This coming week or two we don't really have any "prospects" to talk about but there is one very interesting Kazakh hopeful who deserves some attention. He might not be regarded as a prospect, given he's now 31 and will be 32 before the end of the year, but he's certainly one to keep an eye on and someone worthy of making a mental note of, before he fights this coming Saturday.
The man in question is Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Zhan Kossobutskiy (14-0, 13), who has already won his first minor title and will be looking to pick up another one on Saturday when he takes on American veteran Steve Vukosa.
Born in November 1988 in Arkalyk City, which was then part of the USSR, Kossobutskiy has an interesting past. He's a Kazakh though he also boasts Belarusian nationality and has been trained by father, for the most part.
Sadly it's hard to know, for sure, what Kossobutskiy's amateur career was. We know that BoxRec currently give him an amateur record of 12-4 (2), though we also know that's wrong, and incomplete. We also know that Kossobutskiy was a very, very capable amateur.
We know that because we also know that Kossobutskiy is a 3-time Kazakh national amateur champion. The first of those national titles came in 2010 win, where he beat Vasiliy Levit in the Heavyweight final, before he moved up in weight and won in the Super Heavyweight division in both the 2012 and 2013. Between his national title wins was a bronze medal that he picked up in 2011.
In regards to international competition Kossobutskiy won the 2012 Liventsev Memorial in Belaurs, where he beat Azeri standout Magomedrasul Medzhidov in the final. The following year, at the 2013 Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, he took home second place, beating Guido Vianello, who Top Rank have been promoting hard, in the quarter final. Also in 2013 he won the Nikolay Manger Memorial in Ukraine and came runner up in the Summer Universiade in Russia.
After his solid run in the unpaid ranks Kossobutskiy looked set to turn professional in 2015, signing with an American promoter. Sadly however the deal collapsed before it ever got going. As a result Kossobutskiy had to wait until 2017 to begin campaigning as a profession, debuting in Belarus in with a win over Edgars Kalnars, who he stopped in a round.
Due to the lengthy delay to him kicking off his professional career Kossobutskiy looked to make up for lost time and within a a year of his debut he was 7-0 (6). He had been very busy, albeit against low level competition, and had racked up wins in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Only the tough Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko had managed to survive the distance with Kossbutskiy in that early run.
With some professional experience under his belt he continued to be active, and in 2019 he notched wins over Williams Ocando, Osborn Machimana and Agron Smakici, who was then 15-0. The win Smakici netted Kossobutskiy the IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight title and saw him end 2019 with a lot of momentum on his side.
Sadly 2020 hasn't been a great year for anyone and it's seen Kossobutskiy's activity drop off, though he has managed to fight twice already this year, including a very good win over the under-rated and teak tough Kamil Sokolowski. He's now looking for his third win when he returns to face Vukosa.
In the ring Kossobutskiy is a very talented fighter, with solid power, a good boxing brain and a lot to like. He's also a southpaw and despite being a relatively short Heavyweight he does fight to his strengths for the most part. Sadly though he's lacking not just height, but also speed, and he certainly doesn't look like he's got an extra gear in him.
Sadly Kossobutskiy's lack of speed and size are going to be big issues when he steps up few levels, but by then we expect him to have made a decent career, and potentially to have had a chance to cash out with a good payday or two along the way.
For those who have looked over Kossobutskiy's record and spotted that he has had 9 fights in Belarus, we have read that he's actually a Belarusian national. We suspect that that's likely a big reason why so many of his bouts have come in the country. It's also worth noting that he has never fought, as a professional, in Kazakhstan.
For those that haven't seen Kossobutskiy before we've included his bout with Kamil Sokolowski below.
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