Murodjon Akhmadaliev to face Marlon Tapales in mandatory title defense

Unified junior featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev will get a mandatory obligation out of the way to start his 2023 campaign, has learned.

Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs), who holds the IBF and WBA belts, will face Filipino Marlon Tapales at a venue to be announced in the United States in April, most likely on DAZN.

The 28-year-old Akhmadaliev, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, won a world title in his eighth professional bout, defeating the now-retired Daniel Roman by split decision in April 2020 to win two 122-pound title belts.

Akhmadaliev has made three successful defenses, including a fifth-round TKO triumph over former titleholder Ryosuke Iwasa, and a 12th-round stoppage of Ronny Rios. However, he has been out of action for the last seven months due to a broken hand.

Tapales (36-3, 19 KOs) has notched three consecutive wins since getting knocked out by Iwasa in the 11th round of their scheduled 12-round IBF interim title bout back in December 2019 in New York.

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