According to a vesti.kz report earlier today the upcoming bout between unbeaten Kazakh prospect Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] and Argentinian foe Maximiliano Ricardo Veron (12-3-1, 4) is at risk of being cancelled, just days before they are supposed to be fighting.
The report suggests that Veron has struggled to secure a visa for the fight in Canada, and may end up being unable to step in the ring on Saturday as a result.
This wouldn't be the first time Jukembayev has seen an opponent fail to step in the ring due to visa issues, with a planned 2019 bout against Carlos Jimenez being cancelled, and Jimenez being replaced at short notice by Gilberto Meza.
If Veron doesn't manage to secure a visa it's unclear what the plan of action is, with a late replacement seeming to be the most likely option given that's what they did last year.
It should be noted that this is only a single report from Vesti who have cited an un-named source close to the situation. For those interested in reading the Vesti article, that's available here.
It's been known for a while that unbeaten Kazakh prospect Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] would be back in the ring on January 25th in Montreal, as he looks to move forward with his career after a rather frustrating 2019.
What wasn't known until much more recently is who the talented "777" would be up against in his first bout of the new year.
Now it's been announced that Jukembayev would be up against 31 year old Argentinian foe Maximiliano Ricardo Veron (12-3-1, 4), in what could turn out to be a tougher fight than it looks on paper.
The 28 year old Kazakh, who will be defending his WBA Continental Americas and IBF Inter-Continental titles, is looking to build on his recent win over former IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez, in a bout that Jukembayev comfortably won but did have some technical issues shown up, that need to be worked on before he fights at world level.
Veron, whilst no world beater, is full of confidence after upsetting Deigo Ramirez in November, and also fighting to a split draw with the unbeaten Luis Alberto Veron just a fight earlier. This will however be Veron's first bout outside of Argentina.
This bout will be the main event of the card, which is being put on by Eye of the Tiger Management, who promote a number of Kazakh fighters in Canada, and have built them a steady and growing following of support whilst developing well. Though we do see this as a potential step back for Jukembayev who seems like he needs more tests like Vazquez going forward. Hopefully those fringe level bouts occur later in the year.
Last night in Canada fight fans had the chance to see 2 Kazakh fighters pick up wins against Mexican opposition.
The lesser known of those Kazakh fighters was Aman Kazankapov (1-0-1) [Амана Казанкапова], who scored a 4 round decision win over Jesus Arriaga (2-2, 1). The 21 year old Kazankapov made his debut in June, fighting to a draw with Ismael Molina Moreno, and was rather disappointing. Last night however he looked like the prospect he was touted as, showing good composure, smart pressure, good handspeed and some very crisp punching. He's not show the early touches of a super prospect, but he looked mostly solid as he found his groove in the pro ring. Obviously there was issues, and things that need to be corrected and worked on, but there was enough to like from a 4 round shut out over Arriaga.
At 21 Kazankapov is young, and looks to be a talented youngster. As an amateur he was successful and won the 2016 Asian Youth Championships at 75KG's among other competitions, but didn't really look like someone who had the x-factor that we've seen with some other Kazakh prospects very early in their careers.
The other Kazakh picking up a win was Batyrzhan Jukembayev (17-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] who scored arguably his best win to date, as he out pointed former IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (41-9, 15). On paper this looked like an easy win for Jukembayev, thanks to judges who scored it 99-91, 99-91 and 100-90 to the Canadian based Kazakh. In reality however this wasn't a great performance from the Kazakh who really had to work for the win against the slipper Vazquez. The Mexican showed off his trademark movement and frustrated Jukembayev through out the contest with his defensive work. Sadly for Vazquez the difference was that he really lacked in terms of offense and he never really did enough himself to win rounds, despite making Jukembayev miss a lot.
For Jukembayev this was a great win on paper, but highlighted a lot that he needs to work on going forward. It was a tricky stylistic match up, and it showed, but with the win in the bag he'll move forward and use the experience of the bout to develop further before an eventual world title fight.
Later today fans in Canada will see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0-0-2, 13) [Батыржан Джукембаев] battle against former IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (41-8, 15), Yesterday, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men came in under the 140lb limit.
On the scales Jukembayev was the heavier man, coming in at 139.2lbs whilst Vazquez was 138.4lbs.
The weight was important given that the bout will be for a minor IBF and WBA titles, and the last few fights have seen both men fighting above the Light Welterweight limit.
For Jukembayev the weight is only a few pounds heavier than he has been in recent contests, whilst Vazquez has been fighting as a fully fledged Welterweight. In some of Vazquez's recent bouts, such as his contests against Thulani Mbenge and Ghislain Maduma, and the latest time he came in under the Light Welterweight limit was almost 2 years ago, in his November 2017 loss to Josh Taylor. Despite that we don't really think he had any issues with the weight given he was more than 1lb under the limit.
Earlier today we were informed that unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0-0-2, 13) [Батыржан Джукембаев] would be returning to the ring on September 26th, in Montreal, to take on his most notable opponent to date.
The Canadian based Kazakh will be looking to secure his 17th professional win as he takes on former IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (41-8, 15), who will be fighting for the first time since he was flat our robbed in the UK against Ohara Davies, in one of the worse decisions of 2019.
For the unbeaten Jukembayev the bout is a fantastic step up in class, a real test and a chance to him to answer some really serious questions. He's not been matched incredibly easily but this is a clear step up for him and a move in the right direction, something his last few fights haven't been. In fact it's not been since Jukembayev beat Cosme Rivera back in 2017, that he's shared the ring with someone with experience at the higher levels of the sport.
Over the last few years Vazquez, who was an avoided champion, has become a really in demand gate keeper recently. In the last two 2 years he has gone in with Josh Taylor, Thulani Mbenge, Ghislain Maduma and the aforementioned Davies, and put in very credible efforts, win or lose. A similar performance here could well see him showing too much for Jukembayev in what is a very, very well matched contest.
Jukembayev is set to be 1 of 4 Kazakh's on this card, along with Sadriddin Akhmedov (9-0, 8) [Ахмедов Садриддин], Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзат Сабиров] and Aman Kazankapov (0-0-1) [Амана Казанкапова], though none of this trio have yet had their opponents announced.
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