Earlier today we reported that Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] has had to pull out of his bout against Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6) due to a positive Covid19 test (see Zhankosh Turarov withdraws from bout with Tyrone McKenna).
Sadly Turarov's not the only fighter who has had to pull out of a bout this weekend due to positive test, with Japanese veteran Shun Ishibashi (10-24-1, 4) [橋口俊] having to be pulled from his scheduled bout with Toshiya Yokogawa (11-12-2, 10) [横川聡也], which was supposed to take place on Sunday in Sakai City.
Thankfully Ishibashi appears to be asymptomatic and is awaiting instructions from the heal center.
The bout was supposed to be streamed live as part the second show being shown on Boxing Real tomorrow, the afternoon card if you will, and was scheduled as one of the main support bouts.
Sadly whilst the world is slowly getting back to normal there are still fighters testing positive and bouts still being cancelled. Thankfully however they are becoming less and less common and it's clear that the world of boxing is taking strides in the right direction.
Earlier today promotional outfit D4G Boxing promotions announced that the scheduled bout between unbeaten Kazakh Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] and Northern Irishman Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6), which was set to take place later today, had been cancelled at short notice, as can be seen below.
Whilst the promoter announced the bout was off from the show they didn't give any further details, leading to widespread talk that Turarov had bailed from the bout due to issues making weight. After all he had requested extra time to weigh in yesterday, giving more evidence to issues in him making weight. And we had widely seen people suggest that the Kazakh fighter was in for a tougher bout than he perhaps anticipated. Especially given the recent birth of a child.
It quickly emerged however that the reason Turarov withdrew wasn't due to weight, but was a medical issue.
Taking to instagram Turarov explained the situation:
"I will not be able to participate in the tournament due to the coronavirus ... upon arrival in Dubai, I started experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, fever and shortness of breath. After the obligatory PCR for the tournament on April 1, I got a positive result, I was isolated in a hotel room, this was the reason for my absence from the weigh-in. However, despite this, I trained and ran inside the hotel room all these days, I kept in shape even though I was sick, and carried out the weighing in isolated conditions, showing the allowed weight. After that, I insisted on taking a second test. Unfortunately, he also showed a positive result and I, realizing my responsibility to others, and also due to the forced isolation, was excluded from the tournament."
We'll start by wishing Turarov a speedy recovery, though this does lead to more questions than answers. Such as whether or not McKenna or the officials at the weigh in knew he had tested positive for Covid19? If he tested positive on April 1st why did it take until this morning for that to come to light? Was the promoter even aware of the first test? Will McKenna get paid part of his purse? Will Turarov get paid part of his purse?
The situation does however highlight something we've mentioned in the past. The need for a confirmatory test. It's great that it was done, even if the process here doesn't appear to have been done particularly well. Given the short time between the first positive and the fight there really wasn't the time to do a confirmatory test and get the result back in a workable manner. Fingers crossed this is a learning experience for those promoting shows during this current climate.
Tomorrow Dubai plays host to an interesting card from MTK, which features not only an excellent main event but also a trio of bouts featuring notable Asian fighters.
The card will be headlined by Jamel Herring (22-2, 10) defending his WBO Super Featherweight title against the hugely popular Carl Frampton (28-2, 16). Although not a bout featuring an Asian fighter the bout is certainly that has our interesting and should be a compelling bout that has notable impact on the division. On the scales Herring was 129.4lb whilst Frampton, looking for a world title in a third weight class, was 129.9lbs.
Of more interest to us are the 3 supporting bouts featuring Asian fighters. These include a very interesting match up at 140lbs between unbeaten Kazakh Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] and Northern Irishman Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6). On the scales McKenna was 139.6lbs whilst Turarov requested extra time to weigh in, before finally hitting the scales at 140lbs. That extra time suggested he was struggling to boil down and that could play an important role in their bout. Especially given his recent inactivity and various activities outside of the ring.
