We've known about a December 16th Kazakh card for a while, though all we really knew was that there would be 5 fighters flying the flag for Kazakhstan.
Today the entire card card was released, and unsurprisingly it's not exactly full of competitive bouts. In fact sadly it's actually a really disappointing line up of visiting fighters, from Ukraine, in what appear to be little more than mismatches in favour of the men representing Kazakhstan.
The reveal of the card has seen:
Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] being matched with Ukrainian debutant Maxim Moroz (0-0), over 6 rounds,
The once beaten Askhat Ualikhanov (4-1, 2) [Уалиханов Асхат] will be up against Yaroslav Yurov (2-0)
The hard hitting Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6) [Айдар Шарибаев] will be facing off with Artem Ayvazidi (11-13-1, 5),
Unbeaten Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] has been matched against Pavlo Krolenko (0-1)
and Chinese-Kazakh Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (14-0-1, 5) will be risking his unbeaten record against against Farid Aliyev (5-0, 5), from Azerbaijan
Over the last few years Canadian promoter "Eye of the Tiger Management" has worked alongside a number of touted Kazakh prospects. It now seems however that those relationships are falling apart, with Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] reportedly leaving the promoter, the second Kazakh to do so in the space of weeks.
At the end of November we reported that Batyrzhan Jukembayev (14-0-0-2, 12) [Батыржан Джукембаевto] had essentially left, in the hope of fighting out of the US, and now Khussainov has also left.
Khussainov won't be out of the ring long however and instead he will be featured on the Kazakh card later this month, which will also feature the likes of Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] as well as Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6) [Айдар Шарибаев]. In fact Khussainov's image has been added to the poster over the last few days due to his addiction to the show.
This is an interesting development in what appears to be a pretty clear rift between the Kazakh fighters and the Canadian promoter.
Yesterday in Canada fight fans saw Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] score his 9th straight win thanks to a perfectly placed body shot against the experienced Mexican Jesus Laguna (22-13-3, 19).
The talented Kazakh hadn't fought since March, when he narrowly defeated Gilberto Meza. Here however he looked sharp and much better than he had in recent bouts.
The finish came when Laguna landed a right hand to the body of Khussainov, who returned fire with a left hand to the mid-section of Laguna. The different in quality of the shots was huge and Laguna doubled over to the canvas as he took the 10 count, to suffer his 9th career stoppage loss.
The win will help Khussainov put a disappointing year behind him, and although he's not as far along with his career as he'd have hoped this KO does give him something to build off, and we hope he uses it as a launchpad of sorts as he continues to develop under Eye of the Tiger Management.
(Image courtesy of Eye of the Tiger management)
Later today in Quebec fans will be able to see Ablaikhan Khussainov (8-0, 5) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] hunt his 9th straight win, as he takes on the experienced Jesus Laguna (22-12-3, 19).
On Friday the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters came in under the 135lb Lightweight limit.
The heavier man was Laguna, who was 134.9lbs on the scales and looked the more rugged man.
Khussainov on the other hand was 134.3lbs and looked in good condition, though looked like he could perhaps boil down a bit further and potentially make the 130lb Super Featherweight limit if he really wanted to.
Notably this will be Khusainov's first bout since March, when he defeated Gilberto Meza over 8 rounds and we're hoping for a better performance this time out by the unbeaten Kazakh hopeful.
(Image courtesy of Eye of the Tiger Management)
On October 13th at the Montreal Casino in Montreal, Quebec, fans will get the chance to see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Nurzat Sobirov (7-0, 6) [Сабиров Нурзат] take a huge step up in class to face off with tough and experienced Mexican Adrian Luna Flores (20-5-1, 13).
The Kazakh prospect is one of the many Canadian based Kazakh's, who are touted for big things. He made his debut in June 2017 and has impressed, albeit against relatively limited opposition. This time however he is facing someone of note.
Flores is best known for losing to Ryota Murata back in 2014, in what was Murata's 5th professional bout. Since then the Mexican hasn't fought too often, but has served as one of Murata's chief sparring partners, training with the Japanese fighter on a regular basis. That level of sparring should help help Flores to really test Sabirov.
On the same card will be two more Kazakh hopefuls, Ablaikhan Khussainov (8-0, 5) [Хусаинов Абылайхан], who faces Jesus Laguna (22-12-3, 19), and Sadriddin Akhmedov (3-0, 3) [Ахмедов Садриддин], who faces Mexican southpaw Jesus Javier Mendoza (7-5-1, 6)
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