Former Unified Super Bantamweight World Champion Murodjon ‘MJ’ Akhmadaliev has re-watched his fight against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales from this past Saturday night and is incredulous at the scoring which resulted in him losing his world titles (WBA, IBF). Scores for the split decision was 118-110 for Akhmadaliev, scored by Texas Hall of Fame judge Javier Alvarez, and 115-113 twice for Tapales by Sergio Caiz from California and Jose Roberto Torres from Puerto Rico.
Broadcast internationally from San Antonio, TX on DAZN, the fight was fought in close quarters which found the 28-year-old Uzbek southpaw consistently beating his Filipino opponent to the punch.
“I came into the dressing room and I felt like I was dead, my body was still moving, but I knew my life was over, everything I worked for my entire life was now over” said Akhmadaliev, (11-1-0, 8 KOs). “I would never have any excuses, I knew that if my hand was not raised, then I lost my titles and the most important fight of my life. But then my team walked in, and my manager and trainers told me, stop crying, take your belts and go home as a Champion, ‘you did not lose this fight Champ!’
“I did take a couple of big shots in the first couple of rounds, but I felt like I recovered well and was taking the fight to him from round four on. After watching the fight at home now, I am seeing why my team was so supportive, I do not believe that he did enough to win this fight and take my hard-earned titles away from me!”
“I’ve worked hard my entire life to get to this point of being a world champion and on the way to an undisputed world title fight; it’s just very hard to fathom that everything was taken from me in one night, and they didn’t deserve it.”
Akhmadaliev had an extensive amateur career compiling a record of 300-15 in addition to a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Said manager Vadim Kornilov, “This is just not something that is acceptable. Murodjon has dedicated his entire life to the sport, he’s built a very successful career in the United States as a professional boxer, far away from his homeland, he became a unified world champion and has made three defenses of his titles with two of them being mandatory challengers ordered by the WBA and the IBF. We cannot let things like this happen in the sport and just act like it’s ok, or that this is mere incompetence or someone’s subjective view of the fight. Some people will argue that there are no grounds for complaints as it was a pretty close fight, but let this be on their consciousness. We have asked numerous reputable representatives of this great sport to score this fight and their scores have Murodjon unanimously winning this fight and leading on the scorecards at least by a couple of rounds, which is enough to keep your titles and get your hard earned victory. We are currently collecting all the necessary information to take action on this and protest the decision with both the WBA and the IBF, as well as the Texas Boxing Commission.
“We believe that there should be an immediate rematch ordered, and if Tapales won this fight by split decision the first time, now being the champion he and his team will only have more confidence and all the Champion Perks on their side to get a unanimous decision in the rematch!”
Dmitry Bivol, the WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion, is a teammate and a close, long-time friend of Murodjon who was also appalled with the decision. “Frankly, it’s a disgrace and very harmful to the sport of boxing. I had ‘MJ’ winning a clear decision and was stunned when the scorecards were read.”