Last night was an interesting one for Central Asian prospects, with 3 notable, and unbeaten, prospects in action. Whilst all 3 won there was certainly talking points from all 3 bouts.
The first was MTK Global's recent Kazakh signing Viktor Kotochigov (9-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], who made his UK debut and took a clear win over journeyman Andrejs Podusovs (16-11-1, 5). The bout was a clear win over 8 rounds for the Kazakh, who took the victory with a score of 79-74 from referee Lee Cook.
Despite the comfortable win Kotochigov really didn't impress. He looked poor, and was cut early on from a clash of heads. Although he got the win he will need to put on a much better performance next time out if he's to continue to build his reputation, a reputation that got a good boost back in March, when he beat Piotr Gudel.
Another man who failed to shine, despite being heavily favoured by the scores, was Uzbek hopeful Shakhram Giyasov (8-0, 6) [Shahram G‘iyosov], who stepped up in class and was given a real scare by Emanuel Taylor (20-6, 14). The talented Giyasov seemed to be over-looking Taylor, and was punished early on when he was rocked in the opening round. He gritted it out and bounced back well, but was hurt several times during the fight, and had to work really hard for the win, a win that he was expected to get with no issues at all.
Although Giyasov won with scores of 99-91, twice, and 97-93 there were few fans agreeing with the decision and it certainly exposed Giyasov as someone who is over-confident and really needs to work on how he fights. He is a talent, and really could go far, but yesterday's performance was thoroughly disappointing, and he certainly has a lot to learn.
One man who did shine was sadly not televised, and that's the highly ranked highly ranked Super Bantamweight Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0, 5) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович]who easily got past former WBC Bantamweight challenger Carlos Carlson (23-6, 14), scoring a 3rd round TKO win. On paper this was a good looking win, but in reality we all knew Carlson wasn't particularly good, and was there to lose.
Later today fight fans till get the chance to see two promising Uzbek prospects in action, both of whom have recently announced a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing.
One of those is Shakhram Giyasov (7-0, 6) [Shahram G‘iyosov], who looks to continue his rise through the ranks later today when he takes on Emanuel Taylor (20-5, 14). Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in marginally under the 140lbs limit, with both looking very strong and very powerful.
The other was the highly ranked Super Bantamweight Murodjon Akhmadaliev (5-0, 4) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович], who will be facing off with former WBC Bantamweight challenger Carlos Carlson (23-5, 14). As with Giyasov and Taylor we also saw Akhmadaliev and Carlson take part in their weigh in, and they hit the scales above the Super Bantamweight limit. On the scales Akhmadaliev was 124.5lbs whilst Carlson was 125.25lbs. This is regarded as a bit of a tick over fight for Akhmadaliev ahead of a potential world title fight later in the year.
This coming Friday we'll see Uzbek prospect Shakhram Giyasov (7-0, 6) [Shahram G‘iyosov] take on his biggest test to date, as he goes into the ring against Emanuel Taylor (20-5, 14). Despite the bout being a notable step up for the 2016 Olympic silver medal winner we do see Giyasov as a very clear betting favourite with the UK bookmakers, who have got odds available on the "To Win" market.
The exciting Uzbek has been best priced at 1/41 to win the bout, by any method, and continue his rise through the ranks towards a world title fight. It's clear he will have to wait for a shot at gold, but this is a clear step in the right direction, even if the bookies do view it as a mismatch.
Taylor on the other hand is available at 18/1 with one book maker, showing just how little of a chance they give him in, despite his huge advantage in professional experience. If Taylor does win it would be his first win since August 2016, when he beat Carlos Aguilera in 3 rounds.
For those interested in the draw that's available at 33/1.
Sadly there is nothing available other than the "To Win" market.
Earlier today Uzbek sensation Isrial Madrimov (1-0, 1) [Isroil Madrimov] confirmed that he would be in action on March 9th, at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York as part of the under-card for Dmitry Bivol's (15-0, 11) [дмитрий бивол] bout with Joe Smith Jr (24-2, 20). Not only did Madrimov confirm that bout but he also stated that the details of the bout are yet to be agreed.
The fighter revealed that no opponent has been signed to face him, and he told Olamsports "It's also interesting for me to be my opponent, but all the boxers who have come up with the offer are still reluctant to fight, and I think they are afraid to be the opponent". It's kind of funny to think that a 1-0 prospect has scared opponents, but given how talented and impressive Madrimov was on his debut, when he stopped Vladimir Hernandez in 6 rounds to claim an Intercontinental title, it's not hard to believe that there is at least a hint of truth there.
We're hoping that Madrimov and his team do secure a decent opponent, though if we're being honest such a short notice opponent won't be up to much, and instead it might make more sense to pull Madrimov from the show and put him on a show later down the line against a better opponent. It's also worth noting that this is the second time a World of Boxing Uzbek prospect has been matched at short notice since World of Boxing and Matchroom began working closely together and comes just weeks after Shakhram Giyasov (7-0, 6) [Shahram G‘iyosov] defeated former world title challenger Edgar Puerta (25-12-1, 19) in a bout not aired on DAZN.
Might be early to say, but it does seem like World of Boxing prospects aren't being given the same focus they were before World of Sport began with DAZN.
Unbeaten Uzbek prospect Shakhram Giyasov (7-0, 6) [Shahram G‘iyosov] scored his latest win last night, as he defeated former world title challenger Edgar Puerta (25-12-1, 19) in Mexico.
On paper this was a slight step up for Giyasov as a professional, with Puerta having been a once very serviceable Lightweight and Super Featherweight contender even challenging the then WBC Supr Featherweight champion Takashi Miura in late 2014.
Whilst once a good contender Puerta's recent form, and his 36 year old body, suggested that he wasn't going to be the fighter he once was, and coming in to this he had gone 2-7 in his previous 9, with losses to the likes of Miura, Mickey Roman and Humberto Soto.
That recent form summed up his performance here. He looked old, slow and sluggish. He struggled to land anything of value and was used as a bit of a punch bag at times by the talented Giyasov, who showed some respect to Puerta but seemed to be on the front foot from the opening moments.
In round 5 a tired looking Puerta was losing beginning to take more punishment and was even being mocked by Giyasov at times, as the Uzbek began to use the Mexican for target practice. Puerta corner knew their man was just going to get more beaten up so waved the towel, and saved their man, who was on the ropes at the time.
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