For this weeks one to watch we are looking at a bout featuring a once beaten former world title challenger and a relatively unknown unbeaten fighter looking to make the most of their first big shot. This wasn't the bout originally set to be covered in this series, though came about when the bout we originally wanted to write about fell apart, and the unbeaten man stepped in at relatively short notice, but more about that shortly.
The One to Watch?
Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9) vs Cobia Breedy (15-0, 5)
September 19th (Saturday)
The reason as to why this is one to watch is the fact is features Tugstsogt Nyambayar, a world class boxer-puncher, a former amateur standout and the brightest hope for Mongolian boxing since Lakva Sim, who last fought in 2015. The fact he's up against an unbeaten fighter, looking to make a name for himself makes this an even more compelling bout, even if we did prefer the original opponent of Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10), who was replaced by Cobia Breedy about 2 weeks before the contest.
We suspect most fans who follow the Featherweight division know who Tugstsogt Nyambayar is. The Mongolian really was a stellar amateur before turning professional, with many tipping him to become the second world champion from Mongolia. He started his professional career in impressive fashion and quickly rose through the ranks thanks to his exciting style and dominant performances. Sadly thougfh the last few years have been frustrating ones for him and he was beaten last time out, in a WBC world title bout, by Gary Russell Jr.
Although a real talent Nyambayar has been plagued by issues and inactivity and with just 12 bouts to his name since debuting in 2015 his career really hasn't gone the many had hoped. Even ignoring the loss to Russell Jr we expected much more from the Mongolian, and hopefully he does still have the hunger to become a champion. Despite being a pro foe 5 years he is still only 28 and shouldn't be written after a competitive loss to a talent like Russell Jr.
Whislt we suspect must have heard of "King Tug" we don't thing many will be too award of 28 year old Cobia Breedy, who was born in Barbados but is now based in the US. He's been a professional since 2014 and for his first 10 bouts he scored wins over very, very poor opposition. Thankfully that changed in 2018, when he beat veteran Christ Martin, but he failed to really kick on, despite taking the unbeaten record of Drew Correll. On paper he's stepping up massively to take on Nyambayar here.
Although not too well known Breedy has fought on TV, beating Fernando Fuenes via technical decision on a FOX card. Watching him we see a man who is a nightmare to fight. Although not a puncher he's aggressive, has a sense of slickness to him and a lot of upper body movement. He's the sort of fighter who should make for fun fights with the right opponent and is certainly someone we have enjoyed the few times we've seen him in action.
What to expect?
Given that Nyamabayar lost to Russell earlier this year we could have given him leeway for taking an easy opponent here. He didn't take an easy one when he signed to take on Ramirez, but the task became tougher when he agreed to take on Breedy, who we think is the sort of fighter who will give him fits. With that in mind we see this as a genuine test for Nyamabayar, but a passable test.
We expect to see Nyamabayar trying to keep things at range, boxing behind his jab and trying to control Breedy, who will be looking to get in and work the body. The jab of Nyamabayar may end up being neutralised by the upper body movement of Breedy, causing Nyambayar to fight fire with fire .We expect that will cause the tempo of the action to increase in the middle rounds giving us an exciting little war.
The real question is what can Breedy take? We suspect Nyamabayar will wear him down, but he'll have to earn it and Breedy will be there, and in his face, until the second half of the fight.
The bad news?
Again we need to mention that Breedy wasn't the original choice of opponent, and we do wonder what he'll have in terms of fitness. We also need to realise this is a massive step up in class for him. We suspect the leap up in class will be too much, over the longer distance, but we are looking forward to this and suspect it will be a fun clash, even if we would rather have seen Ramirez battling Nyambayar.
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.