United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, USA
Over in the US this coming Thursday is the next in Ring City USA shows, and it's a really good one overall, with several really interesting match ups on it, as we're becoming accustomed to with the series. For us however the focus isn't on the main bouts but instead two of the lesser bouts, which feature central Asian hopefuls.
The more notable of the two bouts featuring a Central Asian prospect will see unbeaten Kazakh Welterweight Bobirzhan Mominov (12-0, 8) take on the once beaten Angel Ruiz (16-1, 12) in a very, very good looking 8 rounder. The 29 year old Mominov has been a professional since 2016, but has treat water for a while, with his most notable career achievement being as a sparring partner for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Although he's yet to score a break out win there is no doubting his talent, but he does need to prove it. At 23 years old Ruiz is much younger than Mominov, but even less proven and in his last bout, back in October 2019, he was stopped in 2 rounds buy Javier Flores. On paper this is a big step up Ruiz, and it may be too much, too soon, given the lengthy lay off.
The other central Asian fighter on this show is talented Uzbek Hurshidbek Normatov (10-0, 3), who will be looking for his 11th straight win as he takes on Jose Carlos Rivera (8-4-1, 5). The awkward, tall and rangy Normatov is a 29 year old southpaw, who hasn't had much buzz, despite being an unbeaten Uzbek with a strong amateur background and WSB experience, including a win over Anthony Fowler. An exciting performance here could help generate some attention for him, but a win over Rivera by it's self won't mean much. Rivera has been a professional since 2016 and although his record looks poor he has been matched hard and has been working as a good test for prospects. He will however need a career best performance here if he's to be a real test for the skilled Uzbek.