Murodjon Akhmadaliev: A Man On a Mission
On January 30 at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami Florida, Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) gets his first world title opportunity. He will challenge Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) for the WBA/IBF World Super Bantamweight titles Live on DAZN.
A win for the 25-year old from Namangan, Uzbekistan tie Leon Spinks’ record of becoming a unified world champion in eight fights. Not only would he meet the record, he would also become the country’s first unified world champion.
The California-based challenger would express his excitement with the opportunity to Ring Magazine during a January 27 media event in Miami.
“It’s a big honor and a great opportunity for me to prove that I’m the best fighter in the 122-pound division. I think that Roman is the most proven champion and he is a unified champion – this motivates me a lot.”
Akhmadaliev is the mystery man of this card. He will join a cast of more prominent names in the sport such as WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, IBF World Super Featherweight champion Tevin Farmer and Jo Jo Diaz. So the question begs, who is he and how did he earn a world title shot in so little time?
Top-Notch Amateur Pedigree
In boxing, there is a history of smaller-weight fighters with an extensive and high-caliber amateur pedigree being moved along very quickly in the professional ranks. And that is certainly the case here. Akhmadaliev held an impressive 300-15 amateur record. The accolade includes a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships, bronze in 2016 Olympics and a gold medal at the 2017 Asian Games. Then, it was onward to the pro ranks, where he made his debut on March 10, 2018.
On The Fast Track
Managed by Vadim Kornilov and Oleg Frolov and guided in the ring under the tutelage of Joel Diaz and Antonio Diaz, the 5’5”½ southpaw has been moved along at a brisk pace.
In only his fourth professional fight in August 2018, Akhmadaliev stopped Ramon Contreras in the first round. This would earn him his first professional title, the vacant World Boxing Association Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight Title. Accompanying the achievement was a world ranking by the WBA.
Three months later, he followed that win by defeating Isaac Zarate by 9th round TKO to earn the WBA #1 ranking at 122-pounds, setting up the fight against Roman.
Talent Belies Experience
When a fighter has talent that exceeds a lack of true experience, you can afford to gamble and skip some steps, especially when being trained by the Diaz brothers, who are as good as trainers come.
For those who have seen Akhmadaliev’s previous fights and gym-sparring, his ability is undeniable.
Highly skilled and well-schooled, the fighter known as “MJ” is polished and poised. He is at his best forcing his opponents back behind his jab and throwing combinations to the head and body. However, he can box from the outside as well. Coupled with two-fisted power and you have someone worthy of taking such an audacious risk this early in his career.
Ready To Make A Statement
Akhmadaliev previously had a September 2019 bout scheduled with Roman, which Roman had to withdraw from due to shoulder injury. Although, now he is determined to make his life-long dream of becoming a world champion a reality.
The old adage is that styles make fights. On paper, this battle of 122-pounders has a chance to be a barn-burner that could steal the show. Will “MJ” prove to be the goods and score what would be considered an upset? We will all find out on January 30.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.