Murodjon Akhmadaliev Picks Up Wide UD Win Over Jose Velasquez

Murodjon Akhmadaliev comfortably puts away Jose Velasquez

WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev flexes at weigh-in for defense agaisnt late replacement Jose Velasquez
Murodjon Akhmadaliev

Murodjon Akhmadaliev comfortably puts away Jose Velasquez

On November 19, WBA super and IBF super bantamweight champion Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KO’s) successfully defended his titles for the second time. The challenger, Jose “Pancora” Velasquez (29-7-2, 19 KO’s), was repelled by way of a unanimous decision. Velasquez was actually a late replacement for Ronny Rios who had to withdraw after contracting COVID-19. Prior to the match, Velasquez was ranked #8 (IBF), so it will be interesting to see how detrimentally the setback affects his standings.

Like shown here, the unified champion was also dominant in his last outing versus Ryosuke Iwasa back on April 3. MJ stopped him in the fifth. While the win is beneficial, it only serves to highlight how good Akmadaliev really is. With this latest win, MJ now has his heart set toward undisputed status. To achieve that goal, he’ll have to face the winner of WBC 122-pound champion Brandon Figueroa and WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton. Fulton and Figueroa will lock horns on November 27.

Despite being relatively unknown, Pancora entered this bout with some noticeable accomplishments. To begin, he has not lost a fight since 2016. During that time the Chile native has won both the WBA Fedebol bantamweight title and the WBO Latino super bantamweight title. In 2019, he picked up the WBO International bantamweight title. The trouble was Velasquez had never fought anyone the caliber of MJ. Despite beating his last four undefeated fighters he faced, he didn’t have the tools to topple Murodjon Akhmadaliev.


The bout started in somewhat odd fashion as for the first ninety seconds Velasquez shelled up, stood in the corner and ate shots. The only major difference in the second half was Velasquez shelled up and absorbed punishment inching backwards. The second round functioned mainly like the last ninety seconds of the first except every twenty-five or thirty seconds, Pancora remembered he had arms and threw punches.

MJ changed his tactics a bit in the third and began operating off his own back foot with more regularity. Now with his foe moving backward, Velasquez was emboldened and finally unloaded some meaningful offense. Suddenly, an actual fight had broken out! Akhmadaliev closed the period with some quality offense. The fight remained tight and competitive over the next several rounds, but it was evident that MJ was the more polished fighter. This was reinforced by his impressive body shots, jarring straight lefts and beautiful footwork. A spin move that he utilized after punching, especially in the fifth, was very fun to watch.


The dustup had a temporary, but significant, shift in the seventh. Seemingly bothered by an opening body shot, the champ went into hardcore defense mode for the first half of the round. Then just as suddenly as it started, MJ nailed Velasquez with a left hook to the body that caused him to rethink things.

After recovering from the damaging body shot, the champion never truly lost the momentum again. Over the final rounds of the prizefight, Akhmadaliev controlled the distance masterfully and landed his offense virtually at will. To his credit though, Jose Velasquez never faltered in his role of hard-charging foe. Until the final bell, Pancora tried his best to crack the defense code of MJ but was notably unsuccessful. Therefore, it was no surprise to hear that the judges awarded the champion a wide unanimous decision win.

By: Bakari Simpson

Reading time: 3 minutes

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Bakari is a writer and contributor for Visit to view more of his literary work.