Earlier today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, MTK put on a show featuring a host of promising Kazakh talent. The most notable fighters on the show were a trio of debutants who had all been very good amateurs and were now looking to kick off their professional careers.
The first of the trio was 19 year old Talgat Shayken (1-0) [Талгата Шайкена]. He took on the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-1, 1) and won a clear decision in a well fought, and entertaining contest. Nurymbetov was there to win, but was out worked and out muscled by the busy and aggressive Shayken, who kept coming forward making for a very friendly bout.
Although a clear winner Shayken put on a performance that was more "fun and exciting" than really showcasing sensational skills. Having seen some of his amateur footage it was the sort of performance we expected form him, though hopefully in the future we will see him develop more tools to his arsenal. He's a very strong kid, and had an opponent there to win, but he's also a bit of a raw fighter that needs real work and time.
The second of the debutants was Tursynbay Kulakhmet (1-0, 1) [Турсынбай Кулахмет] who looked sensational. The talented boxer-puncher had a style we expected would transition well to the pros and it did here as he dismantled Sagadat Rakhmankulov (6-2, 4) [Сагадат Рахманкулов]. The skilled Kulakhmet found his range very quickly and repeatedly landed straight left hands on the target, almost at will. Those shots broke Rakhmankulov's heart and he retired between rounds 4 and 5.
The only negative we can take from Kulakhmet's performance was the head clashes which did leave him cut, but they were a minor issue in what was a very, very impressive debut. If you want a Kazakh to follow who will be fast tracked this kid looks like a special one, and we hope to see a lot more of him in the coming years.
The third and final of the debuting trio was Kamshybek Kunkabayev (1-0, 1) [Камшыбек Кункабаев], a 2-time World Amateur Championship silver medal winner. He took on Issa Akberbayev (20-2-0-1, 15) [Иса Акбербаев] in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds. Sadly for, everyone, Akberbayev decided to use the bout to try doing laps around the ring, offered no offense and spent the fight trying to avoid Kunkabayev. Thankfully the debutant put us out of our suffering in round 2 with a body shot that dropped Akberbayev.
This looked the most interesting on paper but turned out to be the worst, with Akberbayev doing nothing of value, offering little offense and doing little other than avoiding a fight. Despite his nice looking record it was thinner than paper, and he looked very much like a man who didn't want to be there.
If we were grading the three Kulakhmet would be #1, he looks like he can be moved incredibly quickly. Kunkabayev would be #2, whilst his opponent offered little he still looked very good himself, and certainly has the tools to go far. Even against a negative opponent he looked solid. Shayken would be #3 but he is very young, and even coming #3 here isn't a bad thing. He showed a lot to like and hopefully we will see more of his exciting aggression in the coming years.
Tomorrow in Almaty we'll see the professional debut of former Kazakh amateur stand out Kamshybek Kunkabayev (0-0) [Камшыбек Кункабаев], a former 2-time World Amateur Championship's Silver medal winner.
The talented Kunkabayev has been matched in a tough looking debut as he takes on the experienced Issa Akberbayev (20-1-0-1, 15) [Иса Акбербаев] in a good looking match up.
Earlier today the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout and the two men each came in just over the Crusierweight limit.
On the scales Kunkabayev was 202.7lbs whilst Akberbayev was 200.5lbs, and both men looked in good shape.
Although the bout looks tough on paper it's expected to be a mismatch in favour of the debutant. Kunkabayev is very highly regarded whilst Akberbayev was stopped last time out, by Evgeny Tishchenko, and hasn't scored a win since December 2017. Akberbayev was once touted, but at 36 years old, with a loss last time out and inactivity he's not expected to be that competitive with his countryman here.
The plan for this bout is for Kunkabayev to stay busy and stay fighting fit as he continues preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. He is expected to have another professional bout before the games before heading to the professional ranks full time.
Sadly at the time of writing we've not been given the other weights from this show.
On August 23rd MTK Kazakhstan will be putting on a show from Almaty, Kazakhstan, featuring a number of notable Kazakh hopefuls.
Today we saw the opponent for unbeaten Kazakh Victor Kotochigov (11-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов] being announced as Belorussian veteran Andrei Isayeu (30-17, 9).
On paper this doesn't look an awful bout for Kotochigov who's been out of the ring since December 2019, but in reality it's not a bout that will move the 27 year old much further forward. Isayeu is a 40 year old who is without a win since November 2016, and has now lost 10 in a row. Whilst he has faced some decent fighters in that losing run Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu and Erzhan Turgumbekov they were both earlier in their career's than Kotochigov is right now, and both were naturally smaller than the unbeaten Kazakh.
This is one of two 10 rounders set for the card which is set to feature a trio of notable debutants.
