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Home » Exclusive: Kathy Duva talks Bakhram Murtazaliev’s IBF title win

Exclusive: Kathy Duva talks Bakhram Murtazaliev’s IBF title win

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World Boxing News managed to gain the reaction of promoter Kathy Duva to an exceptional IBF super welterweight title win by Bakhram Murtazaliev.

Traveling to Germany last weekend to face Jack Culcay, Murtazaliev extended his undefeated run with an impressive late stoppage. In the process, Murtazaliev became a significant player in a wide-open division.

Since Jermell Charlo’s titles were split and vacated, Sebastian Fundora and Murtazaliev took advantage. Both are now in line for some serious paydays in the coming months.

The proud Duva, who has another world champion to add to her collection at Main Events, was asked by WBN for her immediate thoughts on the victory.

“It’s funny. After 45 years in this business, I thought that I could no longer become emotional about a win. But this was the first time I have ever had to hold back tears,” she exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Bakhram waited so long and worked so hard. It was inspiring to see him beat the odds on his opponent’s home turf and finish it off with an emphatic stoppage.”

Murtazaliev has opened a lot of doors with the win. Duva was asked how she feels now the secret is out regarding the 22-0 star who scored his 16th knockout to take the red title.

“Well, the fight wasn’t shown here in the US. But those who were lucky enough to see it know that he is going to be a force in the division. I think that Bakhram will be able to hold his own with all of the top fighters at 154. It’s just a matter of who’s up first.

“At this moment, Bakhram is getting a well-deserved rest. His manager, Egis Klimas, is visiting Oleksandr Usyk in his training camp. I will gather information about all of the current possibilities in the coming weeks, and I will discuss the next moves with Egis when we have enough information. At this point, everything is on the table.

“Whichever one gives Bakhram a chance to make the most money is the one we will look at. He has certainly earned it.”

Asked whether an extended stay at super-welterweight is planned or a move up to 160 will follow soon, Duva outlined: “Most definitely, he will stay at 154. Bakhram has no plan to move up in weight at this point.

“The 154 division is one of the most competitive, exciting, and lucrative divisions in the sport. He certainly has the frame to move up to middleweight and even super middle. But he is going to take advantage of the current opportunities at 154 before even thinking about moving up,” she concluded.

Fundora would be the obvious choice for the unification bout. However, the new WBC and WBO champion has ties to a verbal rematch with Tim Tszyu. Terence Crawford could be crowned WBO titleholder by default if Fundora vs Tszyu II does happen, with the WBO wanting ‘Bud’ to get his shot by September.

If Crawford becomes free and has the vacant strap by the fall, Murtazaliev would be an eye-catching unification option for the WBO and IBF belts by the end of 2024.

Duva certainly has something to think about.

Read all articles and learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor Phil Jay.

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