By Jake Donovan
Plans for Daniel Roman’s next title defense have suddenly taken an odd turn.
The unified super bantamweight titlist is due to next defend versus Uzbekistan’s Akhmadaliev, with the bout sent to an official purse bid hearing at World Boxing Association (WBA) headquarters in Panama City, Panama. World of Boxing, Akhmadaliev’s Russia-based promoter turned out to be the lone bidder, claiming the rights to the fight with an unchallenged bid of $145,000, WBA officials announced on Tuesday.
“World of Boxing won the purse bid to promote the Championship bout between the WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel Román and mandatory challenger Murodjon Akhmadaliev,” confirmed Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, president of the WBA.
Three fight dates were offered by World of Boxing: Thursday, September 19 in Los Angeles, Calif. (WBA reported Sept. 14, although supporting documents show Sept. 19); Saturday, Sept. 21 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; or Saturday, Sept. 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
All fall within the terms of the purse bid and ordered mandatory bout, with the WBA ordering the contest to take place no later than Sept. 30.
“We’re very excited that World of Boxing has won this purse bid and is ready to give ‘MJ’ the opportunity to fight Danny Roman for the WBA Super Bantamweight World Title in September,” stated Vadim Kornilov, Akhamdaliev’s manager. “‘MJ’ has accomplished a great deal as a professional in just over a year, has fought top opposition from his first fights as a pro, has defended his WBA Intercontinental Title numerous times, and is ready to fight for a world title and become a world champion.”
The bout wlll mark the first career title fight for the ambitious Akhmadaliev (6-0, 5KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist for his native Uzbekistan but who now lives and trains in Los Angeles. The 24-year old southpaw has quickly advanced from newcomer to prospect to contender since turning pro just last March.
All six of his pro bouts have take place in the United States, including a 3rd round knockout of Carlos Carson this past April in Inglewood, Calif. The bout took place on the DAZN-streamed undercard which also featured the super bantamweight unification bout between Roman (27-2-1, 19KOs) and TJ Doheny, with Akhmadaliev already guaranteed the winner.
Roman prevailed by 12-round decision in one of the best fights of 2019 to date. The bout earned the Los Angeleno the distinction of becoming a unified titlist in addition to making the fourth defense of his WBA belt which he claimed in a 9th round knockout of Shun Kubo in the Sept. 2017 on the road in Kyoto, Japan.
Overall, Roman has won 19 straight after a 8-2-1 career start. There was hopes of his bringing his winning streak and pair of titles to an August 24 DAZN show headlined by World super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada, who topped the aforementioned April show in a revenge-fueled 12-round win over prior conqueror and exiting champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Estrada will still move forward with the date, which will likely take place in his native Mexico. There stands far less of a chance, however, that Roman will remain along for the ride unless co-promoters Matchroom Boxing and Thompson Boxing are willing to wheel and deal with World of Boxing.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox