Murodjon Akhmadaliev Ready To Prove He’s the Best in the Division
On November 19, Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev (9-0, 7 KOs) returns to the ring to make the second defense of unified IBF/WBA ‘super’ world junior featherweight titles against Jose Velasquez (29-6-2, 19 KOs) at the SNHU Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire. Velazquez is a late substitute for the WBA mandatory challenger, Ronny Rios, who had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.
Because of the times we’re living in, fighters must prepare physically and mentally for these possible circumstances. When asked by The Ring about the switch of opponents, “MJ” said he’s unfazed and will remain focused regardless of who he faces.
“I leave that part to my team. All I do is train. I hope that Ronny is feeling well. It’s a shame that he cannot face me, but it is a great chance for Jose, and I am sure he will put everything into this fight. I expect fireworks, expect war.”
BIG GAME HUNTING
The last time fans saw Akhmadaliev in the ring, he was dominant in a fifth-round stoppage win over former IBF world 122-pound champ Ryosuke Iwasa in April of 2021. While “MJ” said that fighting in his home country of Uzbekistan was a proud and satisfying moment, it’s time to move on to bigger and better. According to the champ’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, they are ready to fight the best in the division.
“We are looking forward to more challenges. [We] will be discussing possible unifications next.”
That opportunity could very well be on the horizon in 2022. On November 27, WBO world junior featherweight champ Stephen Fulton will fight WBC world belt-holder Brandon Figueroa in a unification showdown. One would believe team Akhmadaliev has their eyes on facing the winner in what would be a fight for undisputed honors in the division. Another option is a match against unified IBF/WBA ‘super’ world bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue. The superstar from Japan has stated plans on moving up in weight.
Those fights are contingent on a win over Jose Velasquez. But the talented southpaw has eyes on showing and proving he’s the man at junior featherweight.
By: Michael Wilson