Back in June talented 22 year old Bek Nurmaganbet (0-0) announced that he was turning professional, having left the Kazakh amateur national to join the pro ranks. At the time there was a number of promoters believed to have been chasing his signature before he agreed a deal with Suleimen promotions, who have a host of other talented Kazakh's signed with them. He announced that deal earlier in July and just a few days ago they confirmed that he would be making his professional debut on July 26th in Minsk.
For those unaware Nurmaganbet was one of the best amateurs in the world before deciding to head to the professionals and those who have followed the amateur ranks in recent years are very excited about seeing how far Nurmaganbet can go.
The youngster impressed had impressed way back in the Youth ranks, taking a silver medal at the AIBA Youth World Championships in 2016, losing in the final to talented Scottish fighter Willy Hutchinson. Although he lost in the final it was a razor thin bout, with Hutchinson winning the final via a split decision. On his route to the final Nurmaganbet scored a notable victory over current professional prospect "White Chocolate" Nikita Ababiy.
After a relatively quiet 2017 Nurmaganbet then went on to quickly make a mark in the senior ranks, winning a national Kazakh title in 2018, where he was the second youngster of the fighters to win their weight class. That same year he also took home a President's Cup in Astana, losing in the semi-final to eventual winner Bektemir Melikuziev. You know, that Uzbek terror who has been racing through the rankings towards a world title shot!
Despite having already made his name in the youth ranks and the domestic ranks it was really 2019 that we saw Nurmaganbet announce himself globally. It was in 2019 that he won the AIBA Asian Amateur Championships, being one of two Kazakh's to take home gold, alongside the phenomenal Tursynbay Kulakhmet.
Nurmaganbet was also supposed to go to the recent World Amateur Championship's but an injury forced him to abandon those plans. In the end his replacement, essentially the #2 in the Kazakh team, went on to win the gold medal.
Despite only being in his early 20's the natural talent that Nurmaganbet has is obvious when he steps in the ring. As an amateur he was really highly skilled with a loose, relaxed style. Typically his hands do look a little on the low side but he looks a natural in the ring, very fleet footed and very natural moving around the ring. Like many of the top amateur's he's a southpaw and despite fighting at 81KG's in the amateurs, around the Light Heavyweight limit, he looks very quick with a lovely quick jab and a rocket of a smooth left hand.
In many ways Nurmaganbet is similar to fellow Kazakh hopeful Tursynbay Kulakhmet. He isn't quite the natural talent that Kulakhmet is, but stylistically they are similar, with fluid styles and a lot of energy in what they do.
We suspect that when Nurmaganbet debuts a lot of the focus will be on slowing things down slightly, sitting on his shots more and just adapting what he's shown in the amateurs. He looks fantastic, big, tall, rangy, quick, strong, powerful and smart. He's young, has time to adapt and has a very bright future ahead of him.
Sadly at the time of writing Nurmaganbet's opponent for his debut hasn't been named though the reality is that we don't expect him to be in too tough to begin with. We expect to see him have an easy bout on July 26th then begin to see his competition ramp up as he begins to adapt to the pro ranks.
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