Bakhram Murtazaliev Stops Jack Culcay, Becomes New IBF 154-LB Champ

April 7, 2024
2 months
Bakhram Murtazaliev Stops Jack Culcay, Becomes New IBF 154-LB Champ

Bakhram Murtazaliev won the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight Title, stopping Jack Culcay in the eleventh round.

The belt became vacant after the former Undisputed Junior Middleweight Champion Jermell Charlo gave it up. Murtazaliev entered the fight with huge inactivity, having not fought since 2022. But to get this fight, he had to fight in Ramadan, which was not ideal due to his Muslim background. But since he had been the IBF mandatory for more than four years, it was an opportunity he could not miss out on.

Murtazaliev Title Shot

“He was on hold for a long time. He was tricked by (Jermell) Charlo not fighting him. Then (Charlo) released his belt. We were the mandatory, now we’re fighting for the vacant title. It’s not the best with what we can do, but this is the situation. We are still blessed to have Bakhram fight for the world title belt and become a world champion on Saturday. We had a very long, difficult run. When he arrived here (in the United States), he was thrown into the gym with all the sharks, with all the guys who had 300-400 amateur fights, who had 10-12 professional fights.

“He took a very long and a hard road, proved himself, became a good prospect, became a great contender, then he became the mandatory for the IBF. His dream was to fight for the (world) title. He wanted to become a champion. This is his chance now. There’s nothing we can do, regarding boxing. This sport is going to have frustrations and if you’re going to follow your frustrations, you’re going to lose your path. This is his path and that’s where he is going,” Egis Klimas, Murtazaliev’s manager

Murtazaliev Vs. Culcay

Murtazaliev began the bout well, using his reach to outbox Culcay to win the earlier rounds. The Russian pressed the action, but his fast pace slowed him down near the midway point. Culcay stayed in the fight but took shots on his way in as he attempted to close the distance. That paid dividend towards the middle rounds.

Culcay outworked his opponent, beating Murtazaliev to the punch as he landed the cleaner shots. After the halfway stage, Murtazaliev found a second wind. Murtazaliev was getting the better of Culcay, which was evident in the championship rounds.

In round 11, Murtazaliev connected with back-to-back overhand rights on Culcay’s chin. Culcay curled up in a defensive position as he held on, hoping to make it out of the round. Bakhram seized his moment, landing numerous combinations.

Culcay reacted with a left hook that connected, but he missed his overhand right. The miss proved costly, as Murtazaliev hit an uppercut over the top. Murtazaliev followed up with a left hook and right hand, sending Culcay to the canvas. The referee had seen enough, so the fight was waived off. At the time of the stoppage, Murtazaliev was ahead on two of the scorecards. The win took Murtazaliev’s record to 22-0, and he now places himself in a position for big unification fights at 154.

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