Miami, Florida - For the IBF, WBA super bantamweight titles, Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) became a unified champion by winning a twelve round split decision over Daniel Roman (27-3-1, 10 KOs). The scores were 115-113 for Roman, 115-113 for Akhmadaliev, and 115-113 for Akhmadaliev. (photos by Ed Mulholland)
Akhmadaliev came out pressing the issue and was landing good shots on Roman. Roman did well in the second, but he ate the harder shots in the round. Akhmadaliev was making Roman mix it up with hard exchanges in the third.
Some harder shots landed by both early in the fourth. Roman landing a bit better, especially to the body. Akhmadaliev was able to edge out the fifth with harder punches in spots. A close seventh that could have gone either way. Akhmadaliev and Roman traded heavy blows in the eight.
Some big exchanges at the start of the ninth. Both had their moments, with Akhmadaliev closing it strong. Akhmadaliev was coming on strong with his power shots in the tenth and further damaged a cut above the right eye of Roman.
The eleventh was quiet before Akhmadaliev exploded with punches in the closing moments. Roman had a very strong twelfth, as he placed a lot of pressure on Akhmadaliev and put his punches together.
“I think I won the fight, at least by a point. It was a close fight. MJ is a hell of a fighter – a strong fighter. I made the adjustments but I just came up short,” Roman said.
“MJ is a complicated fighter. I had a plan but at the last minute it changed. He was the better man tonight. I am a fighter, i will fight anyone they put in front of me. MJ was my WBA mandatory and it cost me a lot to get that belt so I wanted to keep it. But we can learn a lot in victory and a lot in defeat. I would like a rematch if MJ will give me one. This is going to make me stronger, just like the other two losses did for me.”