With a lack of big bouts over the last week we were left with very few fighters to consider for this week's "Five For..." series. Despite the lack of fighters we did come to the conclusion that there was an obvious choice. That was Canadian based Kazakh Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0-0-2, 14), who didn't get the opponent he had been hoping for last weekend but made light work of the late replacement he ended up facing.
Given the easy nature of Jukembayev's win over Ricardo Lara, it now makes sense to suggest that Jukembayev should be back in the ring sooner rather later, so we'll now take a look at 5 possible match ups for the talented southpaw.
1- Daud Yordan (40-4-0-1, 28)
Whilst not the most likely bout out there for either Jukembayev or Indonesian fighter Daud Yordan it would serve as a perfect match up to see whether Jukembayev is ready for the big time or not, it will also serve a purpose for both men. The 32 year old Yordan is in the WBO world rankings, whilst Jukembayev is ranked by the WBC and IBF, meaning both men having something to gain. Yordan is a fantastic gatekeeper, and to see him with Jukembayev would see both men answering questions. We would find out if Jukembayev has got the potential to go all the way, and we would also find out if Yordan still has anything left at this level.
2-Jorge Linares (46-5, 28)
If Jukembayev and his team are looking to make a statement then a bout with Venezuelan star Jorge Linares would be a very interesting one. On his day Linares is a sensational fighter, and could well prove to be too much for Jukembayev, however Linares is, and always will be, vulnerable. A win over Linares might not mean as much as it once did but it still carries a lot of weight and if Jukembayev can stop the 34 year old "El Nino De Oro" he will have a much enhanced profile, and be moved much closer to a world title fight. Linares' inconsistent performances and vulnerable chin make this a very interesting potential match up.
3-Pablo Cesar Cano (33-7-1-1, 23)
Whilst a bout between Jukembayev and Linares makes a lot of sense, and would allow Jukembayev a chance to get a former world champion on his resume, it may be even better for him to face a man who stopped Linares. With that in mind a bout between Jukembayev and Pablo Cesar Cano would certainly be a good fight, a fan friendly one, and a test of what Jukembayev can do against the inconsistent, but dangerous, "El Demoledor". Cano is certainly no world beatet, but he's had 3 solid wins in a row and would enter this bout in good form, make for an exciting style match up with the Kazakh and would be a very compelling opponent for Jukembayev.
4-Raymundo Beltran (36-9-1-1, 22)
It's unclear what Mexican veteran Raymundo Beltran has left in the tank, however he is still, at the age of 38, a serviceable name in the sport. Just last year Beltran fought in a world title bout against Richard Commey, but was unable to make Lightweight and unable to win the title, and he's been in some real tough bouts recently. At his best he was a tough nosed, hard hitting, under-rated fighter. Now however he's very much a man who has slipped, and aged. For Jukembayev a win over Beltran would be a huge win, and get his name in the mix for bigger fights. Beltran could still be too much for Jukembayev, as he turned out to be too much for Hiroki Okada a year ago, but it would look like a very smart and calculated risk.
5-Cristian Rafael Coria (29-7-2, 13)
We've seen Jukembayev's team look towards Latin American fighters regularly, in fact his last opponent was supposed to be from Argentina before visa issues scuppered their plans. If they want their man to face an Argentinian then why not Cristian Rafael Coria. On paper Coria poses little threat but the 37 year old is a genuine gate keeper level fighter, who will come to win and has the ability to really test a fighter like Jukembayev. In 2017 he travelled to Canada and went 10 rounds with Custio Clayton, showing a willingness to travel up to Canada, and since then he has ran Hiroki Okada incredibly close and beaten Joel Diaz Jr.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).