Just moments ago we saw the end of a show from Kazakhstan, shown live from Almaty from IFL TV. The card was certainly not the most exciting or competitive, but it was one with several noteworthy bouts on it.
One of the first bouts of real note saw Kazakh fighter Abay Tolesh (7-1, 5) [Абай Толеш] score a brutal KO win over Russian Vasily Shtyk (2-3, 2). The bout had been fairly competitive until Tolesh hurt Shtyk in round 5, and then dropped him. Surprisingly Shtyk got to his feet quickly, and it was probably too quickly with Tolesh going after him, and finishing in highlight reel fashion. Sadly whilst the KO it's self was fantastic questions need to be asked of the referee who should have stepped in earlier and saved Shtyk from the final few shots.
Another bout of note saw talented youngster Talgat Shayken (4-0, 2) [Талгат Шайкен] battle against Russian fighter Evgeny Pavko (18-4-1, 13). This one started with drama as Shayken was shaken within seconds, though he recovered very well and by the end of round 3 he looked in control of his more experienced foe. Despite looking super aggressive in his first 3 bouts, he showed real calmness here, and boxed well, dictating the bout with his boxing skills, and easily took the 8 rounds decision.
The chief support bout saw unbeaten Kazakh Nurtas Azhbenov (11-0, 4) [Нуртас Ажбенов] take on once beaten Russian fighter Evgeny Smirnov (13-2-3, 3) in a 10 rounder for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Lightweight title. On paper this looked a really interesting match up, and it proved to be competitive, though not the most exciting. The skilled Azhbenov used his skills on the outside to take an early lead, but it was the pressure of Smirnov that made the fight, especially in the second half as he forced Azhbenov to work. Sadly two of the judges failed to give Smirnov any credit for his work, scoring it wide for Azhbenov, but in reality he was forced to work for this win.
Despite the win we're still unconvinced that the 26 year old Azhbenov has the tools to go all the way. He's clearly a skilled fighter but he lacks power and he lacks intensity, and we suspect those issues will cost him sooner rather than later.
In the main event Kazakh standout Kamshybek Kunkabayev (3-0, 3) [Камшыбек Кункабаев] scored his latest win, as he over-came Server Emurlaiev (23-2, 8), who was a late replacement for Northern Irish fighter Steven Ward (13-1, 4), and claimed the WBO Asia Pacific Crusierweight title.
From the opening round Kunkabayev dictated pretty much everything behind his sharp jab and his composed boxing. There was a feeling that he was fighting well within himself and was wanting rounds, rather than wanting to impress, and he seemed to remain in first gear through the first 5 rounds. In round 6 he finally rocked his man and then hurt him again on the bell. After the 6th round Emurlaiev and his team decided enough was enough and pulled out of the corner before the start of round 7.
Earlier today the great folks at Vesti.kz announced a host of details regarding a December 18th show from MTK Kazakhstan, which will be held in Almaty and feature a staggering 22 bouts!
In one of the main bouts from the show Kamshybek Kunkabayev (1-0, 1) [Камшыбек Кункабаев], a 2-time World Amateur Championship silver medal winner, will fight in his second professional bout. He will be up against tough Ukrainian Serhiy Radchenko (7-6, 2), who has gone the distance with some very good competition, including Krzysztof Glowacki - who he dropped, Michal Cieslak, Ruslan Fayfer, Aleksei Ergorov and Artur Szpilka, who he ran very close this past March. For a second professional bout this is a real test for the unbeaten Kazakh, who is fighting as a professional boxer to merely stay busy whilst awaiting the Tokyo Olympics.
Another notable name on the show will be unbeaten 24 year old prospect Sultan Zaurbek (9-0, 7) [Султан Заурбек], who will take on Ukrainian Vladyslav Melnyk (12-2, 7) in an interesting looking 8 rounder. Despite not having a title on the line here this is one of the most interestingly and well matches bouts on the card and looks to be a decent step up in class for Zaurbek, who is a clear talented but is yet to be given the tests to really know how good he actually is.
In an interesting all-Kazakh bout Nurbol Sultanbay (3-0, 1) [Нурбол Султанбай] will battle Miras Ertanov (2-0, 1) [Мирас Ертанов] in a minor title unification bout. Interestingly these two men both made their debuts earlier this year and have been fast tracked to title bouts, even if they are only for minor belts. Sultanbay will be looking to make his first defense of the WBO Asian Pacific Youth Light Middleweight title whilst Ertanov will be looking to defense his WBC Asian Boxing Council for the first time.
We'll also get a very similar match up between Torgynbek Amirov (2-0) [Торгынбек Амиров] and Alimzhan Tursunov (4-0, 3) [Алимжаном Турсуновым], who will also be battling for two minor titles in another unification bout. Amirov enters as the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Featherweight champion whilst Tursunov is the WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver champion, both men are looking to make their first defenses and become a double champion.
One other bout that is really interesting will see 20 year old Kazakh hopeful Talgat Shayken (2-0, 1) [Талгат Шайкен] take on 34 year old veteran Maxim Churbanov (8-7-1-1). The promising Shayken turned professional with a decent amount of buzz, and despite not shining in his debut, he looked a lot more polished in his second bout and this should be a good test against a 34 year old who has been mixing in good company in Europe, even if he has lost his last 4.
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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Back in August we saw 19 year old Kazakh hopeful Talgat Shaiken (1-0) [Талгата Шайкена] make his professional debut. Today MTK announced his next bout, which we now know will take place in Kazakhstan this coming Wednesday, September 23rd.
The bout will Sahaiken take on experienced Uzbek fighter Bakhrom Payazov (22-13, 15) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in a bout that will be part of a pretty interesting Kazakh card.
Shaiken, who looked flawed but exciting on his debut, is regarded by many as a really talented and promising, but one who will need time to develop and round off his skillset. He's aggressive, exciting, physically powerful and very, very raw. With that in mind an opponent like Payazov is a perfect bit of match making for Shaiken.
Payazov is no world beater, he's 35, he's been stopped in 9 of his 13 losses, he's a naturally smaller man, but will know enough to ask questions of Shaiken, before eventually being stopped by the Kazakh youngster.
Incidentally the man Shaiken beat on his debut, Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-1, 1) [Берикбай Нурымбетов], will also be on this show. The once beaten Nurymbetov will be up against the unbeaten Ray Seitzhanov (3-0) [Рай Сейтжанов] in a scheduled 10 rounds. Another 10 rounder will see will see Uzbek fighter Mukhitdin Rajapbaev (12-7-1, 8) take on local fighter Yedil Kozhamberdiyev (9-2, 9) [Едил Кожамбердиев] in a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Cruiserweight Cruiserweight.
One other bout worthy of attention will see touted Nurtas Azhbenov (9-0, 4) [Нуртас Ажбенов] take on Armenian foe Arkadi Harutyunyan (4-11, 1). This isn't a great bout but Azhbenov has been regarded as one to watch since he turned professional and for those who have followed it's worth being aware of this bout, as it appears the show has been put together on relatively short notice.
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.
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