Every so often a fight looks so good on paper that hardcore fans get incredibly excited. This evening we had once such fight on Showtime as talented Kazakh fighter Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-1-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] faced off with heavy handed Puerto Rican Subriel Matias (17-1, 17), in what turned out to be a legitimate Fight of the Year contender, and a bout that lived up to the lofty expectations that fans had.
From the opening round this was fantastic with both men having styles and mentalities that gelled perfectly from the very opening moments. They met in center ring and both looked to dictate the tempo and range of the bout. Through the first round it was very hotly contested, but it was a round that saw the clean, smooth, powerful straight left hands from Jukembayev that caught the eye the most, but Matias landed plenty of his own, mostly in combinations which became more regular later in the round.
In round 2 Matias' pressure began to pick up, his work increased drastically, and he began to fight his fight. Jukambayev still landed plenty of his own left hands, but he was starting to be out worked, and was starting to take more than he was giving. This was something that really began to become more and more apparent in round 3, a fantastic high tempo round, but one that Matias seemed to take the lead in, with his high volume clearly making Jukembayev uncomfortable.
In round 4 the pressure finally broke through and Matias dropped Jukembayev with a left hook. He got back to his feet but it seemed like the Kazakh was going to be taken out before the round came to an end. Amazingly however Jukembayev managed to not only recover, but also fight back, and even rocked Matias in the final seconds of the round, giving us amazing 3 minutes of action that swung one way, then the other. It was a round that really needed to be watched, and showed the guts of Jukembayev, who genuinely seemed ready to go before landing his huge left hand.
Jukembayev managed to recover in his corner between rounds but rounds 6 and 7 saw Matias continue to out work, out fight, and out battle Jukembayev, who began change tactics. He tried to use his feet more, and began to try and use his right hook more. They managed to help him, somewhat, but it was round 7 that really saw Jukembayev have his biggest moment, rocking Matias to his core. Matias did what no fighter should do when hurt, and decided to just fire back and the two exchaged wild shots to the bell, giving us an incredible finish to the round. It was an amazing final 30 seconds of the round, and one that saw Matias clearly hurt at the bell.
Sadly for Jukembayev his face was starting to fall apart as we went into round 8 and despite buzzing Matias at the end of round 7, he never finished his man off. And Matias wanted revenge in round 8. The Puerto Rican pressured from the off, taking a good left hand a good right hook from Jukemabyev but pretty much walking through them as he went into terminator mode, forcing Jukembayev into the corner and letting shots go. By the end of the round it appeared Jukembayev was hurt, again, and what little momentum he had heading into round 8 was done. His face was cut, swollen and bruised, and he looked like he was running out of ideas.
Rather then his team sending him out for another round Jukembayev was, smartly, pulled from the fight. He was taking punishment, and it seemed like the pressure was taking a real toll on him. The longer it was going the more and more punishment he was going to take and to be fair to his team, it was the right decision to pull him. Especially with his face swelling in the way it did and with the punishment he was taking. It was an anti-climactic ending to the bout but it was the correct call by his team.
Tonight in Carson, California, we'll see unbeaten Kazakh fighter Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] take on once beaten Puerto Rican Subriel Matias (16-1, 16) in a mouth watering match up. The bout is one, of many, fantastic matchups taking place later today and is one the true 50-50 style bouts. Not just on paper, but also with the bookies who have struggled a lot, to split the men.
In fact the bookies have struggled so much that even they see the bout as essentially being a toss up. The best odds available on Jukembayev are events whilst the best price on Matias is 11/10. Strangely, given how close those to win odds are, the bout is a huge 22/1 to result in a draw.
It's not just the "To win" market that's interesting here but also the "Method of victory" market. The most likely result is a Matias win inside the distance, at 7/4 whilst a Jukembayev win inside the distance is a very similar 13/5. A decision win for the Kazakh is 3/1, again a very, very similar price to the other two results.
