LAS VEGAS – Bakhram Murtazaliev has stepped apart 4 occasions to permit three title unification fights and one other mandated protection since he grew to become the IBF’s obligatory challenger within the junior middleweight division.

The unbeaten Russian contender thus has no intention of permitting the winner of the Jermell Charlo-Tim Tszyu combat to defend the IBF 154-pound crown towards somebody apart from him after they sq. off January 28. The 29-year-old Murtazaliev suspects, although, that he’ll combat for a vacant championship when he lastly will get his title shot in 2023.

Murtazaliev (21-0, 15 KOs) made that daring declare after he simply out-boxed Mexican veteran Roberto Valenzuela Jr. (20-4, 19 KOs) to win an eight-round unanimous choice Saturday night time at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

“Each of them are scared to combat with me,” Murtazaliev informed “The winner is gonna vacate the IBF title.”

Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), of Richmond, Texas, is scheduled to defend his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 154-pound championships towards Australia’s Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) on January 28 in Las Vegas. Showtime will air Charlo-Tszyu as a foremost occasion from Mandalay Bay Resort and On line casino’s Michelob ULTRA Area.

“Inside six, seven, eight rounds max,” Murtazaliev mentioned, “Charlo will knock Tszyu out with a straight proper.”

If the Charlo-Tszyu combat unfolds the way in which Murtazaliev predicted, the Oxnard, California resident hopes he’s improper about his notion of Charlo’s willingness to combat him. The 32-year-old Charlo is boxing’s first absolutely unified 154-pound champion of the four-belt period and is seventh on’s most up-to-date pound-for-pound record.

“I would favor to combat Charlo, in fact,” Murtazaliev mentioned. “If that have been to occur, there can be 4 titles on the road, as a substitute of only one title to combat another person. Charlo can be ultimate.”

Murtazaliev grew to become the IBF’s obligatory challenger within the 154-pound division in March 2020, quickly after Jeison Rosario upset Julian Williams by fifth-round technical knockout to win the IBF, IBO and WBA belts. He stepped apart to permit the Dominican Republic’s Rosario to combat Charlo, who knocked out Rosario within the eighth spherical of their title unification combat in September 2020.

Murtazaliev, who’s promoted by Important Occasions, stepped apart twice extra to allow Charlo to face former WBO champ Brian Castano in back-to-back title unification bouts. He has been compelled to attend for his title shot but once more as a result of the WBO’s obligatory challenger, Tszyu, will get his championship probability earlier than Murtazaliev.

His victory over Valenzuela marked Murtazaliev’s fourth look on a Premier Boxing Champions undercard since he grew to become the IBF’s obligatory challenger practically three years in the past. He was supplied with these undercard slots in change for frequently delaying his title shot.

 “I really feel they made a mistake as a result of after I grew to become the obligatory I used to be [27] years outdated and I didn’t have a lot expertise,” Murtazaliev mentioned. “Now, I’m [almost] 30 years outdated. I’ve a whole lot of expertise. And for them, will probably be very, very exhausting. Yearly and each combat I get higher.”

Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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