Yesterday inn the US there was a scheduled bout with Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Izim Izbaki (1-0, 1) [Изим Турсунулы Избаки] facing off with Matt Foster (0-3), who had been stopped in all 3 of his defeats. That bout was however cancelled after Foster failed to pass his medical.
Izbaki revealed not only why the bout was off, but also that he will be fighting in April, explaining on Instagram “Unfortunately, I'm not fighting today, because my opponent has not passed a medical examination. We’ll wait for April now,” [Translated]. At the moment however no real details of the April bout have been revealed.
The show yesterday did go on to feature a Kazakh in action, though it was a disappointing result, with Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1-1, 12) [Эюбов Бахтияр] being held to an unexpected draw over 8 rounds with Mexican foe Jose Luis Rodriguez (25-12-1, 13), in what will go down as a notable upset result for the once touted Bakha Bullet.
Kazakh puncher Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-0-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] is scheduled to begin his 2019 campaign on February 15th with an 8 round bout in Kansas, though his opponent is yet to be announced.
The hard hitting prospect generated quite a bit of attention early in his career as he raced at to 9-0 (9) but has since failed to shine, struggling to a controversial win over Karim Mayfield, then being taken the distance by Gilbert Venegas as he career really lost it's moment. Despite fighting twice last year he didn't really right the ship, with a No Contest against Maurice Chalmers and then a 7th round TKO over Nicholas Givan in the summer.
At the age of 32 Eyubov can't really have another poor year if he's wanting to move into big fights. This really is the year where he must kick on, and with a fight in February scheduled it does give him the option of fighting of 3 or 4 times, though he will need to put in good performances if he's to open the doors that were expected to be open for him when he was sweeping aside opponents like Jared Robinson.
Interesting a Kazakh source has also linked Kazakh born German Christina Hammer (23-0-0-1, 11) [Хаммер Кристина] to a bout on this show, and her opponent also hasn't been announced.
Over the last week or so the controversy in boxing has mainly focused on AIBA and the poor decisions that we've been seeing in the Rio Olympics. This past Friday however the controversy returned to the professional side of the sport with touted Kazakh Bakhtiyar Eyubov (11-0, 10) being the benefactor, as he took a controversial win over Karim Mayfield (19-4-1, 11).
Eyubov had entered the bout as the betting favourite, with some picking him as one of the best emerging punchers in the sport, and he had shown that power last time out against Jared Robinson. There was however a lot of unanswered questions about the Kazakh,such as “what happens when he faces someone who can take his power?” and “Can he fight for more than 3 rounds?”
Last night we saw both of those being answered, sort of, with neither answer being a good one for Eyubov.
From the early stages he was struggling with Mayfield's aggression and work rate. The America knew when to attack and when to hold and gave Eyubov no chance to settle into a rhythm. The Kazakh could well have been 4 rounds down as we entered in to round 5, and worryignly for Eyubov he had never previously been beyond 3 rounds,
The unbeaten man managed to find some momentum in the middle rounds, fighting his way in to the contest in rounds 5 and 6 however any momentum he seemed to be generating was lost in round 8, after he was out fought and later deducted a point for going low. Things went from bad to worse for Eyubov who looked like he had run out of ideas in round 9 before being out jabbed by Mayfield in round 10, whilst running very low on gas.
It seemed like a clear win for Mayfield, who had out skilled, out sped, out fought, out thought and out worked the Kazakh puncher, who had his moments. At the end however the judges shocked us all giving a split decision to a very, very fortunate Eyubov, who had done little to deserve the win.
Tonight fight fans in the US will get the chance to see hard hitting Welterweight hopeful Bakhtiyar Eyubov (10-0, 10) return to face his biggest test so far, as he takes on fringe contender Karim Mayfield (19-3-1, 11). The bout is a really good gut check for the unbeaten Kazakh fighter and a chance for Mayfield to get his career back on track after losing 3 of his last 4, suffering losses to Thomas Dulorme, Emmanuel Taylor and Dmitry Mikhaylenko.
Despite the clear edge in experience, in both quality and quantity, Mayfield is actually the under-with the bookies expecting him to fall to 1-4. He's been priced at 2/1 to pick up the upset and derail the fast rising Kazakh destroyer, who has never been beyond 3 rounds. Mayfield, who has never been stopped, will know that he's being written off but will know that if he can see off the early storm he could become very dangerous in the later stages.
For those wanting to back the destructive "Bakha Bullet", who is stepping in a big way here, the best price is 4/11 for him to win. If he wins we suspect he'll find himself in the world rankings when they are updated over the coming weeks and put into the mix for a world title eliminator in 2017, despite only having a handful of rounds. If he can stop Mayfield, something that Dulorme and Mikhaylenko couldn't do, then he would make a huge statement in the Light Welterweight and Welterweight division.
Although not yet ready for a world title shot, last nights fight did show how destructive the Kazakh was and it's now clear that he's going to become a TV staple over the coming years. Last nights win certainly helped him create some buzz, and hopefully that buzz will continue to grow through the rest of this year.
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