Last week in this series we spoke about Tursynbay Kulakhmet, raving about how he looks likely to be one of the big stars of the future. He, however, isn't the only Kazakh hopeful set for a big debut on July 18th. Another is youngster Talgat Shaiken (0-0) who is also expected to have serious questions asked of when he makes his debut in Almaty. Like we do with Kulakhmet we expect huge things from Shaiken, who has also signed with MTK Kazakhstan and is part of their growing, and hugely talented, stable of fighters.
Of course with Shaiken having not yet debuted the expectation on his shoulders comes from his time as an amateur, though needless to say he really impressed in the unpaid ranks and appears to have the desire to push for tough match ups and a fast track career to the top.
Aged just 19 when he signed his professional papers with MTK Shaiken's amateur pedigree is perhaps not the deepest, but is incredibly impressive for such a youngster.
Although Shaiken was obviously fighting before 2016 that was the year where he began to pop up in a lot of tournaments, and was winning a lot of tournaments. These included tournaments wins at an International Junior Tournament in February, the Galib Jafarov Prizes Youth Tournament in April, the Nikolay Khromov Junior Tournament, in June, and the Mamazhanov & Taraday Youth Memorial, in October. One of the few things he didn't win was the Abbas Agalarov Youth Memorial in Baku, where he came runner up to local fighter Sayad Lalayev.
Of course if it was just 2016 that Shaiken had had success in we wouldn't be that excited about him, but that was just the start, of what we could find, of his days as an amateur. His success certainly didn't end there.
In May 2017 Shaiken came runner up in the Kazakh Youth National Games, reached the semi final of the Aitenov Brothers Youth Tournament in July and then he went to Serbia and won the Golden Glove of Vojvodina.
In terms of bigger championships Shaiken went on to shine in 2018, winning the Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok, reaching the quarter finals of the AIBA Youth World Championships, beating the touted Otha Jones III in a preliminary bout, and taking a Silver medal at the Youth Olympics.
By that point it was obvious that Shaiken was a talented fighter and he continued having success in 2019 whilst further maturing from a boy into a man, building his physical strength and then, this year, deciding it was time to head to the professional ranks.
Although quality footage of Shaiken isn't the easiest to come buy what is available makes him look like a physically strong and aggressive fighter. There's a feeling that he's still raw and rough around the edges, but very powerful and aggressive. He looks to be a legitimately big kid who will likely move up in weight during his first few years in the pros. Unlike Kulakhmet we don't see flash and pizazz with Shaiken, but we see a raw and unpolished youngster who will go a long on his physicality. Saying that however MTK will get him top training and work on his technical ability, adding to his natural abilities.
We think Shaiken will be moved somewhat slowly, but at 19 or 20 there is no reason to rush him. He has the potential to be moved quicker than most fighters his age, but we'd like to see his team develop what they have before pushing him. Even if that does take curtailing his own short term ambitions. Defensively there is a lot of work that could be done before letting him loose at a higher level.
In saying that MTK aren't matching Shaiken easily, and on July 18th he'll be up against the unbeaten Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-0, 1) in a very tough looking debut. That should tell us a lot about how he's adapted to the professional style and whether they really can rush him or not.
Over the last few months we've not had much boxing to talk about, but thankfully that's all set to change in July with the sport returning to various countries after they have managed to get on top of the on going situation. With that in mind we have some fights to look forward this month!
Korakuen Hall, Japan
Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) Vs Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4)
OPBF Featherweight champion Satoshi Shimizu returns to the ring after a brutal loss to Joe Noynay last August as he defends his title against the unheralded Kyohei Tonomoto. The hard hitting Shimizu has a lot of questions to answer following his loss and will know that a loss here ends any hope he has of fighting for a world title. As for Tonomoto this is a huge opportunity to make a mark at Oriental level.
Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) Vs Daishi Nagata (14-2-1, 5)
Unbeaten Japanese Light Welterweight (140lbs) champion Koki Inoue will make his next defense as he takes on mandatory challenger Daishi Nagata. Originally this bout was scheduled for March, before Inoue was injured, then delayed due to the ongoing situation. For Inoue this could be his last bout at domestic level and he could well be looking to make a mark at a higher level in the very near future. As for Nagata this is his second shot at a title, after losing in an OPBF title bout against Rikki Naito. This could well be a very, very exciting bout.
