On Friday night we saw unbeaten Kazakh fighter Daniyar Yeleussinov (10-0, 6) claim his latest win as he took a 2nd round TKO victory over former unified world champion Julius Indongo (23-3, 12). The win was, on paper, a big step up for Yeleussinov, but he made it look easy and showed why he was an Olympic champion.
With the win under his belt his focus will be on then future, and it should be a bright one, but before we look at that lets look back over the bout that was, as we give the bout our Five Take Aways treatment.
1-This is best we've seen from Yeleussinov in the pro's
When Daniyar Yeleussinov turned professional in 2018, following the 2016 Olympics, there was real expectations on his shoulders to be one of the big stars of Kazakh boxing. Then his first few professional fighters underwhelmed as he tried to adapt to the style of professional boxing. On Friday night however it looked like it had suddenly all clicked for the 29 year old Kazakh who looked razor sharp, aggressive, heavy handed, focused, and with a mean streak. This really was as good as he has looked since turning professional and was the sort of performance he needed to make a statement. Given he's now 29 it really is time to kick on, and a performance like this will hopefully convince his promoter to move to him towards a world title eliminator and a major fight in 2021.
Over the weekend there was a lot of conversation over whether Daniel Dubois "quit" or not. What there wasn't conversation about was Julius Indongo, who did, definitely quit. Indongo was dropped in round 1 and in round 2, and after beating the count in round 2 he made it clear he didn't want to continue. We won't criticise Indongo for choosing to say enough was enough however, he had been down twice, was 35, completely out classed and made the right decision. We just thought it was funny that no one has really mentioned this in the Daniel Dubois "quit" debate. Sadly however this is probably the end of Indongo as a serious fighter in the sport, and we suspect he'll either retire or trade on his name and pick up some pay days on his way out.
3-DAZN broadcasts are dire
We suspect this will be something we end up saying a lot in this series, but the commentary was awful, the camera angle used for much of the fight wasn't great, the canvas was poor and the venue looked very meh. There really is no redeeming factors in a DAZN broadcast at the moment. We had Sergio Mora suggest this was going to be a "sleeper" and tried to make out Indongo was a dangerous fighter at the first bell, Chris Mannix was more apt in his comments but they added little. The three man broadcast team really do not add anything to bouts, and either they need a shake up. Of the three Todd Grisham is the best, by some margin, but it doesn't sound like a coherent 3-man unit at all. Almost everything about the production here was bad, which is a shame given that DAZN is, for all intents, a premium service for boxing fans.
4-Indongo's success is hard to explain
It's going to sound harsh to say but Julius Indongo's success, and the fact he is a former unified champion, really is hard to explain. We saw him upset Eduard Troyanovsky in 2016, less than 4 years ago, with one of the biggest upsets of the year and we saw him follow up with a win over Ricky Burns the following year. We him score those wins. With our own eyes. But yet we are sat here in 2020 having no idea how he had that success. There's really nothing about him that suggests he was ever a world class fighter, and in 2020 he looks a shadow of what he once was. Yes he the older, more battle worn man here, but still he looked completely clueless when he was throwing wild hayemakers and getting caught by shots he shouldn't have been caught by. It's maybe unfair to say it, but he's among the worst "unified" champions in recent memory from a technical point of view.
5-Yeleussinov needs to be moved quickly in 2021
With his 30th birthday coming in March Daniyar Yeleussinov is no spring Chicken. Whilst it is fair to say he only made his debut in April 2018 it's still clear that he's not a spring chicken and he really does need to kick on. A win over Indongo is all good and everything, but from here on out it needs to to be really meaningful fights against fellow notable Welterweights. We'd love to see him face someone like Sergey Lipinets, David Avanesyan, Custio Clayton, Yordenis Ugas or Shawn Porter by the end of next year. Sure he's not the old man of the division, he's very much coming to the point where he needs to be in big fights. Fingers crossed Matchroom don't do the dirty on him and instead let him loose on the better fighters in the divison, the fighters he can actually test himself against.
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).