By Alexey Sukachev

The Kazakh fight scene opened up its new boxing season with a bang, starting it a week ago on Saturday, Sep. 24, at the Baluan Sholak Palace of Sports in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital.

Staging the event was a newcomer – Rustam Abdussalamov of the Tiger Promotions. A well-known (continental) figure was behind the back of German impresario Mario Pokowietz. The night was highlighted by a bunch of the first-round kayos.

One, who impressed the most, was local 31-year old welterweight Alexander Zhuravskiy. Zhuravskiy was fairly active as a pro in 2007-2011, going 10-0 and sharing his time between the Homeland and Thailand. However, he was out of the ring for almost five years in 2011-2015 before coming back with back-to-back decision losses to undefeated fighters.

Ironically, one of them was a debutant and another one – Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (also known as Tewa Kiram) – was 32-0. Zhuravskiy got back with two wins and easily got his third on Saturday. The veteran fighter crushed another Thai Patomsuk Pathompothong AKA Komsan Polsan in just two rounds. Polsan was stopped at 2:40 of the second. He is now 33-5-1, 20 KOs, while Zhuravskiy – and with a newly acquired WBO Oriental welterweight title – goes up to 13-2, 11 KOs.

Even shorter was a fight between undefeated cruiserweight Issa Akberbayev (18-0, 13 KOs) and German journeyman Maik Kurzweil. Despite NOT being a journeyman in a boxing sense, WBA #15 Akberbayev is, at least, a traveler. He has fought in the USA, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and, for the first time in almost seven years, in his native Kazakhstan. It took Akberbayev just 67 seconds to completely demolish Kurzweil, who drops down to 17-7, 17 KOs, his last four losses being in the first round. Akberbayev, 32, retained his GBC obscure title for the third time.

Another first-round TKO has been scored by Yernar Yeshenov (5-0, 4 KOs), who acquired a vacant WBC Youth I/C title by halting Georgian import Giorgi Jincharadze (11-5, 6 KOs). Yeshenov, 21, debuted in March 2016.

Russian light heavyweight Medzhid Bektemirov, best known for his split decision loss to Alexander Brand (a future Andre Ward victim), has fought for the first time out of the States. He overcame rugged and durable Georgian Gary Abajian (33-28-1, 17 KOs), 42, over six rounds. Scores were: 60-54, 60-54, and 60-52. Bektemirov is now 18-1, 12 KOs.

Also, recent debutant Berikbay Nurymbetov (3-0) decisioned veteran Ukrainian Valentyn Kuts (22-6, 8 KOs) over six: 60-56, 60-55, and 60-54. Kuts suffered his fifth loss in his last six fights with another one being a NC.

Other results:

Ali Akhmedov (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Mindia Nosadze (18-10, 11 KOs)

Aidar Sharibayev (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Zaza Amiradze (6-1, 4 KOs)

Firuza Sharipova (2-1, 1 KO) TKO 3 Milena Matovic (0-1)