International Boxing Federation super bantamweight interim champion Ryosuke Iwasa of Celes Boxing Sports Gym and the gym’s head Shoji Celes Kobayashi jointly held a press conference online on March 16 that Iwasa will face champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan in the title unification match at Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent on April 3, said to be a major national concern in Uzbekistan.
Since the 26-year-old Akhmadaliev, undefeated in his eight professional bouts, including six knockouts, is also the World Boxing Association ‘’super’’ champion in that weight division, if Iwasa wins the fight, he will also capture the WBA crown as well. Left-handed Akhmadaliev was the bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.
It will be the 31-year-old Iwasa’s first bout since he won the title with a technical knockout over Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in the United States in December 2019. While he was scheduled to have a fight last November, it fell through for one reason or another.
Iwasa, also a southpaw who has a 27-3 win-loss record with 17 KOs, said, ‘’I was able to endure a period in which I could not have a fight and want to explode my accumulated frustration in Uzbekistan.’’
Iwasa has been engaged in joint training sessions with young Teiken Boxing Gym boxers, including former top amateur boxers such as Kenji Fujita, Subaru Murata and Mikito Nakano, since February.
Iwasa said, ‘’I chose them because they display speedy boxing just like any other top amateur boxers.’’
Iwasa watched Akhmadaliev’s fight in January last year in the U.S. in person when he pounded out a split decision over Daniel Roman of the U.S. to capture the world titles. He commented about the fight by saying, ‘’My impression of him was his style of boxing is ‘freewheeling boxing’ added with strength. But I did not think he was really strong. I thought I would have a chance to win.’’
Celes Kobayashi’s comments on him was, ‘’Akhmadaliev is a kind of boxer who comes forward once he catches the momentum. So, it is essential not to let him catch that momentum. If Iwasa fights even in the first five rounds or loses only 1 point during that period at the worst, Akhmadaliev would lose his momentum a little. Thus, Iwasa should use body blows in the earlier rounds.’’
Iwasa also said, ‘’If I win the fight, I will next face Luis Nery of Mexico, who is the reigning World Boxing Council champion in the division, I will send him spinning.’’
Since Iwasa admires now-retired former WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, to whom Iwasa dropped a technical knockout loss in the Japanese bantamweight title match 10 years ago.
Nery could not make the bantamweight limit in a fight for the vacant WBC bantamweight title match for the second time he faced Yamanaka in March 2018 but managed to come out as a TKO winner.