One of those debutants is Kamshybek Kunkabayev (0-0) [Камшыбек Кункабаев], who will be facing Issa Akberbayev (20-1-0-1, 15) [Иса Акбербаев] in an 8 round bout at Cruiserweight. This is regarded as a solid test for the 2-time World Amateur Championship silver medal winner, but a test he should pass with flying colours,
Another debutant is Tursynbay Kulakhmet (0-0) [Турсынбай Кулахмет], who we now know will be up against Sagadat Rakhmankulov (6-1, 4) [Сагадат Рахманкулов] in a genuine baptism of fire for an excellent amateur fight. The third of the debutants is Talgat Shaiken (0-0) [Талгата Шайкена], who will be facing the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-0, 1) [Берикбай Нурымбетов]. Both of these bouts are scheduled for 6 rounds at Light Middleweight.
For fans wanting to watch this event it will be shown on IFL TV, ESPN+ and Qazsport, in Kazakhstan, and will be the first show in Kazakhstan since February.
Yesterday we reported that MTK Kazakhstan had announced that former amateur standout Kamshybek Kunkabayev (0-0) [Камшыбек Кункабаев] would be making his debut on August 23rd in Almaty. At the time however there was no opponent confirmed for the 2-time World Amateur Silver medal winner.
Today that has chanced with Kunkabayev having his opponent named as the once beaten Issa Akberbayev (20-1-0-1, 15) [Иса Акбербаев], in what looks like a really solid professional debut for a man who is still eyeing a potential Olympic medal at the Tokyo games.
As a full time amateur Kunkabayev was one of the top names in the Super Heavyweight division. He is a 2-time World Amateur Silver medal winner, as mentioned, and a 2-time Asian Championships silver medal winner. Unfortunately for him he kept clashing with Mahammadrasul Majidov and Bakhodir Jalolov in the finals.
Once tipped as a genuine hopeful himself Akberbayev never really saw his career go the way many had hoped. He was very highly regarded until he was stopped by Anthony Ferrante in 2013, and despite that bout being changed to a No Contest he never really recovered. Last year he was stopped by Olympic champion Evgeny Tishchenko in 6 rounds, and we assumed that would be the end of his career.
Reportedly this bout will see Kunkabayev fighting as a Cruiserweight, and will be the show's main event. Sadly other bouts for the show, including the debut opponents for Tursynbay Kulakhmet (0-0) [Турсынбай Кулахмет] and Talgat Shaiken (0-0) [Талгата Шайкена], haven't yet been confirmed, though are expected to be announced very shortly.
Kazakh sources have reported that Kunkabayev is taking this fight, and plans another, as a way to "keep fit" ahead of the Tokyo games, and doesn't plan to abandon the amateur fight game until after the Olympics.
Earlier today MTK Kazakhstan announced that a trio of former Kazakh amateur standouts would be making their professional debut later this month on a major card in Kazakhstan.
Among the debutants are Tursynbay Kulakhmet (0-0) [Турсынбай Кулахмет] and Talgat Shaiken (0-0) [Талгата Шайкена], who were both originally scheduled to debut in March, before having their debuts pushed back to July and then pushed back again, to this new date.
Of those two Kulakhmet is the more promising fighter, and his amateur shows suggest he could be a true professional sensation. His style is really suited to the professional ranks, he's very easy on the eye and has a very polished style. His success in the amateurs included a gold at the 2019 Asian Championships and a Bronze medal at the World Championships.
Although not quite as highly regarded Shaiken is not one to ignore either. His style is very much a rough and tough one. He's really young but physically very imposing and could give us some very fan friendly bouts going forward.
The third of the notable debutants is former Super Heavyweight amateur standout Kamshybek Kunkabayev [Камшыбек Кункабаев], who recently announced his singing with MTK. He is a former 2-time World Amateur Silver medal winner and is known for his amateur rivalry with Bakhodir Jalolov.
Details of their opponents haven't been confirmed but we are really looking forward to all 3 men making a statement in the professional ranks. previous Kulakhmet and Shaiken were matched really tough for their July dates, so fingers crossed they get a similar level of opponent this August date.
Although full details of who will the trio will be facing have yet to be confirmed there are now details of when and where the three men will fight.
Other fighters announced for this card include Abay Tolesh (5-0, 3) [Абай Толеш], Victor Kotochigov (11-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], Ray Seitzhanov (2-0) [Рай Сейтжанов], Issa Akberbayev (20-1-0-1, 15) [Иса Акбербаев], Saparbay Aidarov (4-0, 2) [Сапарбай Айдаров],Nurtas Azhbenov (9-0, 4) [Нуртас Ажбенов], Nurdos Tolebay (2-0, 1) [Нурдос Толебай] and Sagadat Rakhmankulov (6-1, 4) [Сагадат Рахманкулов].
The show will take place on August 23rd and will be promoted by MTK Kazakhstan in Almaty. The show will be held behind closed doors but will be made available world wide for viewers courtesy of IFL TV, ESPN+ and QAZSPORT
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