Tapales title bout with Akhmadaliev shelved
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It seems that world title contender Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales needs to wait a bit longer after his mandatory title bout against Murodjon Akhmadaliev was shelved.
This time, Akhmadaliev, the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world super bantamweight champion will be facing a different opponent.
The 27-year-old Uzbek world champion will take on WBA’s super bantamweight top contender Ronny Rios of the United States for a mandatory title defense.
Both the WBA and IBF agreed to choose Rios as Akmadaliev’s next opponent pitting only the WBA title.
The announcement came on Friday amid the purse bid hearing for the IBF mandatory title defense against Tapales, the No. 1 contender for the title.
The 32-year-old Rios is equally deserving to fight Akhmadaliev considering their bout scheduled November last year was rescheduled. This after, Rios contracted the Covid-19 virus.
Tapales came into the scene when he earned the IBF world super bantamweight title shot after knocking out Japanese Hiroaki Teshigawara in the second round in their world title eliminator bout last December in Carson City, California.
With that in mind, Rios will be next in line to trade leathers with Akhmadaliev.
Rios is the current WBA gold world super bantamweight and NABF super bantamweight champion with a record of 33 wins with 3 defeats and 16 knockouts.
Akhmadaliev, an Olympian, is unbeaten at 10 wins with 7 knockouts. He unified the WBA and IBF titles after beating Daniel Roman via split decision in 2020 in Miami. He went on defending both titles twice against Japanese Ryosuke Iwasa and Jose Velasquez.
On the other hand, Tapales, the former WBO world bantamweight champion sports a record of 35-3 (win-loss) with 18 knockouts.
Before turning heads in the United States for knocking out Teshigawara, Tapales has already been known in the local boxing scene for his upset victory against long-time WBO world bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in 2016.
Tapales knocked out Sor Singyu in the 11th round in Thailand to become a world champion.
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