Another unbeaten Kazakh on this show is the highly touted Tursynbay Kulakhmet (2-0, 1) [Турсынбай Кулахмет], who will be defending his WBC International Light Middleweight title against 34 year old Venezuelan Heber Rondon (20-0, 13). Both of these men made weight with no issues. On the scales Kulakhmet, who one British bookies priced as a 1/500 favourite, was 153.9lbs whilst Rondon was 153.7lbs for the bout.
The most interesting of the Asian inclusion's on this show is Filipino legend Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), who fights for the first time since the end of 2018, when he beat Kazuto Ioka in Macau. He'll be up against Colombian fighter Pablo Carrillo (25-7-1, 16) in a bout for the WBO International Super Flyweight title. On the scales both men made the 115lb limit with nothing to worry about. Nietes was 114.9lbs whilst Carrillo was 114.6lbs. Despite being 38 and returning to the ring after more than 2 years out Nietes looked in genuinely decent shape and didn't look like an old inactive fighter at the weight.
One of the most interesting match ups featuring an Asian fighter this coming weekend will see unbeaten Kazakh Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров] take on Northern Irish fighter Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6) over in Dubai.
On paper this is one of the few genuinely compelling match ups from the weekend as a genuine test for the touted, but frustrating, Turarov. He has been on the scene for over a decade but, due to one issue or another, has never managed to deliver to his potential. And this bout may well be make or break for him.
Despite having been out of the ring since July 2019 Turarov is the clear betting favourite here, with the best price on him being 1/4. Interestingly McKenna has fought 3 times since Turarov's last fight, and he's proven to be a hungry fighter who comes into this with a point to prove. Despite that he's priced as a very, very attractive under-dog, at 4/1.
The draw is best priced at 22/1.
For those looking for more value on the outcome, a decision for Turarov is priced at evens whilst a stoppage for the Kazakh is 19/10. McKenna on the other hand is 5/1 to take home a decision and 12/1 to stop the Kazakh.
Interestingly the bout is 4/7 to go to the final bell and 13/8 to end early.
Just moments ago MTK Global Boxing announced their "Dubai Fight Series", which will consist of 3 shows in Dubai. The cards aren't fully fleshed out, but there are a number of Asian fighters set to be involved in the shows.
The first card, set for February 6th, doesn't appear to have an Asian fighter but the follow up show, in March 12th, is set to feature two Kazakh fighters.
One of those Kazakh's will be the unbeaten Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17) [Жанкош Тураров], who will take on Northern Irish fighter Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6) in what looks like a very interesting match up. For Turarov this will be his first bout since July 2019, when he stopped Mauro Maximiliano Godoy, and despite likely being the favourite "Da Kazakh Kid" is now 30 and appears to missed the boat on becoming a true contender. McKenna on the other is also 30 and is looking to bounce back from a September 2020 loss to Ohara Davies. McKenna is typically a fun fighter to watch and his energy and work rate could give Turarov fits.
Another Kazakh on that same card is Viktor Kotochigov (12-1, 5) [Виктор Коточигов], who will be looking to bounce back from his October 2020 loss to Maxi Hughes. His opponent will be the unbeaten Irishman Gary Cully (11-0, 5). On paper this is a very, very even match up and should be a compelling one, especially with Kotochigov looking to bounce back from his first defeat.
Despite the two Kazakh fighters being set to fight on March 12th the really interesting part of the MTK announcement was their April show, set for April 3rd, which will feature two Filipino fighters.
One of those will be 26 year old hopeful Albert Pagara (33-1, 23), who will be looking to build on his current 7 fight winning run. His opponent hasn't been named, though fingers crossed it's a step up from his recent bouts against the likes of Lucky Tor Buamas and George Krampah.
The other will be the long awaited return to the ring of Filipino legend Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), who hasn't been seen in the ring since defeating Kazuto Ioka way back in December 2018 to claim the WBO Super Flyweight title and become a 4-weight world champion. Sadly Nietes's inactivity since then has seen him become a forgotten man, and he turns 39 in May, an ancient age for a Super Flyweight. It is great to see Nietes' return to the ring being confirmed, though it is way, way over-due.
As with Pagara Nietes's opponent wasn't announced, though we suspect it will be a bit of a gimmie for "Ahas", who deserves an easy bout to shake some ring rust before a big bout later in the year.
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