Murodjon Akhmadaliev retained his IBF and WBA super bantamweight titles by stopping Ronny Rios in round 12 with an injured left hand.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev proved his resiliency as a boxing champion when he stopped challenger Ronny Rios in round 12 on June 25, and he did it mostly with one hand.
Akhmadaliev moved his record to 11-0 with 8 KOs. Rios made the fight entertaining, but Akhmadaliev was too skilled and strong. He gave fans at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, TX, and those watching at home on DAZN a performance to remember.
Akhmadaliev was a 5-1 favorite, according to Wynnbet.com, but Rios was hungry and boxed well for the first few rounds. Things changed in round 4 when an Akhmadaliev left uppercut to the body nearly sent Rios down.
Rios stayed on his feet but took a beating in the round. Yet, he stayed tough and had a bit of a resurgence starting in round 7.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev injured his left hand early but still used it to stop Ronny Rios via round 12 TKO
DAZN commentator Chris Mannix reported that Akhmadaliev’s corner revealed there was an injury to Akhmadaliev’s left hand going into round 7. Rios tried to take advantage and had his moments but couldn’t take advantage of Akhmadaliev’s injury.
Akhmadaliev’s lead right hand out of the southpaw stance punished Rios in rounds for much of the final rounds of the fight, but his left hand reappeared and finished the contest.
Akhmadaliev stormed Rios in round 12. A right hook stunned Rios, but then Akhmadaliev unleashed a series of lefts to Rios’s body, forcing Rios to take a knee.
Rios got back up but took a pounding until the referee stopped the fight, giving Akhmadaliev the round 12 TKO victory.
Rios falls to 33-4 and likely won’t challenge for another title. The 32-year-old from Santa Ana, CA, gave it his all, but Akhmadaliev was too good.
Akhmadaliev is a rising star. The 27-year-old 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Uzbekistan continues to look like the real deal. Stephen Fulton holds the division’s other two titles and recently told FanSided that he wants a unification bout with Akhmadaliev next.
Akhmadaliev vs. Fulton for the undisputed super bantamweight title is incredibly attractive. Hopefully, the powers at be will allow it to happen.