Tapales Gets Major Upset Over MJ; Ford Dominates Magdaleno!

Jesse Rodriguez vs Cristian Gonzalez: Undercard Bouts

Marlon Tapales, Raymond Ford, and Thomas Mattice score wins on the Rodriguez vs Gonzalez undercard
(clockwise from left) Marlon Tapales, Thomas Mattice, Raymond Ford,

Tapales Upsets Akhmadaliev, Ford Dominates Magdaleno & Mattice Stops Cesena

In what is an early candidate for upset of the year, IBF mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) upset Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev (11-1, 8 KOs) by a split decision (115-113 Tapalas, 118-110 Akhmadaliev, 115-113 Tapales) to capture the IBF and WBA junior featherweight titles. Tapales got off to an excellent start as he landed several left and right uppercuts during the first three rounds.

Fighting for the first time in nearly ten months, MJ could not find his rhythm in the early rounds and fought like his feet were stuck in the mud. He didn’t get his groove until the middle rounds when he began to utilize his footwork and picked up his work-rate.

Tapales is a veteran who knows how to handle himself when things get tough. When Akhmadaliev tried to close strong in the championship rounds, Tapales stood and fought blow for blow until the final bell.

In the end, Akhmadaliev couldn’t overcome a slow start, while Tapales was able to grit his teeth to pull out the victory. After the fight, the new unified champion said he wants the winner of the July 25 showdown between reigning unified 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton Jr and Naoya Inoue.


Better in every department, unbeaten Raymond Ford (14-0-1, 7 KOs) outboxed former WBO junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno (29-2, 18 KOs) in a twelve-round featherweight contest. From the opening bell, Ford was in control. He established the jab and was tagging Magdaleno in the early rounds. An overhand right from Ford put Magdaleno down early in round four.

The domination continued from Ford. By the middle rounds, he had Magdaleno fighting on the back foot. By this point of the fight, Ford had Magdaleno tamed and did whatever he wanted.

Magdaleno’s confidence was gone at this point, as a right hook from Ford put him down for a second time late in round eleven. It was a masterclass from Ford as he ran away to a unanimous decision victory (119-110, 119-110, 116-110). Currently ranked second by the WBA at 126. Ford said he wants the winner of the May 27 rematch between reigning WBA featherweight champion Mauricio Lara and the man he beat to win the title, Leigh Wood.


In an entertaining fight, Thomas Mattice (21-3-1, 16 KOs) rallied to score a controversial tenth-round stoppage over Mexico’s Ramiro Cesena (16-1-1, 13 KOs). Setting the tone early, Cesena tagged Mattice with right hands to the head and combinations to the breadbasket in the first three rounds.

Sensing he was getting outgunned and bullied, Mattice began to stand his ground in the middle rounds. He stunned the Mexican late in round six with a right hand to the temple and had Cesena fighting on the back foot in the seventh and eighth. But Cesena kept blasting away.

Behind on all three scorecards entering the last round, Mattice rocked Cesena with a right hand early in the tenth. Smelling blood, Mattice poured on the punches until referee Rafael Ramos decided to step in and call a halt to the fight at the midway point of the last round!

3Kings Boxing felt that while Cesensa was hurt, he could have continued. A rematch is warranted due to the questionable nature of the stoppage.

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About Mike W.1961 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.