Yesterday fight fans saw unbeaten veterans collide in Poland, with 38 year old Uzbek fighter Sherzod Khusanov (21-1-1, 9) [Шерзод Хусанов] battling against 35 year old Damian Jonak (41-0-1, 21). Both men had been inactive in recent years and both were well past their best but yet they both put in a great effort in what turned out to be a genuinely enthralling 8 round contest.
Early on Jonak looked the fresher man, bouncing on his toes and using his speed well, yet it was Khusanov, a former stand out amateur, who was actually landing the blows of quality and the first few rounds all ended with the Uzbek in the ascendancy.
After 4 rounds there was very little to pick between the two men, who were showing that even at a combined 73 years old they were still talented fighters. Sadly however it was the start of a slow down from Khusanov who remained competitive at times, but started to flag in the second half. This allowed the Polish fighter to out work the visitor, who did enough to deserve the the decision win with scores of 77-75, twice, and 78-74.
Despite the loss we'd actually like to see a little bit more of Khusanov, especially in 6 rounders, he is a natural talent and someone who could have done much more in his career had he had the right connections and a bit of luck back in his prime years. For Jonak it appears he will be back in the ring in November.
On September 21st unbeaten Uzbek Sherzod Khusanov (21-0-1, 9) [Шерзод Хусанов] will take part in his most significant bout as a professional fighter, as he faces fellow unbeaten veteran Damian Jonak (40-0-1, 21) in Poland. For both men this should be seen as a must win contest, with both fighters now well into their 30's and knowing there won't be much of a chance to rebuild towards a big fight if they lose here.
Khusanov is a 38 year old Russian based fighter originally from Fergana in Uzbekistan. He is a 2-time Olympian, competing at the 2000 games in Sydney and the 2004 gams in Athens, and was a former amateur standout, winning World Amateur medals in 2001 and 2003. Following along amateur career he turned professional in 2007 and showed some early promise, as well as a high level of activity fitting 8 fights into his first year as a professional, but his career never really caught fire despite picking up some minor titles.
In 2010 he would make his US debut, beating Jhon Berrio, but wouldn't build on that win, being out of the ring for 18 months. He would score 4 more wins on his return, including a brilliant KO of Maxim Chemezov and a decision victory over veteran Carlos Adan Jerez. The win over Jerez was followed by more than 3 years of inactivity, before returning in September 2017 at the age of 37, to defeat the previously unbeaten Kiryl Samadurau. Since then he has scored just one more win, an opening round TKO win against Otabek Ibragimov.
As for Jonak, who turned professional in 2006, he's now 35. Like and Khusanov he was busy in the early part of his career, with notable wins against the likes of Mamadou Thiam, Alex Bunema and Jackson Osei Bonsu. Sadly his activity also dropped and he would fight just once in 2014, and once in 2015 before taking almost 3 years out, before returning earlier this year to defeat Marcos Jesus Cornejo with an 8 round decision. That has been Jonak's fight in well over 3 years.
The bout will be staged at the Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa and is set to be shown on PolSat Sport HD in Poland
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