This week for our one to watch we focus on a bout in England, as we see a talented Kazakh take a step up and go for his first professional title in a mouth watering match up for a minor title. For once this is actually a case of a minor title being used properly and a chance for a talented youngster to show why so many fans are excited about him. For those wanting to tune in it will be shown in IFL TV in much of the world and ESPN+ in the US.
The One to Watch?
Tursynbay Kulakhmet (1-0, 1) vs Macaulay McGowan (14-0-1, 3)
November 11th (Wednesday)
In one corner we have arguably the most exciting Kazakh prospect on the planet, and a man who is being tipped to be raced to the top in a fashion seen by very, very few others. In the opposite corner we have a man unbeaten in 15, who will not be wanting to be beaten by a professional novice. This is, to us, the type of bout that top prospects should be having, and the type of bout that fight fans should be very, very excited about!
The 26 year old Tursynbay Kulakhmet was one of the outstanding Kazakh amateurs of recent years and unlike many fighters who get molly coddled early in their career he has made it clear he wants to moved quickly, rapidly rising through the ranks. On his professional debut, in August, he looked like a star in the making, showing everything we could want to see from a young fighter and we're expecting more of that here. As early as the first round in to his debut it was clear he understood what professional boxing was about, and not only out boxed, out punched and out fought his more experienced professional but also entertained. He's very much fitting in the mould of current general of Central Asian and Eastern European fighters with the right mentality of the correct understanding of what being a professional boxer is.
Macaulay McGowan on the other hand is a 25 year old English fighter who has been a professional since 2014. His career has been a bit of a slow burn one so far, but he has developed a good amount of experience over the last 6 years and has answered plenty of questions whilst running up a 15 fight unbeaten run. Sadly he has never fought above British level, and his best wins, to date, are over the likes of Sullivan Mason and William Warburton. However this is his big chance to claim a WBC International title, get a big win, and win the backing of MTK Global. In fact a win here would legitimately change his career, and help him secure the fights he needs to make a name for himself, just days before his 26th birthday.
What to expect?
Whilst this is a chance for McGowan to make a name for himself we suspect it's not much of a chance. A win over over Kulakhmet would be massive for him, though it would also be one of the biggest boxing surprised of 2020.
What we expect to see here is for Kulakhmet to begin slowly, get a feel for McGowan before going through the gears, breaking the Englishman down, and using the opportunity to show case exactly what he can do. We could even end up seeing the 1-0 fighter play with his man, toying him to the point of mental defeat just as much as physical defeat.
It's perhaps unfair to write off the chance of McGowan but for him this is a massive step up in class and it's hard to see what he has to offer to really test Kulakhmet. The Englishman lacks the fire-power, size, strength or speed to get Kulakhmet's respect, and we suspect this will be a very, very dominant victory for the Kazakh, potentially in just 4 or 5 rounds.
The bad news?
Whilst this is very much one to watch, it's also expected to be a total mismatch, and little more than a show case for Kulakhmet, who will be looking to make a statement.
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.