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Sunday. April 4. 2021

Akhmadaliev stops Iwasa, retains IBF, WBA super bantamweight titles in Uzbekistan

International Boxing Federation super bantamweight and World Boxing Association ‘’super’’ champion in the division Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan stopped Ryosuke Iwasa of Celes Boxing Sports Gym in the fifth round to retain the titles on Apr. 3 (Apr. 4 Japan time) in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 12-rounder at the city’s multifunctional ice complex Humo Arena came 1 minute and 30 seconds into the round when the undefeated champion unleashed a barrage of right and left combinations to the head and body to back Iwasa to the ropes. When Iwasa did not respond with his punches, the referee suddenly stepped in to wave off the fight.

With the victory, the 26-year-old Akhmadaliev extended his unbeaten streak to nine, including six KOs. Iwasa saw his record drop to 27 wins, 17 by KO, and four losses. It was Akhmadaliev’s first successful defense of the title he won from Daniel Roman of the United States on Jan. 30, 2020 in Miami in the state of Florida. It was Iwasa’s first fight since winning the IBF interim title by stopping Marlon Tapales of the Philippines on Dec. 7 in 2019.

While the 31-year-old Iwasa got off to a so-so start, sticking out right jabs from his southpaw stale. But, from the second round Akhmadaliev, also a southpaw, moving side-to-side, came forward by landing right jabs and left punches to the head and body, reddening Iwasa’s face.

Although Iwasa tried to stop his opponent’s move by using right jabs, Akhmadaliev, the bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a 300-15 loss amateur record, is tight guarded and did not allow Iwasa to land his favorite straight lefts.

Akhmadaliev increased his pace in the fourth and fifth rounds by further stepping forward to land his right-left punches. In the fifth stanza, when Iwasa was tottering back to the ropes and failed to throw effective punches, the referee saw enough and called off the fight.

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