasa for four-plus rounds and was touchdown damaging blows in Spherical 5 when referee Yuri Koptzev stopped the combat in Tashkent.
Akhmadaliev (9-0, 7 KOs) was making the primary protection of the IBF and WBA belts he received by outpointing Dan Roman in his eighth professional combat in January of final yr.
The left-handed 2016 Olympic bronze medalist maintained intense strain on Iwasa (27-4, 17 KOs) from the outset, holding the previous titleholder on the defensive along with his stiff jab and clear energy punches.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev turned up the strain within the fifth 🥊
However was the stoppage untimely? #AkhmadalievIwasa pic.twitter.com/Afkdd7OsAv
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 3, 2021
The Japanese challenger had some good moments. He, too, jabbed properly a lot of the combat and related on some eye-catching energy photographs. Nevertheless, preventing on his again foot the whole combat, he couldn’t maintain tempo with the gifted champion.
The start of the top took place 15 seconds into Spherical 5, when Akhmadaliev landed a tough left uppercut that appeared to stun Iwasa. The titleholder adopted with a barrage of onerous, correct punches that had the challenger in hassle.
Iwasa appeared to climate the storm however, after a lull, Akhmadaliev unloaded one other potent flurry with Iwasa’s again in opposition to the ropes. That’s when Koptzev jumped in and ended the combat, prompting a wild celebration among the many champion and his handlers.
Was the stoppage untimely?
Iwasa was undoubtedly having a foul second however he didn’t appear to be harm badly, an element that made Koptzev’s determination questionable. Iwasa seemed surprised when the combat was stopped after which smiled, his approach of claiming, “You need to be kidding.”
No joke. Iwasa had come up quick in his bid to turn into a serious titleholder once more and Akhamdaliev’s star burns brighter.
Akhmadaliev equaled Leon Spinks’ feat of turning into a unified champion in eight fights. Now he has a profitable protection over a revered challenger. And at 26 he’s simply getting began.
Earlier than the combat, he made it clear that he has large plans.
“I cannot keep away from anyone,” he stated. “I would like all of the belts.”