Unbeaten 24 year old Kazakh Abay Tolesh (1-0, 1) has become the latest fighter from the Central Asian country to sign with MTK Global, who are really signing a lot of talented Kazakh fighters as the lead into their big show on Capital City Day in Nur-sultan.
The unbeaten Tolesh made his professional debut in April, fighting in Bangkok and scored a quick win over a Thai novice. He will be making his MTK debut on July 6th as part of the big Nur-Sultan card.
At the moment his opponent for July hasn't been announced, but a number of announcements are expected about that card in early June, including opponents for Zhankosh Turarov (22-0, 15) [Жанкош Тураров], Viktor Kotochigov (9-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов] and WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11).
A few weeks ago MTK Global announced they would be doing a show in Kazakhstan to celebrate Capital City Day. At the time little was known about the show, other than that it would take place on July 6th in Kazakhstan.
Today we got a burst of information about the card, and whilst it left us with a lot of questions that are unanswered it did give us some answers.
Firstly the card will take place in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana, and will feature not only Kazakh fighters but others from the MTK Global stable.
In regards to Kazakh fighters on the card the most notable is Zhankosh Turarov (22-0, 15) [Жанкош Тураров], who hasn't fought since September 2017 and will be looking to make a successful return following injury woes. Others include Viktor Kotochigov (9-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], who made his MTK debut earlier this year.
Whilst the Kazakh fighters will be the local draw the big international attraction will be WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11), who will be making his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. His opponent hasn't yet been announced, though their will be interest in this bout from Japan with Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] set to face the winner later in the year.
Interestingly at the weekend Oubaali was rumoured to be heading to Morroco to defend the title, but him appearing on this show is better yet, given it will have ESPN and IflTV showing it, giving a sizable audience for the bout, and it also gives the card a credible draw at the top level. It is worth noting however, that he hasn't had his opponent for the show announced, yet. There are several really interesting options in the WBC rankings, and hopefully he will face one of the better contenders, rather than just facing the easiest or cheapest foe.
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.
Earlier today MTK Global announced that they had signed unbeaten Kazakh prospect Viktor Kotochigov (8-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], who will be making his UK debut on April 26th at the York Hall in London..
At the moment details of Kotochigov's opponent haven't been announced though we would expect someone relatively testing for the Kazakh.
This signing with MTK Global should help Kotochigov remain active. He fought just once in 2018 and has fought once this year, hopefully with MTK Global behind him he can fit in 3 or 4 fights this year and get his career really rolling.
Unbeaten Kazakh prospect Viktor Kotochigov (8-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов] was in action last night in Poland as he took on Piotr Gudel (9-3-1, 1) in a bout for the Republic of Poland International Super Featherweight title, and left a statement by stopping Gudel in 6 rounds.
Although unbeaten the 25 year old Kotochigov has been a bit of an under-the-radar prospect, having debuted in China, in 2015, and never really managing to put down any boxing roots. Through his career has fought in China, Russia, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan and now Poland, with no where to call his boxing home. Not only has he lacked in terms of a steady audience but he has also had really battles with activity, and fought only once in 2018, keep him from really making a mark.
Thankfully for Kotochigov his win over Gudel was impressive. He was steadily beating the Pole to the punch before closing the show with a left hook high on the head that sent Gudel staggering, and then dropping to the canvas.
With this win Kotochigov has now claimed his first title and hopefully, fingers crossed, began a year that puts him on the map. He's too good to be a hidden journeyman travelling for occasional fights, and hopefully a promoter will put money behind him, as he really is a brilliant young fighter who could achieve much, much more.
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