The Haney-Abdullaev card is underway in New York, streaming live on DAZN, and we’ve got the early results from the prelims for you.
Raymond Ford UD-4 Rafael Castillo
This is the fourth time I’ve seen Ford (4-0, 1 KO), and while he obviously has boxing skills, but the power is a real question and will become an even bigger one as he attempts to move up and face opponents who, like, can fight, and maybe not just be totally out of their depth against his talent. He’s only 20, so there’s time, and he just turned pro in March, the day before he turned 20. He’s someone worth having on your radar, but there is reason to question the ceiling on him, I think.
Christian Bermudez TKO-2 Jonathan Conde
This was the pro debut for 23-year-old Bermudez, a local amateur standout from Brooklyn who was looking like a real prospect about five years ago, and then did three years in prison. He brought a lot of fans to this show to see him fight. Then he absolutely drilled Conde (1-3, 1 KO) with a big shot, and referee Sparkle Lee didn’t even bother with a count, and she shouldn’t have. Conde took a hard spill and was done there. Letting him continue would’ve been pointlessly risky at this level.
Daniyar Yeleussinov TKO-1 Reshard Hicks
Yeleussinov, 28, won welterweight gold at Rio 2016 for Kazakhstan, but his pro performances had been sort of “eh” before tonight. He never looked special, never really seemed like a fighter headed for the big stages. Working with his third trainer as a pro is another red flag considering this was just his eighth fight.
But tonight he looked really good, and not just because he wiped out Hicks (12-1-1, 6 KO) in the first round. Hicks is a 34-year-old club fighter, that part is what it is, but it’s the way Yeleussinov (8-0, 4 KO) attacked, set things up, and put him away that was more promising than his previous performances. This was more I think what all of us were waiting to see from Daniyar as a pro. Beating Hicks is not a huge step toward a world title or anything, but his team aren’t looking to get to that level for, they say, a year and a half or so.
“I’m very happy with my performance, we worked hard for this. I was sort of frustrated with myself previously,” he admitted. “But now I’m very happy. You can see the knockout came in the first round.”
“I won everything on the amateur level, now I want to do the same on the professional level. I want to collect all the belts,” he said of his goals as a pro. Asked if he had any particular opponents in mind, he declined to name anyone. “Let’s go back to the drawing board and see what happens,” he offered.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev TKO-4 Wilner Soto
Soto came in on just about a week’s notice for this fight, as Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KO) was set to face Daniel Roman, the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titleholder, as Akhmadaliev is the WBA mandatory right now. But Roman got hurt, so that’s been postponed. Akhmadaliev, 24, kept his spot on the card, and made quick work of Soto (22-7, 12 KO). MJ felt it out for a round, maybe a round and a half, and then started laying it on. He went at him hard in the third and fourth, and the referee stepped in with Soto on his feet but taking enough shots that it was clear there was no great reason to continue. Soto didn’t complain at all.
Akhmadaliev, from Uzbekistan, won bronze at the 2016 Olympics as a bantamweight, and he has upside, but he also has some flaws. Soto wasn’t enough to test him, really, but Roman should be when that gets rescheduled. Hopefully we’ll see it before the end of the year, it’s a very good fight.
“I was born to fight. I’m ready to fight any day. I’ll wait on Roman to get recovered,” he said through a translator. “I’m ready for him any time, any place, all over the world.”