IBA Champions Night

IBA Champions’ Night Almaty sees Jafarov claim the IBA Asian Champion title

April 28th, 2024 / IBA Champions Night

Headlining a magnificent night of boxing at IBA Champions’ Night Almaty, Saidjamshid Jafarov from Uzbekistan defeated home favorite Talgat Shaiken to be named the IBA Asian Champion in the 71kg weight category at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Kazakhstan.

Shaiken won nine wins from nine professionally coming into the main event and Jafarov was continuing momentum after winning a silver medal at the 2023 IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships and back-to-back Asian titles too.

The opening rounds were full of action, seeing Jafarov land a majority of the punches, but saw Shaiken deliver damage of his own too. Methodical rounds continued until late in the sixth when the Uzbek boxer landed a left cross to really take control on points. Though, it was not straightforward for Jafarov who was on the receiving end of a compact left uppercut to his chin from Shaiken in the penultimate round which sent him into a swivel. The final three minutes saw a lot of quality strikes land, but once again, more coming from Jafarov who would be announced the winner.

Bekzad Nurdauletov of Kazakhstan continued his unbeaten professional record while ending his opponent, Dominican Republic’s Luis Antonio Tejeda’s streak in the eight-round match at 80kg.

An active opening round saw the pair touch gloves in respect, but it was much more one-sided in the next three minutes as Nurdauletov dished out several blows that looked to have sunk Tejeda, yet he managed to dig his feet into the mat in defiance. Just as the match was looking like a procession and an inevitable arm raise for the Kazakh boxer, Tejeda stunned Nurdauletov with a combination in the seventh round to keep him on his toes. He was able to avoid any knockdowns and unsurprisingly was given the unanimous win.

Kazakhstan’s Ali Akhmedov made quick work of his opponent Carlos Luis Rivero from Venezuela in the 76.2kg weight category, ending after less than six minutes. In just over a minute, Akhmedov had already pummeled Rivero in the corner forcing a knockdown and a count of eight after a body shot gave him a blow. To his credit, Rivero was able to last through round one through evasive tactics, but that would catch up with him. He would take a knee once again in the second round and the towel would be thrown in by his corner, ensuring no more pain could be inflicted.

In one of the best performances of the night, Ecuador’s Abel Mina defeated Magomed Madiev from Russia in the 75kg match. Patience was a virtue for Mina, who kept Madiev guessing where the next jab would come from – and principally this would come between the gloves, cleverly catching him with clean jabs with little reply. It was one of the best performances from the night, as the Ecuadorian was deemed the winner by unanimous decision.

Farukh Tokhtassunov of the home nation would perform a turnaround to defeat Russian Yuri Osipov in their 71kg contest. Osipov would have control of the match early on, but a lively third round saw Tokhtassunov spook his opponent, nearly causing him to fall. Despite being behind at that stage, the Kazakh knew what he was capable of if he could knock the Russian down. He continued to work hard and eventually turned the tide to seal a popular win.

Tajikistan’s Davlat Boltaev ensured it would not be a professional debut to remember for Kazakhstan’s Sagandyk Togambay as he won their 92kg contest. A sweet left hook in the second round from Togambay was one of the highlights of the match and he continued to look active before the momentum moved slightly back in the favor of the boxer from Tajikistan who showed the endurance necessary in the last two rounds as Togambay dealt with fatigue. The drama went right to the end as Togambay checked the head of Boltaev just as he looked to be on the back foot. The tenacity in those final rounds rewarded the Asian Games champion Boltaev with the win.

Bekman Soilbayev from Kazakhstan would win a close 60kg contest with Davit Azizyan of Armenia. Both received great reception from the crowd for their strikes, particularly from uppercuts. The final minute of the contest was furious, highlighted by a Soilbayev uppercut that took Azizyan’s head facing upwards. It could have been the difference between the two, as the Kazakh boxer came out victorious in the end.

In a tale between experience and youth, Kazakhstan’s Temirtas Zhussupov taught the younger Anvarzhan Khodziev from Kyrgyzstan a few lessons during his successful 48kg bout. World champion Zhussupov had Khodziev against the ropes in the early stages of the second round and replied by charging towards his foe in response. A clean strike in the third round had the Kyrgyz athlete dip at the knee, with the verdict never in doubt – but Khodziev was resilient in his first six-round bout, keeping Zhussupov honest until the final bell.

Armenian Artush Hovhannisyan caught his opponent Adlan Selmurzayev with accuracy on several occasions, with the Kazakh saved by the bell after facing a barrage of blows at the end of the fourth round. He would not return for the fifth-round bell as Selmurzayev retired at the halfway stage, giving Hovhannisyan the victory in the 79.6kg bout.

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