Kazakhstan (IFL TV, ESPN+)
Dauren Yeleussinov (8-0-1, 7) Vs Arman Rysbek (7-0, 6)
In a very good looking all-Kazakh bout we'll see Dauren Yeleussinov, the brother of Olympic champion Daniyar Yeleussinov, take on Arman Rysbek. This is the sort of bout we're always excited about, two unbeaten, talented punchers facing off with everything to gain. At 34 Yeleussinov needs a big win, and this should be seen as a must win for him. Rysbek on the other hand is a bit younger, at 29, but can still ill afford a loss. Expect this one to be an excellent bout with two men looking to prove a point
Tursynbay Kulakhmet (0-0) Vs Sagadat Rakhmankulov (6-1, 4)
We love seeing top amateurs matched hard in a their debuts and that's what we have here with Tursynbay Kulakhmet, the 2019 amateur champion at Middleweight and World Championship bronze medal winner, taking on the once beaten Sagadat Rakhmankulov. It's expected that Kulakhmet will be fast tracked and with a debut like this the intention is clear, he is being eyed as a super talent and will be raced to the top. As for Rakhmankulov this will actually be his domestic debut, after entirely in the West so far. This is a big test, and hugely interesting debut.
Talgat Shaiken (0-0) Vs Berikbay Nurymbetov (5-0, 1)
Another notable debut is that of Talgat Shaiken, another Kazakh who is tipped for big things. Shaiken is only a youngster, but is a very strong and powerful kid who if being matched tough here for such a youngster, as he takes on Berikbay Nurymbetov. This is a tough debut, but should be a win for the former Youth Olympic silver medal winner.
Korakuen Hall, Japan (Fuji TV)
Kenta Nakagawa (18-3-1, 12) Vs Yuta Matsuo (15-4-2, 8) - Japanese Super Flyweight title fight
In the second Japanese title fight for the month we'll see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Kenta Nakagawa defending his title, in a mandatory, against Yuta Matsuo. Given the styles of the two men this should be a very good bout, with Matsuo known for his pressure and Nakagawa being known for his solid punching. A very nice bout and one that should be a very competitive one.
Rentaro Kimura (0-0) Vs Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1)
Yet another debutant of note for the month is Rentaro Kimura, who will take on Yuya Azuma. Those in Japan are raving about Kimura, who has stated that he wants to fight for a world title in his first 10 bouts. His debut comes against the relatively unknown Yuya Azuma, in what should be a rather straight forward debut for the youngster.
Kobe Central Gymnasium, Japan
Kenichi Horikawa (40-16-1, 13) Vs Daiki Tomita (14-1, 5) - OPBF Light Flyweight title fight
The second OPBF title bout for the month will see veteran Kenichi Horikawa take on Daiki Tomita for the vacant OPBF Light Flyweight title. This bout was supposed to take place in March, though was postponed when boxing was put on an hiatus in Japan. The title, which was vacated by Edward Heno, is often regarded as a stepping stone for world champions, and the title has been held by numerous fighters who have gone on to bigger and better things. For Horikawa a loss will almost certainly be the end of his great career, though a win would see him complete a domestic and regional grandslam. As for Tomita this is his second chance at a title, and a win here would be a huge boost to his fledgling career.
Aioi Hall, Japan
Masamichi Yabuki (10-3, 10) Vs Tsuyoshi Sato (10-1-1, 5) - Japanese Light Flyweight title fight
The final Japanese title fight for the month will take place on July 25th and will see fans attending the event as Masamichi Yabuki and Tsuyoshi Sato battle for the vacant Japanese Light Flyweight title. The title here became vacant when Yuto Takahashi announced his retirement from the sport following issues with motivation and training. Yabuki will be favoured here, given his brutal power, but Sato has been impressive with his pressure, high out put and under-rated power. For one of the first bouts with fans this should be a genuine highlight for the month, and the styles of the men should gell brilliantly.
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