WBA #13 featherweight, WBO #7 and IBF #8 junior featherweight Arnold “Arni” Khegai stayed sharp with an eight-round stoppage of Tanzania’s Haidari Mchanjo last Friday night at the Ice Palace in Vladimir, Russia.
The undefeated ethnic Korean, Ukrainian-born slugger (15-0-1, 10 KOs) was dominating throughout (scores 80-72 x 3) the scheduled 10-rounder, when Mchanjo wisely decided not to come out for round nine.
With the win, the 27-year-old Khegai continues his unrelenting steamroll toward the 122-lb world championship fight he demands.
“I am getting sharper with each fight, staying busy fighting against different styles against fighters from different part of the world is making me better, sharper and smarter with each outing. I now look forward to returning to the US for a fight against a top contender.”
Khegai’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says he’s happy with his Ukrainian tank and hints of big things around the corner.
“With each win, Arnold is inching closer to his goal of becoming world champion. I was impressed with his victory, which will lead to great opportunities in the near future.”
Despite being tipped as a superstar in the making, ruthless Kazakh Sultan Zaurbek is keeping a level head as he prepares for Friday’s assignment in Dubai – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
The Shymkent super-featherweight has blasted to 5-0-KO3 and has already thrilled Sky Sports viewers but is determined to retain his identity amid the hype.
As he prepares to fight in front of a packed house, Zaurbek said: “I’m very happy to receive praise from big promoters but I won’t let it change me as a person.
“No matter how much attention I get, I will stay humble and appreciate every opportunity that comes my way. I came here as Sultan and I’ll carry on being Sultan.
“My goal this year is simply to earn a chance at a title by the end of the year. I want to have a shot and that’s what I’m preparing and training for this year.
“I’m very thankful for my team and I appreciate all the help and guidance they give me. I also want to thank my friend in London who helps me communicate. We all have a great understanding even though there are language barriers at times.
“I want to thank my team for all their help and I’m now waiting to put on a great show in Dubai. The win is ours!”
Along with 22-year-old Zaurbek, other MTK Global stars including Davey Oliver Joyce and Stephen Tiffney, who do battle for the WBO European featherweight title, Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov, Australia’s huge-hitting youngster Mateo Tapia and many more will be vying for limelight.
In addition, several products of the local Round 10 Boxing Club such as WBC International title-hunting Aliu Bamidele Lasisi and Filipino Larry Abarra will look to delight local fans.
Friday’s historic sold out card in Dubai is one step closer as the fighters weighed in today ahead of ‘The Fight – DXB Uncovered’ at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
David Oliver Joyce and Stephen Tiffney clash for the vacant WBO European belt, with both men clocking in comfortably inside the featherweight limit ahead of their title showdown.
Unbeaten Joyce (9-0-KO7) came in at 124.8lb, while former Scottish Area title challenger Tiffney (10-1) tipped the scales at 125.2lb.
There is also a battle for the vacant WBC International super-flyweight title tomorrow, as unbeaten Aliu Bamidele Lasisi takes on Ricardo Blandon.
Lasisi (12-0-KO8) weighed 114.2lb, with his opponent Blandon bang on the limit of 115lb at the second attempt.
Friday’s card also features a number of exciting emerging stars, including Kazakh sensation Sultan Zaurbek, Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov and huge-hitting Mateo Tapia.