Fresh off a successful title defense and homecoming, Murodjon Akhmadaliev has another mandatory challenger to focus on.
The WBA ordered Akhmadaliev, the current unified WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion, to fight Ronny Rios. In addition, the WBA stated that Akhmadaliev and Rios are in a negotiation period with a May 6 deadline to strike a deal. If no deal can be reached by then, a purse bid could be called to ensure such a fight happens.
The WBA Championships Committee ordered the mandatory fight between the Super Bantamweight Super Champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev from Uzbekistan and the mandatory challenger Ronny Rios from the United States.
The Committee sent the communication to both teams, who are aware of the mandatory fight. The period for Akhmadaliev’s mandatory defense expired on January 29th, 2021, but the WBA allowed the champion to make the mandatory defense of the IBF, organization of which he is also champion, against Japanese Ryosuke Iwasa last April 3rd.
According to rule C.13, Bout Limitations, the champion cannot fight a boxer who is not the official challenger within 60 days after the expiration of the mandatory defense period.
Accordingly, the Committee grants 30 days for negotiations starting on April 6th, 2021. This period will end on May 6th, 2021 (- 5 GMT). In case both parties fail to reach an agreement or there is unwillingness of any of the fighters or their representatives, the Committee may call to purse bids to grant the promotional rights of the fight.The WBA On Ordering Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Ronny Rios
Akhmadaliev won the unified titles back in January 2020 with a split decision victory over Daniel Roman. Akhmadaliev would not fight for the remainder of the year, with the coronavirus pandemic playing a large role for his inactivity. The 26-year-old native from Uzbekistan returned to his home country on April 3 for his first pro bout there. In that fight, Akhmadaliev stopped Ryosuke Iwasa, the mandatory challenger for the IBF title, in five rounds.
Rios previously challenged for the WBC super bantamweight world title in 2017, losing to then-champion Rey Vargas. Since then, Rios went on to win five of his next six fights and won his last four bouts. The 31-year-old Rios’ current win streak includes victories over previously unbeaten boxer Diego De La Hoya and Oscar Negrete in his most recent bout this past February.
Prior to the pandemic, the WBA had ordered “Regular” super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa to fight Rios. However, that fight never happened due to the pandemic putting a stop to all boxing for several months. Since that initial WBA order, Figueroa would go on to fight once, a 10th-round TKO win over Damien Vazquez last September.