Nurtas Azhbenov is excited to test his skills against a serious operator when he meets Evgeny Smirnov on Saturday’s #MTKFightNight event in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Unbeaten Azhbenov (10-0, 4 KOs) faces Smirnov (13-1-3, 3 KOs) at the Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
The fight is also for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental lightweight title, and Azhbenov is relishing the chance to take on a dangerous opponent.
Azhbenov said: “I have in front of me a very serious fighter, and someone who will also be striving for victory. He has good motivation, so it’s going to be an interesting battle.
“The coaches and I have been studying him, and we have noted to ourselves a few areas we can capitalise on. I like it when skilful fighters confront me, and hopefully the viewers watching on TV will enjoy.
“Each fight is different in its own way. You get new motivation each time and you need to start preparing almost from scratch in terms of psychology. The main thing is knowing what you want to do in your head and the ability to show that in the ring.
“I will be doing all I can to win this fight. Everything has gone according to plan in training and I have made sure to peak on fight night.”
Elsewhere on Saturday’s huge card, some of Kazakhstan’s best stars are featured, as Kamshybek Kunkabayev (2-0, 2 KOs) faces Server Emurlaiev (23-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title on the line, 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).
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