Notebook: Akhmadaliev defense lands on 'Bam' Rodriguez card
Cruiserweight titlist Okolie, Catterall return on same show after long layoffs; Peullo against Romero on tap; Quick hits; Show and tell
A note to Fight Freaks Unite readers: I created Fight Freaks Unite in January 2021 and eight months later it also became available for paid subscriptions for additional content — and as a way to help keep this newsletter going and for readers to support independent journalism. If you haven’t upgraded to a paid subscription please consider it. If you have already, I truly appreciate it! Also, consider a gift subscription for the Fight Freak in your life.
Unified junior featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev will fight Marlon Tapales in an overdue mandatory defense in one of the fights Matchroom Boxing added to its April 8 card on DAZN on Wednesday.
Akhmadaliev-Tapales will serve as the co-feature to the vacant WBO flyweight title fight between Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, who vacated the WBC junior bantamweight title to move down in weight for the opportunity, and Cristian Gonzalez.
The card will take place at the Boeing Center at Tech Port in Rodriguez’s hometown of San Antonio.
Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs), 28, a southpaw from Uzbekistan, will make his fourth defense since taking the IBF and WBA belts from Daniel Roman in January 2020. Akhmadaliev fought just once in 2022, a 12th-round knockout of previous mandatory challenger Ronny Rios in June.
“I'm happy to be back in the ring,” Akhmadaliev said. “It's been a while, but finally we're here for an exciting match against a great fighter in Tapales. He's a former champion. We have similar styles, so I am preparing for tough action-packed fight.”
Former bantamweight titlist Tapales (36-3, 19 KOs), 30, of the Philippines, also had just one fight in 2022, a second-round knockout of journeyman Jose Estrella in May.