Super bantamweight contender Murodjon Akhmadaliev 7-0 (6) is chasing a slice of history as he prepares to challenge WBA and IBF 122-pound champion Daniel Roman 27-2-1 (10) at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday night.
Victory for the 25-year-old will see him join Leon Spinks’ record of becoming a unified world champion in just his eighth pro fight and become the first unified ruler from boxing-mad Uzbekistan.
“It’s history in the making,” said Akhmadaliev, the WBA mandatory contender. “To become a unified champion in just eight fights and the first from Uzbekistan is really some great history for me to make, I want to make my country proud. Boxing is the number one sport in Uzbekistan and with God’s blessing, I think everything will play out well.
“It’s a dream come true for me. I have been climbing this mountain for 17 years, in the gym twice a day in that time. I’ve broken my wrists, my fists, my nose, bloodied face, had cuts; all that sacrifice is for fights like this.
“I know people think I am inexperienced and Danny will take me out or something like that, but trust me, I have given it my all for 17 years and it will be no different for fight night.
“This is the most important fight in my career so far. I’m fighting the unified champion, the best in the division, so it’s a big step up for me but we’re very well prepared for this fight with my coaches Antonio and Joel Diaz.
“I’ve only had seven fights and I haven’t felt challenged in any of those fights. I am not comparing those fights to this one as I know they are different and this is a hard fight.
“All the talk about his experience that he brings to the ring is fine but it’s only when we get in the ring together that we will see who is the best fighter, the most experienced, who is stronger, faster, sharper and smarter. I don’t like to talk too much; I love to fight, and I can’t wait to fight him.”
Akhmadaliev’s clash with Roman is part of a world championship boxing tripleheader as Demetrius Andrade 28-0 (17) defends his WBO middleweight title against contender Luke Keeler 17-2-1 (5) and Tevin Farmer 30-4-1 (6) defending his IBF super featherweight title against JoJo Diaz 30-1 (15).
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