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.
According to Vesti.kz, who have a decent track record in general but a somewhat questionable one in regard as to some subjects, Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0-0-2, 13) [Батыржан Джукембаев] has left manager Anna Rivas, who he has been managed by since 2015.
They report that a source has informed them of the split, and that it will be officially announced shortly, with Jukembayev wanting to get a US based manager.
It should be noted that they ran a very similar story earlier in the year, though that with Jukembayev leave Eye of the Tiger Management, his promoter, which turned out to not be the case despite real friction between the fighter and promotional organisation. Back then it was suggested Egis Klimas was the man Jukembayev wanted.
This is still a developing story, and if Vesti are right developments will flood through in the near future.
For those interested in the Vesti article, that can be read here.
Unbeaten Kazakh fighter Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0-0-2, 13) [Батыржан Джукембаев] continued his rise yesterday as he scored an opening round over the limited Luis Jesus Vidales (13-7, 6), from Mexico. Albeit not with out some questions being asked of the referee.
Vidales had come to make an effort, and was pretty consistent with his jab through the first round. It was however a round that Jukembayev seemed to approach as a scouting mission. That was until late when he let his shots go and landed a a couple of body shots followed by one up top. Vidales was dropped from the shots but quickly beat the count.
Up on his feet and pacing around it looked like the bout could, and probably should, have gone on, but the referee was quick to wave the bout off. That was despite some complaints from Vidales who probably should have been allowed to continue if we're being totally honest.
The official time of the stoppage was 3:00 of round 1 and Vidales really can feel like he deserves to see the start of round 2.
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