At the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, IBF and WBA super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs) broke down, dropped and stopped Ronny Rios (33-4, 16 KOs) in the twelfth and final round. (photos by Ed Mulholland)
Akhmadaliev was boxing very well in the first, with Rios boxing smart in the second with a stiff jab. Akhmadaliev was landing the harder, crisper punches at this point. Rios continued to jab in the third, but wasn't doing much of anything else - with Akhmadaliev still landing the bigger blows.
Rios got rocked by a combination in the fourth, with Akhmadaliev punishing him with big punches to the head and body. Rios would eventually recover as they started trading big shots to close the round out. In the fifth, Akhmadaliev was outboxing him and using movement. More of the same from Akhamadaliev in the sixth.
Akhamdaleiv began to employ the uppercut in the seventh, with Rios pressing forward but getting clipped with shots. Rios was once again rocked during the eight after being tagged by heavy right hands. More the same in the ninth. Rios came out firing in the tenth, pressing forward and letting both hands go. He was landing and backing Akhamadaliev up. The champion came back in the eleventh, catching Rios numerous times with hard punches. During the final round, Rios was once again rocked by heavy punches to the head and body. He went down in severe pain, but beat the count. The champ stayed on him, chopping away with big shots and the fight was waved off.