W don't often report on amateur boxing but we need to admit that there was a huge story from Kazakhstan recently, regarding the 2017 Asian Championships in Tashkent. That story is that two of the top Kazakh stars will be absent from the competition as they have time away from the ring to rehab and recieve treatment.
The fighters in question are 2013 champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (1-0, 1 in the professional ranks), who also impressed at the 2016 Olympics, and 2-time medal winner Adilbek Niyazymbetov, who is best known as a 2-time Olympic silver medal winner. The two men compete at 75KG's and 81KG's respectively and are two of the real stars of the team with both men boasting strong pedigree and proven skills at this level.
Although the two men missing from the competition does weaken the Kazakh team the team coach Myrzagali Aitzhanov does seem confident that the team has two good replacements for the stars and that the team will still be a very strong one, potentially the strongest at the competition.
For those interested the competition begins on April 30th and ends on May 7th and is a qualifying event for the 2017 World Amateur Championships in Hamburg. In total 200 fighters from 29 countries will compete in Uzbekistan, among those are Olympic champions Hasanbay Dusmatov and Shahobiddin Zoirov, who are both going to be looking to replicate their success last year in front of a home crowd here.
The Olympic boxing really is coming to an end and today fight fans had only 3 bouts in total, all 3 of which were finals. Sadly for fans of Asian boxing there was only one Asian in action, Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziyev.
The 75KG Uzbek had impressed through much of the tournament but was unable to over-come Cuban star Arlen Lopez, who impressed all 3 judges to take home the win, and the gold.
Whilst Melikuziyev was the only Asian to fight he wasn't the only Asian Olympic fighter to have some attention in the last 24 or so hours. As we've seen confirmation that Olympic gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov, also from Uzbekistan, is turning professional.
The talented 23 year old Light Flyweight signed with South African promoter Golden Gloves, the Rodney Berman outfit that has worked with a number of intriguing fighters over the last few years.
Berman had said he's hoping to have his newest signing in action in December before keeping him busy in 2017, with the plan being for him to fight 3 times during the year.
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