Last week we posted an article under a "Hidden Gem of the Week" heading and as we all know things aren't always perfect. This week, we'd like to revise the title to "One to Watch", the same concept just with a more apt heading for the article, which looks at a bout which we wouldn't usually preview, but feel it's worthy of attention for some reason or another.
The One to Watch?
Aidos Yerbossynuly (11-0, 8) Vs Rocky Jerkic (17-1, 13)
August 14th (Wednesday)
This coming week does feel like it lacks real stand out bouts, however it's hard not to get exciting by bouts that just look like they will be fun, and this one certainly looks like it will be a very exciting bout between two men coming to the ring and looking to put on a show, and claim their latest win. This is about action!
Aidos Yerbossynuly is a 27 year old Kazakh hopeful who has collected some minor belts already in his career but wants to add another WBA belt to his collection and make his mark in a new location. So far he has fought in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, USA and Russia and is now looking to add Australia to the list of nations that he's picked up a win in. He's not the best, and has shown shakey whiskers, but tends to be in fun to watch bouts.
Rocky Jerkic is a well regarded Australian, but one who is unlikely to ever make a mark at the world stage. He's a solid domestic fighter with the potential to be in the mix at regional level. He's aggressive, rough and tough and his 2015 fight with Shannon King was an absolute barn burner, with Jerkic proving his toughness to pull the win out of the bag when down on the cards. He's not a pretty fighter, by any stretch, but he is a fun and exciting fighter with a lot of flaws, flat that make him fun to watch.
What to expect?
Given the styles of the two men involved we can't help but expect something really exciting here. We'll be honest and say we don't see either man reaching the pinnacle of but against each other they should end up giving us a brawl. Yerbossynuly has been down a few times during his career and, given Jerkic's aggression we wouldn't be surprised to see the Kazakh down again here. In the end however we do feel that Yerbossynuly will come out on top, relying on his boxing, after being dropped, to take a clear win. It'll be clear, but fun, and Jerkic will not just let Yerbossynuly hit and run. The Aussie will always come forward and try to make a fight, but will be beaten to the punch and struggle to win more than just a couple of rounds.
The bad news?
The bout is on a PPV card in Australia, and unfortunately it does seem, like most Australian PPV's, to be over-priced.
The final part of our look at the Super Middleweight division looks at the prospects emerging through the rankings. If you missed our earlier parts they can be read here:
The state of the Division - Super Middleweight - The Championsand here:
The state of the Division - Super Middleweight - The Contenders
Vladimir Shishkin (8-0, 5)
Unbeaten Russian Vladimir Shishkin looks like he's going to be a fast tracked fighter at Super Middleweight, and that was clearly shown last year. The fighter turned professional in 2016 and took his time to get going, before stopping Siarhei Khamitski and Nadjib Mohammedi in 2018. He's heavy handed, talented and looks to be developing quickly, both in terms of his skills and his physical maturity. It's going to be very exciting to see what he does this year, and we wouldn't be surprised to see Shiskin in the world title mix by the end of 2019.
Zach Parker (17-0, 11)
Englishman prospect Zach Parker is world ranked but hasn't really shown that type of quality yet. Despite not appearing world class he has had some impressive wins, at least domestically, and scored his biggest win last November, when he narrowly outpointed Darryll Williams in Glasgow. He has shown promise, but there is still a lot left for the 24 year to improve on before he starts to think about a world title shot, no matter what he team maybe suggesting.
Nicolas Ezequiel Masseroni (17-0, 17)
It's hard to really know what unbeaten Argentinian Nicolas Ezequiel Masseroni has to offer. So far he has been destructive on the Argentinian domestic scene, taking out 17 opponents in a combined 22 rounds. Despite that the 26 year old is yet to face anyone with a pulse, and we suspect he, and his team, will be looking to pad those numbers a it more before getting him to step up. His 17 career bouts have included some fights on the road, with an early career contest in Uruguay and a couple in Mexico, but it is very hard to know what he really brings to the table.
Aidos Yerbossynuly (10-0, 8)
Kazakh boxing is on the rise, there is a lot of promise making it's self known as Gennady Golovkin sees his career coming to an end. Among those looking to make their mark on the sport is Aidos Yerbossynuly. Despite only being a professional since October 2015 Yerbossynuly has already fought in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, USA and Russia, and looks like he is wanting to make a big mark on the sport. Sadly he has shown some issues with durability, having been dropped several times already, but has a fun and exciting style that should help lead him to pretty notable success in the years to come. Even if Yerbossynuly fails to reach the big time he will certainly give us some exciting fights.
D'Mitrius Ballard (19-0-0-1, 12)
25 year old American D'Mitrius Ballard has been a professional for 6 years and like many American fighters his progress was incredibly slow, especially early on. In 2017 however he did begin to show some interesting signs, beating Adrian Luna Flores and Jaime Solorio, before adding a win over Alan Campa in 2018. It's unclear what Ballard has, but as with many prospects it's going to be interesting to see his development from here, especially given that he's not in his mid 20's and can't afford to take a step backwards from his last few opponents.
Nurzat Sabirov (8-0, 7)
Canadian based Kazakh fighter Nurzat Sabirov is a 25 year old boxer-puncher who only turned professional in 2017 and has been kept active since then, fitting 8 fights into about 20 months. To date his competition hasn't been amazing, but he has beaten more experienced fighters, such as Guillermo Romero and Rocky Montoya. He has looked very heavy handed, very smart, very talented and like a potential star in the making. The big question, as it is with a lot of these super prospects, is whether his team can both challenge him and develop him. If they can do that, then Sabirov may well find himself in the world rankings by the end of 2019, in title fights in the later part of 2020.
Rufat Hajiyev (4-0, 4)
It's not often that we get to talk about Azeri fighters but Rufat Hajiyev is certainly worth talking about. The now 25 year old debuted in December 2017 and has taken out his first 4 opponents in a combined 6 rounds. His competition hasn't been particularly good, with all 4 of his bouts taking place in Georgia, but he has been taking care of business, and been stepping up his level of competition. Hopefully that continues in 2019. Sadly Hajiyev may be one of those fighters who just disappears, having never managed to secure the big fights he needs, but we really hope he isn't, and instead does get a chance to sink or swim.
Dieudonne Wilfred Seyi Ntsengue (2-0, 1)
One of the potential hidden gems at Super Middleweight isCanadian based Cameroonian 21 year old Dieudonne Wilfred Seyi Ntsengue. The unbeaten youngster was a former amateur stand out, winning a Gold medal at the 2015 African Games and a Silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth games. He would also compete at the 2016 Olympics, though fail to make his mark at Rio. As a professional Ntsengue made his debut in Cameroon in 2017, before fighting in Canada last year and it now looks like he will be returning to a Canadian ring in the coming week, to really kick things off. He really could be the dark horse of the division and given his amateur background he is clearly worth keeping and eye on.
Muslimbek Olimov (2-0, 2)
The Uzbek's are certainly on the rise, and in 2018 a number of Uzbeks really left their mark on the sport with a serious of great displays. There isn't too many uzbek fighters at 168lbs worthy of note, though Muslimbek Olimov seems to be one who is worthy of some attention. The heavy handed man from Fergana debuted in July and scored 2 opening round wins before the year was over. Hopefully his activity will pick up this year, and his level of competition also improves. What is worth nothing is that his debut came against a guy with a record of 13-4 (9) and that level of competition is rare for a debutant.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.