Despite a string of interesting fights in July and August it does seem like boxing tails off this coming month with September having far fewer bouts of note than the last two months. As a result we get to highlight some bouts that we typically wouldn't able to focus on. That's this case here with this week's One to Watch. It's certainly not a big bout, or a major one in any way, but it's one we suspect will be worth tuning into and will deliver an interesting technical affair, with one of the men risking his unbeaten record against someone who simply cannot afford a loss.
The One to Watch?
Ravshanbek Umurzakov (10-1, 7) vs Zoravor Petrosyan (8-0, 3)
September 12th (Saturday)
Last time out we saw Ravshanbek Umurzakov have his rise through the ranks derailed in a big upset loss to Esneiker Correa, and right now he'll be desperate to get back to winning ways and put that loss behind him. In the opposite corner to him is an unheralded Ukrainian prospect looking to take his first step up in class and move his career forward. We come in to this one expecting skills from both and both men will be looking to take strides in their careers after rather long breaks from the ring.
Once beaten Uzbek fighter Ravshanbek Umurzakov looked like he had the potential to go a long way early in his career. Within his first 10 professional bouts he had beaten the likes of Eden Sonsona, Roberto Gonzalez and Roldan Aldea. He had looked talented, exciting, heavy handed and like someone to get very excited about. Sadly however he was really battered by Esneiker Correa this past January, and his rise instantly hit a brick wall. This will be his first bout since that loss and it's going to be interesting to see what effect that loss has on him. At 27 there is time on his side, but another loss will be very, very hard for him to come back from.
Unbeaten 22 year old Zoravor Petrosyan is a fairly unknown Ukrainian prospect, but is someone who looks like a real talent and is now getting a chance to show what he can do at a higher level. Prior to turning professional Petrosyan was a stand out amateur, winning Ukrainian titles at under 17, under 19 and under 22 levels, and reaching the quarter finals of the 2018 Under 22 European Championships. Sadly he's yet to shine in the professional ranks but from the footage of him he looks like a natural talent with solid handspeed, nice technical skills. He doesn't have much pop on his shots, but does have a lot to like about him and we see a really talented prospect when we see him.
What to expect?
We genuinely expect to see a very, very good performance from Petrosyan, he looks like he could end up really asking questions of Umurzakov and genuinely frustrating the Uzbek. Sadly though the lack of power in Petrosyan's punches is likely to be his downfall and whilst we do expect him to look good we don't imagine he will get Umurzakov's respect.
Technically Umurzakov is a less talented boxer than his Ukrainian foe, but he's much stronger, more powerful, experienced and mature. We suspect that, in the later rounds, that will prove to be the difference and Umurzakov will begin to grind down the talented youngster, bully him around, and eventually stop him.
We expect Umurzakov to stop Petrosyan, but we also expect that we'll be more impressed by Petrosyan than by Umurzakov.
The bad news?
This will be shown on an RCC stream, so it'll be free and widely available over youtube. There really isn't too much to complain with her, though there is a worry that Petrosyan's lack of experience as a professional could be a bit of an issue here. Fingers crossed that that won't be an issue and that Petrosyan won't freeze in what is, very clearly, a step up in class for the talented youngster.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.