It's not often we get to talk about fighters from Kyrgyzstan with very, very few fighters of note coming from the land locked central Asian country. Despite that the country, of around 6.6 million, does seem like it could be one to watch over the coming years and we suspect it'll follow in the footsteps of it's neighbours, such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. With that in mind it's worth making a note when some of their top amateur fighters leave the vest behind and begin their professional journey.
With that said it made this week's "Introducing" an easy choice, as we want to focus on the debuting Bek Kamchybekov (0-0), who is set to appear on a Russian show on April 17th.
As an amateur Kamchybekov has been on the radar of fans for a decade now. In fact going back through some old AIBA videos we can find footage of Kamchybekov fighting in the 2011 Junior World Amateur Champions, in the 46KG "Pinweight" division. Even in those early days it was clear that he was a genuine talent, with a nice guard and some real hunger, though he did come up short against Behruz Umarqulov, who beat him with a hard fought decision. It was clear, even at this early stage in his career that he was a southpaw with a lot of potential. That same year he managed to win the Kyrgyz Youth National Championships at 49KG's. In 2013 he repeated that feat, albeit doing so at 56KG's as he started to mature and develop into his body and find himself as a fighter.
In 2014 Kamchybekov proved that he was now a man, going from winning the Youth national championships to the senior Kyrgyz national championships, again at 56KG's. He had found his weight, he had found his groove, and he was beginning to find success. However in international tournaments he did continue to struggle, and did also fail to make a mark when he moved up in weight, testing the waters at 60KG's.
When it comes to notable international success that had to wait for Kamchybekov, though he did make a good mark at the 2016 Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial, where he came second, losing to Russian fighter Konstantin Bogomazov, in a tournament that saw Israil Madrimov take gold a few weight classes high. That same year he was also unfortunate to run into Daisuke Narimatsu in an Olympic qualifying bout, losing a clear decision to the Japanese amateur standout.
Sadly for Kamchybekov his success failed to bring more success. At the 2017 national championships he was eliminated in the semi-finals, he also stumbled in the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup of Petroleum Countries and failed to get even close to the medals at the 2019 Asian Championships, losing to Baatarsukh Chinzorig.
Success would occur occasionally, such as at the 2018 national championships, but it wasn't a steady stream of success for Kamchybekov. He showed touches of brilliance, but seemed to come up short against the biggest and best names that he fought. this is seen when he took on the likes of Chinzorig, Narimatsu and Ikboljon Kholdarov. He was just below their level and just lacking that higher level consistency needed for success in major competitions. Despite failing to shine at the highest level he was competing at a high level and travelling around the world, getting very good experience along the way.
Watching bouts featuring Kamchybekov shows us a fighter who is a genuine talent. Sure he wasn't a mega star in the amateur ranks but was a fighter who looked like there was a lot of potential there. He could box but at his best he was a cautious pressure fighter, using his southpaw jab, tight guard and methodical footwork to try and cut the ring off and grind down his opponents. There was no flash with him, but he was very much a skilled operator, who often played by the text book. His style might not have been the best in the amateurs, though it does appear to be a style that will work well in the professional ranks, especially over the longer distances. His pressure, over 6, 8, 10 or even 12 rounds will be a handful for many fighters.
There's a good chance that Kamchybekov won't become a star, and the next big face of Kyrgyzstan boxing, but we're really excited to see him try. In his debut bout he's expected to face 20 year old Uzbek Sherzodjon Abdurazzokov, and although Abdurazzokov is 1-2 as a professional he has been in with some good fighters, and has asked questions of them. With that in mind Kamchybekov is not getting a gimmie here. He will have to prove what he can do in the ring, and will be expected to prove that he's legit as a fighter. If he can do that, then we expect to see him become a regular on the RCC shows from Ekaterinburg over the next few years.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces