Uzbekistan, a country situated in Central Asia with a population of nearly 31 million people, became the top at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games for men’s boxing after earning seven medals including 4 gold medals, followed by the most famous boxing team, the Cuban boxing team who gained 6 medals.
After this successful participation at Rio 2016, Uzbekistan has become a country of boxing and led to boxing to become a more popular sport around the country as well. So far, Uzbekistan has gained four Olympic gold, two silver and seven medals in men’s boxing.
First Uzbekistan started to take part in the Summer Olympic Games as an independent country in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where Karim Tulaganov provided the first Olympic medal in men’s light-middleweight for Uzbekistan for the first time.
In 2000, Uzbekistan earned its first men’s gold medal gained by Muhammadkodir Abdullaev who defeated Puerta Rican Miguel Angel Cotto in the final bout at light-welterweight in 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In the next Olympics was held in Athens, Uzbekistan participated with nine boxers and four of them who arrived in the round of 16 with five victories and four byes.
Three more barely missed medalling by being defeated in the quarterfinals. But, Bahodirjon Sultonov at Bantamweight and Utkirbek Haydarov at Light heavyweight had won their quarterfinal bouts both lost in the semifinals to secure bronze medals.
2016 Rio Olympic Games was really victorious international tournament for Uzbekistan’s athletes. In men’s boxing, Uzbekistan’s Boxers gained seven medals overall; three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
The Tashkent Boxing Night was an amazing professional gala on Saturday evening where Uzbekistan’s current heroes all attended in the event. Eight of the Uzbek stars attended in the Tashkent Boxing Night and all of them won their contests in the front of the home crowd at the Humo Arena.
In 3 April 2021 years, the Uzbek stars made a perfect session at the Tashkent Boxing Night
The President of the Asian Boxing Confederation Mr. Anas Alotaiba, the Executive Director of the ASBC Mr. Ali Salameh also followed the bouts from the venue in Tashkent as many of the ASBC Executive Committee members and officials.
ASBC Asian Champion and Jakarta Asian Games winner Ikboljon Kholdarov had impressive performances in 2017 and in 2018. He has done his professional debut in the Tashkent Boxing Night and he proved his talent during his opening contest against Tanzania’s Kulwa Buahiri who arrived from Dar-es-Salaam to the Gala. The 24-year-old Uzbek was fantastic in the first round and he decided their contest with tough shots in the second making a successful debut.
Sanjar Tursunov claimed gold medal at the Pavlodar 2016 ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships and he was quickly involved to their elite team. The heavyweight (91kg) boxer achieved bronze medal at the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships and qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games through Amman. The 22-year-old Uzbek faced with Ukraine’s Ivan Yukhta who reached good international results in recent years. Tursunov proved he developed well physically since the Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and his condition decided their contest in Tashkent.
Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov is the defending AIBA World Champion, ASBC Asian Champion and Asian Games winner therefore he was the top favourite against Tanzania’s Tasha Mjuaji despite of his professional debut. The 25-year-old Uzbek boxer dominated the first exchanges and continued the strong performance against the African athlete who was unable to find the rhythm which delivered the next success for the host country.
Rio 2016 Olympic Games winner Hasanboy Dusmatov is one of the most popular local boxer who competed for the WBA International Title against Mushin Kizota in Tashkent. Dusmatov caught his African opponent one time in the opening round and finished the contest in the second with tough combinations taking the title. Uzbekistan’s defending AIBA super heavyweight (+91kg) champion Bakhodir Jalolov also spent only two rounds in the ring when he knocked out Latvia’s Kristaps Zutis in Tashkent.
Asian Games gold medalist and ASBC Asian Champion Israil Madrimov had already successful professional contests during his career but he met with another undefeated boxer, DR Congo’s Emmany Kalombo in Tashkent. The 26-year-old Uzbek, who has done his international debut still back in 2011, faced with a competitive rival and he had to box until the end of the tenth round. Madrimov’s uppercuts worked well in the contest which was a real fight between the two unbeaten boxers. The Uzbek star was able to reduce the fighting distance successfully and won the contest by unanimous decision.
Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Champion and Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medalist Shakhram Giyasov met for the WBA International Title with Mexico’s Patricio Lopez Moreno in the seventh bout of the day. The Mexican boxer was saved by the bell following Giyasov knocked him down in the end of the second round. Lopez was able to continue the fight and he had a one-minute rest between the second and third rounds. The 27-year-old Uzbek landed a lethal punch in the third round and the referee confirmed his classic KO success in Tashkent.
Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist and ASBC Asian Champion 26-year-old Murodjon Akhmadaliev fought against Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa for the WBA World Title in the last eighth bout of the Boxing Night. It was the main bout of the day and it delivered a close first round when Akhmadaliev tried to reduce the distance. The Uzbek boxer started the second in a more aggressive way and landed better punches which reached the target. Iwasa had great defence but he was not able to launch good shots in the first three rounds. The Uzbek boxer was near to finishing the contest in the beginning of the fifth round but the local crowd supported him well to make this happen. Akhmadaliev carried out a real massacre in the second part of the fifth round and the referee ended their unequal contest in Tashkent.
By Sher Karimov