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WBA Formally Orders Leigh Wood-Kholmatov Bout

WBA Formally Orders Leigh Wood-Kholmatov Bout

Boxing News

WBA Formally Orders Leigh Wood-Kholmatov Bout

Dave Thompson- Matchroom Boxing

WBA Formally Orders Leigh Wood-Kholmatov Bout

Unless something is worked out or he vacates, WBA featherweight champion Leigh Wood (27-3, 16 KOs) has found his next opponent. Earlier today, the WBA formally ordered that he fight Uzbek contender Otabek Kholmatov (11-0, 10 KOs). WBA Championship Committee chairman Carlos Chavez confirmed the order to representatives of both parties:

“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ordered the fight between the WBA Featherweight Champion, Leigh Wood, and the number one challenger of the category, Otabek Kholmatov.”

Wood is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Mauricio Lara. The fight saw him regain the world title he had lost only three months prior to Lara. In a post fight interview, Wood expressed a desire to fight either Josh Warrington or Luis Alberto Lopez. However, plans to fight either of those men will need to take a backseat should Wood follow through on the WBA’s order.

Hear our insider Dan Rafael with T.J. Rives discussing Wood’s options off the latest “Fight Freaks Unite Recap” Podcast by clicking play below,

Who is Otabek Kholmatov?

Big Fight Weekend has briefly discussed Kholmatov before. In an article on potential next fights for Wood, we mentioned the possibility of the WBA ordering this bout. That possibility has now become reality.

Kholmatov was born on July 22, 1998 in Sirdaryo, Uzbekistan. Currently, manager Alex Vaysfeld and promoter Svyatoslav Mangushev of Undisputed Boxing Championship represent him. On August 13, 2021, he turned professional in Kissimmee, Florida, USA. In a bout scheduled for six rounds, he defeated Marcello Williams by first round knockout. By the end of December that year, he had nine fights in total, winning all of them by knockout.

All bouts took place in either the USA, Colombia, or the Dominican Republic. In his only fight of 2022, he went the distance by Andranik Grigorian in what was also Kholmatov’s first fight scheduled for 12 rounds. This year, he made his UK debut with a fifth round stoppage of Thomas Patrick Ward on the undercard of Lewis Ritson-Ohara Davies. The Ward fight served as an official eliminator for the title Wood now holds.

Should the fight come to fruition, it will definitely be an intriguing clash. The question now remains whether Wood and Kholmatov’s teams can make it happen?

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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