Headlining the show in his native Uzbekistan land, Unified WBA/IBF Super-Bantamweight Champion 🇺🇿Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev (9-0-0, 7KO) gave his crowd a small sample of what he is capable of doing, and beat former IBF titlist 🇯🇵Ryosuke Iwasa (27-4-0, 17KO) via accumulation of punishment in the 5th round, forcing the Referee to call a stoppage to the bout as Iwasa didn’t offer up any return fire.
Iwasa was looking to stick the right jab early and often, perhaps with the intent to off-set the spectacular movement of the Uzbekistani boxer. Akhmadaliev remained patient coming forward, carefully selecting his shots, and parrying the onslaught of jabs with his forearms and gloves, looking to lay the groundwork of what was to come later.
In round 2, Murodjon began to bully Iwasa, getting in his desired range to inflict punishment on the ropes. He began to find ways to get behind the Iwasa jab, and problems there started to arise for the Japanese former Champion.
Massive abrasions were apparent on Iwasa’s face in the corner after the second round, most of that damage being done by the shotgun right jabs that MJ was firing out in the previous stanza.
Taking away Iwasa’s best weapon, and beating him at his own game with the jab, Murodjon had the gutsy Iwasa in a very vulnerable position, not being able to adapt his method of attack, and unable to read what Akhmadaliev was coming with next, as he never flashed the same punch sequence twice.
Round 5 was a nightmare for Iwasa as Akhmadaliev hurt him, and bludgeoned him repeatedly, with nonstop combinations. Iwasa being a tough customer absorbed it as best as he could, and with a slight lull after those combinations, Murodjon started it back up, and as he opened the toolkit up once again, Iwasa didn’t offer any return fire whatsoever, which twisted the arm of the Referee to call the bout.
Some may state that the stoppage was premature, and it is an understandable stance to take. On the flip side however, the letter of the law as a Referee is that when a heavy sustained attack goes on for a lengthy duration of time, with the hurt fighter not offering up any punches in return, it does make it plausible for a stoppage to occur, and he can make the case that he simply did his job properly by the way the book has it written up.
This was the first time that Murodjon Akhmadaliev defended his Unified ⚫WBA and 🔴IBF Super-Bantamweight Titles, and continues his journey as one looking to be head and shoulders above the rest of the class at 122 lbs. Though he can’t yet claim to be thee Champ of the division, he is its vanguard right now, and with his desire to win the rest of the belts to become Undisputed Champion, that honor is certainly in reach for him to be the new occupant of the throne.