In just his second professional bout sensationally talented Kazakh Light Middleweight Tursynbay Kulakhmet (2-0, 1) [Турсынбай Кулахмет] claimed his first professional title as he dominated Englishman Macaulay McGowan (14-1-1, 3), to claim the WBC International 154lb title with a unanimous decision.
From the off it seemed like Kulakhmet was there to make a mark and he pressured McGowan, and found the space to land solid straight left hands. McGowan looked like a man who was instantly scared of the man he was in the ring with. Credit goes to McGowan for toughing it out, but was in survival mode from the off, and through the first 3 rounds he pretty much landed nothing. His only real moments of brief respite came when Kulakhmet bullied him to the canvas and got told off by the referee. By then McGowan's face was reddening around the left eye and he was being physically marked up.
By round 4 the bout seemed be very much a case of "how long could McGowan last?" He seemed to be throwing more out of desperation than belief, and was struggling for any sort of success.
In round 5 the action changed slightly. It was still incredibly one sided, but for the first time McGowan was able to get off the ropes and try to do things from the middle of the ring. It made no difference, and he continued to rely on high toughness, and survival instincts than anything else. It was clear that Kulakhmet was wanting to try and entice McGowan to let his hands go, leaving something to counter, but the English gave very few opportunities, in either round 5 or 6, despite taking consistent punishment through out.
Having not been able to take his man out in the first 6 rounds Kulakhmet's frustration was was beginning to show more and more frequently in round 7, whilst McGowan's face was beginning to look increasingly like a mess. Right at the end of the round McGowan hit the canvas, following a leaping right hook and a messy coming together. This time the referee called it a knockdown, giving Kulakhmet his first knockdown of the right.
In round 8 Kulakhmet was deducted a point for pushing McGowan down, for what was the third or fourth time. From there on Kulakhmet continued to try to break down McGowan, but the Englishman managed to survive, and lasted to the bell.
Unsurprisingly all 3 judges had this one 99-89, giving Kulakhmet every round and accounting for the knockdown he scored and the point he was deducted.
Despite the win there was areas where real question marks need to be asked about Kulakhmet. He really lacked offensive variation through the bout, often relying on his power hand and not really using much of his lead hand at all. He also seemed very predictable and didn't move through the gears as he probably should or let shots go on the inside, where he could have had success. On the other hand he has proven he can go 10 rounds, he fought at a steady pace through out, and there are plenty of positives to take from this.
We dare say that Kulakhmet fought within himself here. He seemed like he had more offer than we saw. He also seemed frustrated by the fact that a man who was supposed to test him decided to survive, rather than fight, making for an ugly contest overall. Credit to McGowan for taking the beating he took, but in reality we expected more ambition from a man entering the ring with a 14-0-1 record.
We've known for a while that the sensationally talented Tursynbay Kulakhmet (1-0, 1) [Турсынбай Кулахмет], from Kazakhstan, would be having his second bout on November 11th in the UK. Whilst we knew the when and the where, we didn't anything else about the bout, such as who he would be facing.
That all changed earlier today when MTK Global announced the full details of Kulakhmet's next bout, and made it very clear that he was being stepped up at in a big way.
We now know the former amateur standout out will take on unbeaten Englishman Macaulay McGowan (14-0-1, 3) in a bout for the WBC International Light Middleweight / Super Welterweight title, in a very, very good looking test.
The 26 year old Kulakhmet made his professional debut this past August, in a sensational performance against Sagadat Rakhmankul, who retired in the corner after 4 rounds. That performance saw the Kazakh get rave reviews from not just ourselves but almost everyone watching him show off what he could do. It was known that he wanted to be fast tracked, though few would have expected him to take on a fighter unbeaten in 15 bouts in just his second contest.
McGowan began his career in 2014 and won his first 10 before being held to a draw against the then 7-0 Jez Smith. Since then he has reeled off 4 more wins on the British scene. Whilst he is more experienced as a professional than Kulakhmet this is still a serious step up on class for McGowan, taking on someone with exceptional amateur pedigree.
For fans wishing to watch this bout it will be shown on ESNP+ in the US and IFL TV for those across the globe, and will be a great chance to see just how good the hotly tipped Kazakh sensation really is.
Last week Kazakh sports news site sports.kz reported that plans were in place for the ring return of the sensationally talented Kazakh Tursynbay Kulakhmet (1-0, 1) [Турсынбай Кулахмет].
Kulakhmet, who made his professional debut back in August when he stopped Sagadat Rakhmankul in Almaty, will be fighting in the UK on November 11th as part of an MTK card.
Sadly full details of the bout are yet to be confirmed, but what is known is that the bout is set to take place at the Production Park Studios, South Kirkby, Yorkshire, on November 11th. The bout will be shown on IFL TV in the UK, ESPN+ in the US and it will be part of a card headlined by an EBU Bantamweight title bout between Karim Guerfi and Lee McGregor.
Unfortunately at the time of writing Kulakhmet's opponent hasn't been named and the length of the bout is also unclear. Saying that however Kulakhmet's debut was over 8 rounders and it would be a surprise if his second was scheduled for less than that.
Sports.kz have a quote from MTK Global's Lee Eaton stating:
"We have Tursynbay Kulakhmet, who will make his debut in the UK, and we hope to provide him with a decent fight, because he wants to make a statement"
With that in mind we aren't expecting a gimme for the talented Kazakh, who shone as an amateur and looked superb on his professional debut. Fingers crossed it's an opponent who really can let him make a statement, and not someone just there to survive.
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.
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.
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