Earlier today in Almaty there was a Kazakh card, streamed worldwide by IFL TV. The show wasn't the best, or the most well matched, but it did feature a number of notable Kazakh prospects worthy of some attention.
One of those hopefuls was 20 year old Rakhat Seitzhan (2-0, 2) [Рахат Сейтжан], who took a notable step up in class and stopped Uzbek fighter Shovkat Khalilov (7-3, 1) inside the opening round. The finish came following two solid body shots from Seitzhan, who showed some lovely handspeed and punch placement to close the show. This is a solid win for Seitzhan at this early point of his career, though we would like to see him in with a fellow Welterweight soon, and he looked a division or two bigger than Khalilov.
There was also a stoppage win for Ray Seitzhanov (4-0, 1) [Рай Сейтжанов], who stopped Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-2, 1) [Берыкбай Нуримбетов] in the 5th round to extend his unbeaten record. The talented Seitzhanov dropped his man with a left hook and and not long afterwards Nurymbetov's corner threw in the towel.
Another talented Kazakh youngster who picked up a quick win was 19 year old Talgat Shayken (2-0, 1) [Талгат Шайкен], who made light work of experienced Uzbek Bakhrom Payazov (22-14, 15). Shaiken almost broke Payazov in half with a body shot early in the round and although the bout continued it wasn't long before the referee had seen enough and waved off the bout. On paper this is a good win, but it didn't do much to tell us how good Sahyken is, as Payazov put such a poor effort.
In a more testing bout Nurtas Azhbenov (10-0, 4) was forced to go 10 rounds to take home a victory against 36 year old Armenian Arkadi Harutyunyan (4-12-1, 1). On paper this watch a mismatch and Azhbenov won all 10 rounds, though it again leads us to question whether Azhbenov has what is needed to reach the next level. The Armenian had been stopped 4 times prior to today and going 10 with Azhbenov is a suggesting that the Kazakh does lack stopping power. This isn't the first time Azhbenov's lack of power has been questioned and we really do wonder about how hard he hits. It is worth noting that Azhbenov had stopped 3 of his last 4, in the opening round, but those results do appear to flatter him and his punching power.
In the main event of the show Yedil Kozhamberdiyev (10-2, 10) [Едил Кожамбердиев] defeated Mukhitdin Rajapbaev (12-8-1, 8) to claim the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Cruiserweight title. Rajapbaev was pulled from the bout after round 4 by his corner who seemed to accept their man had taken enough punishment. Interestingly prior to the bout being stopped Rajapbaev had actually dropped Kozhamberdiyev. It wasn't a huge knockdown but was still a worry for Kozhamberdiyev, who still has a lot of questions hanging over his head, despite the victory.
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