Last night in the USA fight fans had the chance to see Kazakh hopeful Sagadat Rakhmankul (3-1, 1) [Рахманкулов Сагадат] engage in a thrilling war with Puerto Rican Nicklaus Flaz (6-1, 4), in what was possibly the best bout of the weekend.
Going in the bout looked competitive but Flaz really showed what he was all about.
The Kazakh looked the more skilled fighter, picking sharper shots and landing cleaner, but Flaz was relentless with a high work rate and heavier shots. Those heavier shots from the Puerto Rican saw him drop Rakhmankul in round 4. Sagadat almost got a knockdown of his own soon afterwards, wobbling Flaz in round 5, but couldn't get manage to drop his man as Flaz saw out the round.
At the end of the 8 round bout Flaz took the well earned decision with scores of 78-73, 77-73 and 76-75.
For Rakhmankul this is a real set back, but it's certainly not the end of his career. For Flaz it's a good win in a fan friendly fight that will have earned him new fans and helped build his reputation.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
Later today we'll see touted Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (3-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы] take on once beaten American Vaughn Alexander (12-1, 8), as part of a major card in the US.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in, and both weighed in slightly above the Middleweight limit.
On the scales the unbeaten man was was 163.25lbs, a full 1 lb above Vaughn who was 162.25lbs.
Alimkhanuly isn't the only Kazakh on this card, with countryman Sagadat Rakhmankul (3-0, 1) [Рахманкулов Сагадат] also in action. Rakhmankul weighed 147.25lbs for his bout against Puerto Rican Nicklaus Flaz (5-1, 4), who was slightly heavier at 147.5lbs.
(Image courtesy of Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
According to Kazakh news website Vesti.kz American promotional giant Top Rank Promotions have just signed two Kazakh hopefuls, as the promotional giant looks to build on their next generation of talent.
Arguably the more notable of the two is Welterweight come Light Welterweight prospect Sagadat Rakhmankulov (2-0, 1), who is a former standout amateur with international experience in the unpaid ranks as well as a Kazakh amateur national title under his belt. as a professional he debuted back in February, scoring a 5th round TKO win over Noel Esqueda before taking a decision over fellow unbeaten Jhon Sanchez Leon in April. He's based in Oxnard with his career being guided by the excellent Egis Klimas who likely has big plans in the works for someone with amateur pedigree of Rakhmankuloy. Aged 24 he has a very bright future and could find himself moving into bigger and better fights in the near future, if Top Rank push him the way his talent deserves.
The Kazakh other is fellow Klimas client Ashkat Ualikhanov (3-1, 2), a 27 year old Light Welterweight hopeful. Ualikhanov suffered a DQ loss on debut against Daniel Bastien in August 2016 but has since reeled off 3 wins. Sadly his activity has been frustrating with 2 fights in 2016, a single fight in 2017 and only 1 fight so far this year. With Top Rank behind him he should see his activity increase, and with that hopefully he'll be getting the exposure and competition he needs to develop his skills. At 27 he still has plenty of time ahead of him, but can't waste much more of it like he has done in the last few years. Instead he will need to stay busy and rack up wins if he's to land a big shot.
The contracts for both men will be for 5 years.
With the two new signing Top Rank have now wrapped up promotional deals with 3 Kazakh fighters, the first of which was 2013 World Amateur gold medal winner Janibek Alimkhanuly (2-0, 1), who signed with the company back in June. It's likely that all 3 will be promoted on shows together, but it's unclear on when any of them will fight under the Top Rank banner for the first time.
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