Murtazaliev wins IBF super welterweight title with knockout of Culcay

Murtazaliev wins IBF super welterweight title with knockout of Culcay

In the latest of what’s become a weirdly consistent trend for 2024, Russia’s Bakhram Murtazaliev claimed the vacant IBF super welterweight title earlier today with a dramatic knockout of local favorite Jack Culcay in the championship rounds.

Murtazaliev (22-0, 16 KO), who first became mandatory challenger in 2019, ended a nearly 16-month layoff when he entered the ring in Brandenburg. Culcay (33-5, 14 KO) gave him no time to shake the rust, knuckling down and trading leather with the younger, bigger man in what was by all accounts a terrific donnybrook.

By the time the 11th rolled around, however, the 38-year-old Culcay was out of juice. A jolting left hook from Murtazaliev spelled the beginning of the end, and though Culcay survived the subsequent broadside to beat the count, the ref correctly waved it off.

Every scorecard I’ve seen across the Internet had Culcay ahead at the time, and though two judges disagreed in a rare Inverse German Judging phenomenon, I’ll go ahead and call it a comeback. Murtazaliev follows in the footsteps of Raymond Ford, who avoided a split decision loss by stopping Otabek Kholmatov in the final seconds of last month’s vacant featherweight title fight, and Masanori Rikiishi, who took out Michael Magnesi in the 12th round of a WBC super featherweight eliminator less than two weeks ago.

With this victory, Sebastian Fundora’s upset of Tim Tszyu last week, and Israil Madrimov’s knockout of Magomed Kurbanov, all four of Jermell Charlo’s former titles have new homes. We’ll see how this eclectic lineup holds up in the coming months.

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