The big outlier in this market is a decision win for Matias, who is priced at 7/1 to win on the cards. A very clear outlier given the other three potential outcomes.
Given the most likely result is a TKO, for either guy, it will come as little surprise to learn that the bout is not expected to go to the final bell. In fact it's 4/7 to finish within the distance and 7/4 to go the schedule.
This evening in the US we'll see WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) taking on mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) in what is a very, very interesting matchup that could have major implications on the Bantamweight division over the next year or two. On paper it looks a brilliant match up for fans and one that could prove to be very interesting when the men get in the ring, especially given both of them have been inactive since November 2019.
Despite being an interesting match up the bookies have strongly favoured Oubaali to pick up the win here, with the Moroccan born French fighter best priced at 5/11, and widely available at around1/3, to pick up the biggest win of his career. Donaire on the other hand is best priced at 12/5 and is widely available at around 21/10 to win and claim yet another title in his illustrious career.
The draw is widely available at 16/1.
Things get a lot more interesting when we look at the “Method of victory” market. Here we find the runaway favourite being a decision win for Oubaali at 8/11. The other 3 results however are all very, very similarly pierced. A stoppage win for Donaire, the second most likely outcome, is 9/2, a decision for the Filipino is 11/2 and a stoppage for Oubaali is 6/1.
Given the expected result is an Oubaali decision win the bout is, understandably, expected to go the distance with most bookies pricing it at 2/5 to go 12 rounds and 12/5 to finish inside the distance.
(All odds correct at time of writing, all odds sourced from UK Bookmakers)
Preview - Oubaali faces Donaire in WBC mandatory title bout!
Later today on a PBC show we'll see unbeaten Kazakh prospect Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0-0-2, 14) [Батыржан Джукембаев] battle hard hitting Puerto Rican Subriel Matias (16-1, 16).
Yesterday, ahead of their bout, the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men comfortably came in under the 140lb limit.
On the scales Matias was 139.6lbs, slightly lighter than Jukembayev, who was 139.8lbs.
For Matias this will be his second fight since losing a close, and hotly contested, decision to the unheralded Petros Ananyan in February 2020, and comes 4 fights after his tragic bout with Maxim Dadashev. In regards to his weight it's pretty much his typical weight, and he seems to almost always come in between 139lbs and 143lbs.
As for Jukembayev this will be a very notavle opportunity for him, as it marks his US debut and also seems him back in the ring after a 15 month lay off. The talented Kazakh is, like Matias, a relatively predictable weight, but he has come in as heavy as 144lbs in the past, albeit against an opponent who was 7lbs heavier than himself.
The winner of this will be banging right on the door of world title fight with recently crowned undisputed champion Josh Taylor, with the bout serviving as an IBF world title eliminator, albeit not a final eliminator.
Yesterday we reported that the planned Shinsei promoted show set to take place next weekend at the EDION Arena Osaka, headlined by Rikito Shiba (4-1, 2) [芝力人] battling Hideyuki Watanabe (8-13-3, 6) [渡邉秀行], had been re-arranged from June 5th to June 6th and was now set to take place in Hyogo and not Osaka. That was a result of the EDION Arena Osaka not being open due to the ongoing State of Emergency in Tokyo.
It's now been confirmed that another show, which was also planned for June 5th at EDION Arena Osaka, has also been re-arranged.
That show, an Harada boxing promoted event headlined by Tsubasa Narai (7-0, 6) [奈良井 翼] and Kyonosuke Kameda (6-2-1, 5) [亀田 京之介] clashing for the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, will now be taking place on July 23rd, though will remain at EDION Arena Osaka.
As of now no changes, other than the date, have been announced for this show, with the card it's self expected to remain exactly the same as it was, however we have been informed that new tickets will be sold for the event.
Interestingly this re-arrangement, again sees us with two events on the same day at the EDION Arena Osaka, with the Narai Vs Kameda card starting after a Taisei promoted double header earlier in the day, making it a potentially huge day for Osaka fight fans.
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