Kunkabayev vs Emurlaiev – IFL, ESPN+ – Feb. 27
Streaming action from Kazakhstan to begin at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT – LIVE on ESPN+ (click here)
IFL TV BROADCAST BEGINS 10:30am GMT / 4:30pm local time
Women’s Flyweight, 6 Rounds
ZHANSAYA RAKHYMBERDI (50.5kg / 111.3lbs) vs. AIYM ZHUMABAY (50.2kg / 110.6lbs)
Featherweight, 6 Rounds
AIDOS MEDET (57kg / 125.6lbs) vs. BEKBOSSYN YERKINULY (56.9kg / 125.4lbs)
Super-Lightweight, 6 Rounds
NURDOS TOLEBAY (63.4kg / 139.7lbs) vs. ZHANDOS YEREZHEPOV (63.3kg / 139.5lbs)
Super-Welterweight, 6 Rounds
RAKHAT SEITZHAN (69.1kg / 152.3lbs) vs. ZHANAT ZHAKSYLYK (69kg / 152.1lbs)
Welterweight, 6 Rounds
NURBOL SULTANBAY (66.5kg / 146.6lbs) vs. NURZHAN MAKASHBAYEV (66.3kg / 146.1lbs)
Lightweight, 8 Rounds
TORGYNBEK AMIROV (61kg / 134.4lbs) vs. AIDYN SIKHYMBAYEV (61.1kg / 134.7lbs)
ESPN+ BROADCAST BEGINS 9:00am EST / 6:00am PT / 2:00pm GMT / 8:00pm local time
Featherweight, 6 Rounds
BAGDAT UAYDAYEV (57kg / 125.6lbs) vs. SAGYNDYK MOLDASHEV (56.8lbs / 125.2lbs)
Middleweight, 8 Rounds
ABAY TOLESH (72.1kg / 158.9lbs) vs. VASILY SHTYK (72kg / 158.7lbs)
Welterweight, 8 Rounds
TALGAT SHAYKEN (66.5kg / 146.6lbs) vs. EVGENY PAVKO (66.3kg / 146.1lbs)
Vacant WBC Asian Continental Lightweight Title, 10 Rounds
NURTAS AZHBENOV (61.2kg / 134.9lbs) vs. EVGENY SMIRNOV (61.2kg / 134.9lbs)
Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Cruiserweight Title, 10 Rounds
KAMSHYBEK KUNKABAYEV (90.6kg / 199.7lbs) vs. SERVER EMURLAEV (90.7kg / 199.9lbs)
Two-time World Championships silver medalist Kamshybek Kunkabayev, from Kazakhstan, will continue his fast track to a world title shot Saturday. Kunkabayev (2-0, 2 KOs) will take on Server Emurlaiev in a 10-rounder for the WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title from Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The Kunkabayev-Emurlaiev card, promoted by MTK Global Kazakhstan, will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ beginning at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT.
The 29-year-old Kunkabayev turned pro last August with a second-round stoppage over veteran Issa Akberbayev, and less than four months later, he dominated Serhiy Radchenko en route to a fourth-round knockout. As an amateur, Kunkabayev notched victories over 2016 Olympic gold medalist and current heavyweight prospect Tony Yoka, 2019 World Championships gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov, and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Maxim Babanin. Emurlaiev (23-1, 9 KOs), who once challenged for an interim super middleweight world title, returned from a nearly nine-year layoff last Saturday and bested Ajmal Zarif via first-round disqualification.
In other streaming action:
Kazakh prospect Nurtas Azhbenov (10-0, 4 KOs) will fight Russian veteran Evgeny Smirnov (13-1-3, KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental lightweight belt.
Welterweight prospect Talgat Shayken (3-0, 2 KOs), a 20-year-old from Koksetau, Kazakhstan, will face Evgeny Pavko (18-3-1, 13 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Shayken turned pro last August and has won his last two via stoppage.
In an eight-round cruiserweight tilt, four-year pro Ali Baloyev (10-0, 7 KOs) will step up in class against 39-year-old Russian Denis Tsaryuk (12-4, 10 KOs).
Southpaw boxer-puncher Abay Tolesh (6-1, 4 KOs), who bounced back with a knockout win last December following a split decision defeat, will fight Vasily Shtyk (2-2, 2 KOs) in an eight-rounder at middleweight.
In a six-round featherweight battle of Kazakh unbeatens, Torgynbek Amirov (3-0) will clash with Bektas Kassenay (4-0, 1 KO).
Saturday: Kazakh Star Kamshybek Kunkabayev Returns Against Server Emurlaiev LIVE on ESPN+
Kazakh phenom Kamshybek Kunkabayev will now face Server Emurlaiev on this Saturday’s huge #MTKFightNight in Almaty.
The event takes place at the Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, and will be broadcast in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Undefeated Kunkabayev (2-0, 2 KOs) was originally set to take on Steven Ward at the event, but after the Belfast man was forced out of the contest, Kunkabayev will now face Emurlaiev (23-1, 9 KOs), with the vacant WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title on the line.
Kunkabayev dazzled as an amateur, winning multiple national titles and silver medals at the World Championships and Asian Championships in 2017 and 2019, and has looked sensational since entering the paid ranks.
KAMSHYBEK KUNKABAYEV: THIS WIN CAN LEAD TO BIG THINGS!
Kamshybek Kunkabayev believes his return to the ring on Saturday’s #MTKFightNight can be the starting point for huge fights with some of the best cruiserweights in the world.
Undefeated Kunkabayev (2-0, 2 KOs) takes on another tough test against Server Emurlaiev (23-1, 8 KOs) at the Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications in Almaty, Kazakhstan, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
It is the first title fight of Kunkabayev’s career, with the vacant WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title also on the line, and the Kazakh phenom is hoping a victory here sets up a massive 2021.
Kunkabayev said: “This is the right opponent for my professional growth. This is my first title fight and this win can be the starting point for fights against boxers from the top ratings of various organisations.
“During the last few weeks, training has been focused on special exercises. I was training along with the national boxing team of Kazakhstan in the USA, and we developed endurance, speed and strength.
“I was satisfied with the two fights I had last year. The guys who I boxed were really strong and famous fighters with good experience in the professional ring.
“I have noticed a number of things that I can use on my upcoming opponent, but for now it is too early to talk about it. Let’s not spill the beans, the ring will show everything!”
Elsewhere on Saturday’s huge card, some of Kazakhstan’s best stars are featured, as Nurtas Azhbenov (10-0, 4 KOs) faces Evgeny Smirnov (13-1-3, 3 KOs) for the WBC Asia Continental lightweight title, and Talgat Shayken (3-0, 2 KOs) has a big step up against Evgeny Pavko (18-3-1, 13 KOs).
Ali Baloyev (10-0, 7 KOs) meets Denis Tsaryuk (12-4, 10 KOs) in a cruiserweight contest, Abay Tolesh (6-1, 4 KOs) goes up against Vasily Shtyk (2-2, 2 KOs), and a clash of undefeated fighters sees Bagdat Uaydayev (3-0) face Sagyndyk Moldashev (2-0, 1 KO).
There is also a packed undercard, which features the likes of Torgynbek Amirov (3-0), Nurbol Sultanbay (4-0, 1 KO), Rakhat Seitzhan (3-0, 2 KOs), Nurdos Tolebay (4-0, 2 KOs), Aidos Medet (4-0, 3 KOs) and Zhansaya Rakhymberdi (2-0).