IBF Orders Jermell Charlo-Bakhram Murtazaliev
Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano having plans for Undisputed part two will now apparently have an intermission in between.
Jake Donovan of Boxingscene reported Thursday that the IBF on Wednesday ordered a mandatory title fight between its champ Jermell Charlo and number-one contender, Bakhram Murtazaliev.
Before you all ask, who is Bakhram Murtazaliev ? I’m here to tell you that he is a Russian, 19-0, 14 KOs, now training in California and is the long waiting mandatory challenger for IBF belt since 2019.
Ironically, he has been in action on the same Showtime boxing cards as Charlo, 34-1-1, albeit arranged by Murtazaliev’s team at Main Events, while they’ve patiently waited their turn at the 154 lb. title shot.
Hopes for immediate rematch between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño to crown undisputed 154-pound champ hit a potential roadblock, as IBF has officially ordered Charlo to honor overdue mandatory defense vs. Bakhram Murtazaliev. My @boxingscene story:https://t.co/1POpn8aGDm
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) July 22, 2021
Following the disputed split decision draw this past Saturday, Murtazaliev’s camp decided no time like the present to take a shot.
Speaking with Keith Idec and Boxingscene after the Charlo-Castano fight, Main Events promoter Kathy Duva pretty much laid out that win, lose or draw, they wanted next.
“He’s been wanting this [title] fight a long time,” Duva said about the chance to fight for the title. “He’s frustrated. He’s been working with [veteran trainer] Virgil [Hunter]. He’s been making progress with him. That’s part of the reason we didn’t argue about him taking these couple extra fights. I think it was good for him.”
While it stinks on the surface, but let’s look for the “silver lining” in all of this: we may have a chance for a different Undisputed fight scenario in 2022. With Charlo taking on Murtazaliev, it more than likely opens up Brian Castano take on his WBO mandatory, Australian Tim Tszyu next up to get that obligation out of the way.
Then, the winners of both contest try to run back the Undisputed title at junior middleweight afterwards.
So does Murtazaliev have a shot against Charlo? It’s an IBF mandatory and I don’t expect it to be much of a contest but he’s been waiting before the pandemic for his earned opportunity. The better question is: does Castano and Tszyu lock up and who will emerge out of that contest?