As we head towards the new year we've had a big look at the current scene and come up with "20 fights we'd like to see in 2020", yeah another series ahead of the new decade!
As is always the case with what we do, these articles will have an Asian flavour, and every bout we mention in the series will have at least 1 fighter from Asia involved. So for those of you expecting us to talk about Deontay Wilder Vs Anthony Joshua, that won't be listed.
What we'll be looking at is well matched contests with either some form of back story, a great stylistic clash or bouts with some form of significant meaning. If they tick all the boxes then that is even better! Each fight will be given it's own article and each of these will come with an introduction to the fighters, and why the bout is being featured in the list.
Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15) vs Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17)
All Central Asian bouts don't seem to be a common thing, sadly, but on paper they could make for some really interesting fights, as they often do in the amateurs. In the unpaid ranks Uzbekistan Vs Kazakhstan is a regular sight, often in medal bouts, and the winners often walk away with not only a medal but also a huge glowing boost of national pride. We'd love to see a lot more of those types of bouts in the professional ranks, and today's fight is one such example!
Heavy handed Uzbek southpaw Shohjahon Ergashev is certainly not a fighter many would rave out in terms of skills, but in terms of aggression, power and excitement he is brilliant value. We've seen him struggle against boxers, but anyone who stays and has a fight with him can quickly find themselves in trouble. In 2020 we want to see him tested, and we want to see him in interesting bouts. We know that Salita promotions has some interesting plans for him, but we dare saw we have the perfect bout for him here against another unbeaten Central Asian fighter with ambitions of their own.
Unbeaten Kazakh Zhankosh Turarov was once on the verge of a world title fight before his career got derailed by recurring injuries. He returned to action in 2019 and took two rather meaningless wins to get some moment going in his career, whilst beginning a run at Lught Welterweight. At 29 years old, and with his history of injuries, he really can't continue wasting time. Intead he needs a bout that can help shoot him towards a world title bout, and a win over Ergashev would do that. In fact we believe a bout against Ergashev would get the best out of Turarov, and vice verse with Ergashev needing to up performance to have a chance with the talented Kazakh.
In terms of selling this bout in the West, it wouldn't be impossible, but it may be easier to actually sell it in Asia it's self, with MTK, who handle Turarov, running shows in Kazakhstan. If they can get one of the world title bodies to accept the fight as a world title eliminator it would give both teams a reason to say yes, it would give the fighters a fight with meaning and a hot crowd.
The action may not be the tidiest, with Ergashev fights often being messy if he can't blast his opponents out in a round or two, but the between the moments of messiness we would expect a hotly contested fight that could end at any moment. This would be a gut check for both, it was be a test for both and it would be exactly what both men need ahead of a bigger fight for a world title.
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