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Daniel Roman: Akhmadaliev is strong but has flaws

The unified junior featherweight titleholder defends his belts next Thursday.

Carlos Baeza/Thompson Boxing Promotions
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

WBA and IBF junior featherweight titleholder Daniel Roman is set to return to action on Thursday, Jan. 30, when he makes a postponed mandatory title defense against Murodjon Akhmadaliev in a world title tripleheader that will stream live on DAZN from Miami.

Roman (27-2-1, 10 KO) says he knows what the former amateur standout Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KO) brings to the table, but he also sees some flaws he believes he can exploit.

“Murodjon Akhmadaliev beat my teammate Isaac Zarate so I’m very familiar with him,” said Roman at a media workout. “I know he’s a strong kid, an aggressive fighter, he’s hungry and he’s going to try to take me out as best he can.

“He makes a few mistakes, he likes to fight with his hands down, not sure if that’s his style, but those are the flaws I see in him. Akhmadaliev might not have the experience as a pro, but he was a great Olympic amateur who won a bronze medal. At this level there are no easy fights. His style and my style are going to make for a great bout.”

Roman, who won his WBA title in Japan in 2017 and added the IBF belt in 2019 with a great win over TJ Doheny, says he’s well-prepared for what should be another tough test, and that the shoulder injury that postponed this fight is not a concern.

“It was a great training camp like always,” he said. “We expect Akhmadaliev to come with his best and we are not taking him lightly. My shoulder injury is behind me and I’m feeling 100 percent. This is a world championship fight and we are ready to go.”

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