Earlier today we were informed that the "Nauryz Fight Night" show, set to take place on March 28th in Almaty, Kazakhstan, will be taking place place behind closed doors due to Coronavirus.
The event organisers have been quoted as saying that the event will definitely go ahead, despite the lack of fans.
Kazakhstan recently announced that they would be stopping mass gatherings, which seemingly would have effected this show. Rather than cancelling, something that MTK Kazakhstan heady Askar Salykbaev was dead set against, the event will be fought behind closed doors, though is still expected to be shown through ESPN, IFLTV and QazSport TV.
The card is set to feature Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] taking on Alexander Duran (20-0, 7), Muhammad Waseem (10-1, 7) battling former European champion Ryan Farrag (20-4, 5) and bouts featuring Abay Tolesh (5-0, 3) [Абай Толеш], 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (8-1, 5) [Фазлиддин Гаибназаров] and the debuting Tursynbay Kulakhmet [Турсынбай Кулахмет]. It's a shame the venue will be empty, but we're glad that the event will still be shown.
Earlier today MTK Global announced their next Kazakh show, which will take place on March 28th in Almaty.
The main event of the card will see unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] take on Alexander Duran (20-0, 7), from Panama.
This will be Turarov's first bout since last July, when he stopped Mauro Maximiliano Godoy, whilst Duran will be looking to build on his December win over Barnie Arguelles.
In a really interesting bout set for this show we'll see former world title challenger Muhammad Waseem (10-1, 7) take on former European champion Ryan Farrag (20-4, 5) in a really good looking test, and one that Waseem will have to take serious. The Pakistani fighter didn't look great last time out and will need to be at his best here.
Others set for the show include Abay Tolesh (5-0, 3) [Абай Толеш], 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (8-1, 5) [Фазлиддин Гаибназаров] and the debuting Tursynbay Kulakhmet [Турсынбай Кулахмет].
Earlier today Olamsport reported that the ring return for 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (8-1, 5) [Фазлиддин Гаибназаров] is March 28th and will take place in Kazakhstan.
The Uzbek fighter is quoted as saying he had been offered a bout in the US but it fell during Ramadan so took this fight instead.
At the moment no details other than the when and where have been decided, but we wouldn't expect a significant step up from his last bout, which saw him beating Vladyslav Baranov in 80 seconds in Kazakhstan. That bout, his win over Baranov, was his first since losing his unbeaten record to Mykal Fox last May. We also suspect that this will be on MTK show in Kazakhstan, though Gaibnazarov did state he was still a Top Rank promoted fight in an interview with Olamsport.
Despite his Olympic gold medal we've yet to see Gaibnazarov really show the same level of class in the professional ranks. He's clearly talented but we've not seen him show the skills and in ring IQ that took him to a Gold at the Rio games, and it almost feels like we never will. In fact it seems like he's the next in a long line of fighters who never quite adapt to the professional scene.
Saying that however he is skilled, and there is potential for him to make a mark, we just don't think he'll ever manage to make a mark at the very top level. At the age of 28 however he still has time to adapt and to climb up the rankings to a shot.
Earlier today in Almaty fans had a special show from MTK to celebrate Kazakh Independence day. For the most part it was a successful day for the fighters from Central Asia, though their was one big upset.
Rather than breaking down the entire card, which had more than 10 bouts on it, we'll discuss some of the most notable bouts on the card.
Among the most notable of the fighters on the card was Victor Kotochigov (11-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], who extended his winning run with a 10 round shut out over Argentina's Javier Jose Clavero (27-6, 5), to defended the WBC International Lightweight title. This was Kotochigov's 4th win of the year, and whilst he's clearly a talented fighter his bouts do lack drama and he may end up being a tough man to man fans care about going forward.
In another title bout Sultan Zaurbek (9-0, 7) [Султан Заурбек] became the new WBC Youth Super Featherweight champion as he stopped Chinese fighter Leshan Li (16-4-2, 9) [黎乐善].
Nurtas Azhbenov (8-0, 3) [Нуртас Ажбенов], a man that has shared a lot of cards with Zaurbek, picked up a decision win over Filipino journeyman Landy Cris Leon (13-21-5, 6). Given Leon has been stopped 12 times the worry is that Azhbenov really does lack power, and if we're being honest he hasn't looked the star in the making that Zaurbek has.
The big shock of the night saw Iskander Kharsan (7-1, 6) [Искандер Харсан] suffer his first loss. The touted youngster was dropped twice in the opening round before being stopped in round 3 by British based Cameroonian Thomas Essomba (10-5, 4). Although this may not have looked like an easy win for Kharsan on paper Essomba has made a reputation for himself due to scoring upsets and this is the third "0" he has taken after previously upsetting Waleed Din and Sean McGoldrick.
Others who picked up wins included Elshat Nigmetolla (16-0-1, 5) [Ельшат Нигметолла], Abay Tolesh (5-0, 3) [Абай Толеш], Ray Seitzhanov (2-0) [Рай Сейтжанов], Miras-Ali Sarsenov (2-0, 1) [Мирас-Али Сарсенов] and Nurdos Tolebay (2-0, 1) [Нурдос Толебай], 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (8-1, 5) [Фазлиддин Гаибназаров] and fellow former amateur standout Khurshid Tojibaev (4-0, 2)
Last week we reported that 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-1, 4) [Фазлиддин Гаибназаров], from Uzbekistan, would be taking part on the upcoming Kazakh Independence show on December 16th.
At the time it was unclear who the once beaten Uzbek would be up against but today we were informed of his scheduled opponent, and whilst it's not an amazing match up it's certainly a more interesting one than we were expecting, given that these MTK shows tend to be mismatches.
The opponent for the once beaten Uzbek will be Argentinian veteran Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (32-5-1, 17).
Godoy was once regarded as a fringe contender, and was 29-1 (15) just a few years ago. Sadly though he has gone 3-4-1 in his last 8 bouts. Despite that form from Godoy he should still be a decent test for Gaibnazarov, who has failed to impress since making his professional debut back in 2017.
At the moment we've yet to see other opponents being named for the fighters on the card, including former world champion Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) and unbeaten prospects like Victor Kotochigov (10-0,4) [Виктор Коточигов] and Iskander Kharsan (7-0, 6) [Искандер Харсан].
(Image courtesy of Olamsport)
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