Bakhram Murtazaliev looking to make great impression on Charlo v Castano undercard
On July 17, Russian super welterweight Bakhram Murtazaliev (18-0, 14 KO’s) is looking to make a great impression on a big stage. On that date he will engage Khiary Gray in battle on the undercard of Charlo versus Castano. For him, the bout will snap a ten-month period of inactivity. The last time Murtazaliev was in the ring he savaged Tony Woods for four rounds until Woods’ corner threw in the towel.
At the moment, the future looks exceptionally bright for the 154 pounder. He is undefeated, heavy handed, managed by the influential Egis Klimas, trained by Virgil Hunter and currently ranked #1 (IBF) and #3 (WBO). With his standings in the IBF, the Russian fighter has a direct line to the winner of the aforementioned Charlo versus Castano prizefight for undisputed. Naturally, fighting for all four belts would be ideal, but there is no certainty that it will come next.
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While the Russian has moved to and firmly established himself within the United States, he is far from a household name. This is no doubt something that he will try to alter as he moves forward in his professional endeavors. If Murtazaliev is not fated to face the undisputed champion, then a good secondary option would be Australian boxer Tim “The Soul Snatcher” Tszyu (19-0, 15 KO’s).
They have near identical professional records, very similar physical dimensions and are a seemingly solid stylistic match-up. Even better, Tszyu is a two-for-one deal due to his famous last name and his #1 (WBO) ranking. It’s true that the Soul Snatcher is still making his own bones and hasn’t that well of an established name himself. Yet, whenever possible, sheering the scalp of a former famous fighter’s son is never a bad thing.
Beyond scrawling his family name on his ledger, Murtazaliev would also likely assume Tszyu’s #1 standing in victory. If so, he would then represent two of the new undisputed champion’s mandatory challengers. Only time will tell how it all plays out, but first the Russian must take care of business on July 17. If he can’t get past Khiary Gray, then there is no point in day dreaming about greater glory down the road.
By: Bakari Simpson