Murodjon Akhmadaliev To Face Ryosuke Iwasa April 3 In Uzbekistan

“MJ” Akhmadaliev Returns April 3

Murodjon Akhmadaliev (left), Ryosuke Iwasa
Murodjon Akhmadaliev (left), Ryosuke Iwasa

Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev returns home to make his first title defense

Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) made a big splash on the boxing scene in 2020. In January of that year, he defeated Daniel Roman to win the unified WBA ‘Super’/IBF World Junior Featherweight titles. Suddenly, the fighter nicknamed “MJ” was on top of the mountain at 122-pounds.

Unfortunately, he has not been in the ring since. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to make another fight. After a year-plus layoff, the 26-year-old southpaw from Chust, Uzbekistan is returning to action.

Matchroom Boxing has announced that Akhmadaliev will make the first title defense against former IBF Junior Featherweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17 KOs). Akhmadaliev-Iwasa will take place on April 3 at the Humo Arena Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Returning home to defend the title, he recognizes the significance of this event to his country.

“It is a great honor and responsibility to defend my titles for the first time in my motherland, Uzbekistan, in front of the eyes of my compatriots. My opponent, Ryosuke Iwasa, is a serious contender, so I am preparing for a difficult fight. I am thinking only about the defense of my titles, but my main goal is to unify all of the belts.”

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The champ’s early success is no surprise among those in the know. He carried a highly decorated amateur pedigree upon turning pro in March of 2018. It included a silver medal at the 2015 Asian Games and World Championships, and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.

His acclimation into the paid ranks has come with ease. The Uzbeki fighter is comfortable in the ring. He is equally adept at fighting moving forward or on the back foot. In his title victory over Roman, “MJ” showed more than skill. Grit and determination that marks a world champion were on display as well.

However, he will have a tough go of it against the experienced Iwasa. For the challenger, he earned this opportunity with an 11th round TKO win over Marlon Tapales in December 2019 to capture the IBF ‘interim’ world 122-pound title.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1963 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for