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Christian Mbilli vs Vaughn Alexander announced for December 17th; Ali Akhmedov in line after

Assuming he wins next month, Mbilli has a 2023 eliminator lined up with Ali Akhmedov

Christian Mbilli celebrates after a win over Cesar Ugarte in 2017
Christian Mbilli celebrates after a win over Cesar Ugarte in 2017
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
John Hansen joined Bad Left Hook as a staff writer in 2021 and co-hosts the "Prophets of Goom" podcast.

Undefeated super middleweight Christian Mbilli has not one, but two fights on the horizon.

Mbilli’s management company announced Monday that the WBC #2 ranked contender is set to face Vaughn Alexander on December 17th in Nantes, France. A win there would advance Mbilli to a recently ordered WBC eliminator against Ali Akhmedov.

With no disrespect intended, Mbilli (22-0, 20 KO) should be a notable and appropriate favorite to advance past Alexander (17-6-1, 10 KO) without too much difficulty.

Alexander is a tough veteran, but he’s 36 years old now, and he’s spent the last few years as a gatekeeper and prospect checker type of fighter. Among his losses are decisions against Janibek Alimkhanuly, Bek Melikuziev, and Anthony Sims Jr, with his only career knockout loss coming against Zach Parker back in March of 2021.

Alexander will be Mbilli’s seventh fight in two years (give or take five days), most of them coming against Alexander-level opposition, and all but one ending by knockout. The only exception was Ronald Ellis, who went the distance last December, but lost all but a single round on one judge’s scorecard in a unanimous decision win for Mbilli.

If all goes as expected against Alexander, things could get intriguing for Mbilli in 2023. With Canelo Alvarez recovering from a wrist injury and WBC Interim champion David Benavidez signed to face WBC #1 Caleb Plant early next year, Mbilli is the highest rated healthy WBC super middleweight without a major fight on his radar.

Enter Ali Akhmedov (19-1, 14 KO), the WBC’s #10 super middleweight, ordered as a mandatory eliminator for Mbilli last week at the WBC’s annual convention. That announcement wasn’t among the headline fights ordered last week, but it’s an intriguing one nonetheless.

Akhmedov is the current WBC “Silver” champion, if that’s worth anything to you. If it is, be aware that Mbilli is the WBC Continental Americas champion, though I have no idea how many WBC Frontline Battle or WBC Health Care Heroes commemorative belts it would take to balance the exchange rate between Mbilli’s and Akhmedov’s respective lesser WBC titles. I do know that neither man holds the WBC International super middleweight belt currently in the possession of Ivan Zucco. So, raise or lower your expectations according to however you personally rank the various secondary WBC offerings of inefficient pant-suspending jewelry.

Belt inflation snark aside, Mbilli vs Akhmedov would be a fantastic test for both men, and potentially a very entertaining fan-friendly style matchup.

Akhmedov suffered a setback against Carlos Gongora two years ago, running out of steam in a fight he led widely on all cards before getting knocked out 63 seconds shy of the final bell. He’s regained a little momentum since then, winning three straight, the most recent being a unanimous clean sweep of Gabe Rosado on the Canelo-GGG 3 undercard.

It’s a tantalizing potential step up for Mbilli, but Vaughn Alexander obviously must be dealt with first. Many promising fights never came to pass because of what seemed to be perfunctory opponents along the way. So, let’s all just daydream about it for a month, and maybe we’ll get an official date for a Mbilli-Akhmedov showdown sometime in early 2023.

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