This past weekend we saw Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] score the biggest win of his career, as he claimed the WBA "regular" Featherweight title. It should however be noted that he's not the only notable Chinese fighter at 126lbs, as there is also Qiu Xiao Jun (23-4, 11) [裘晓君].
For years Jun was seen as the better fighter, the more promising man and the one more likely to reach the top of the sport. He has now been over-taken by Xu but looks set to begin a game of catch up.
Just days before Xu's bit win Jun held a press conference to announce that he would be back in the ring on February 26th to fight for the WBC International title. There was no opponent named but the show he's fighting on is supposed to have 5 bouts, with several title bouts. And Jun is also eyeing the chance to fight for a world title sooner rather than late, with some Chinese sites reporting June though that does seem stupidly early to get a shot.
Sadly we've not yet been informed of Jun's opponent for his February bout, or in fact any of the other bouts on the card, though we have been informed that the card will take place in Shenzhen.
Just a few hours ago Vesti reported that unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Zhankosh Turarov (22-0, 15) [Жанкош Тураров] is planning his return to the ring following injuries, injuries that have kept away from the ring since his September 2017 win over Bruno Leonardo Romay.
The unbeaten fighter didn't really reveal many details about his next bout, other than that his hand injury, which had been the cause of his "long break" had healed and that he is working under the Sagatbek Musakhanov, his first coach.
It should be noted that Turarov and Kanat Islam (25-0, 20) [Ислам Канат] have often cards together and Islam is himself talking about making a return to the ring in March, so it could be that both men share a card once more.
At 28 years old "Da Kazakh Kid" can likely bounce back from his injuries, but they have certainly stopped the momentum that he had previously been building, and he will probably have to have a few fights to shake some ring rust before taking on a serious test.
On February 10th unbeaten Japanese fighter Hiroki Okada (19-0, 13) [岡田 博喜] will face former WBO Lightweight world champion Raymundo Beltran (35-8-1-1, 21) in Fresno, California. Interestingly some book makers have already priced the bout up, and have made Beltran a very clear favourite for the bout.
The Mexican veteran has opened as a 1/8 favourite for the contest, in what will be his first bout since losing the WBO Lightweight world title to Jose Pedraza last August.
Okada has opened as 9/2 under-dog for the bout, which will be his second contest Stateside. Notable Okada awful on his US debut, struggling past Argentina's Cristian Rafael Coria.
At the moment only the "To win" market is available, though other markets are expected to open closer to fight night.
On March 24th we'll see Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10) take on Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17) in a battle of former world title holders.
Interestingly, given how far that bout is away, there are odds available in the UK for the bout, and the bookies have viewed it as a really hard to call bout.
The odds have opened with Lipinets as the slight betting favourite, with odds of 8/11 for him, whilst Peterson has been priced at 11/10 and the draw is 16/1.
At the moment there aren't many bookies taking bets on the bout, which is no surprise given how far away the bout is, but it is interesting to see the man born in Martuk as the favourite, especially given that he didn't look good last time out against Erick Bone and will be fighting at Welterweight for just the second time.
This coming weekend Janibek Alimkhanuly (4-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы] will be facing off with Steven Martinez (18-4, 13). Interestingly the bout has been priced up by the UK bookmakers, who have opened up a "To Win" market for the bout.
The unbeaten Kazakh fighter have is widely available at 1/4 to win the bout at the moment, though is best priced at 2/7 to win and extend his winning start. These odds seem short given that Alimkhanuly hasn't yet settled as a professional, but he is a very accomplished amateur and is likely being priced on that basis, rather than his professional performances and accomplishments so far.
Martinez on the other hand is available at 3/1 to win the bout. Although he's suffered 4 losses they have typically been close, with a split decision loss to Denis Doughlin and a majority decision loss to Terrell Gausha. He should be the under-dog, but should really be seen as a live one given his prior performances.
The draw has been best priced at 25/1 .
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