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Tug Nayambayar Wants To Be Second Mongolian Champion

By Lem Satterfield

Tugstsogt Nyambayar represents Mongolia’s best hope for a world champion since Lakva Sim’s fifth-round TKO earned the WBA’s vacant 135-pound title over Miguel Calist in April 2004 before losing it via unanimous decision to then-unbeaten Juan Diaz that July.

“Personally, I’ve never met him, but I’ve watched Lakva Sim’s fights several times, and a lot of people want to be like him,” said Nayambayar, 26.

“I think he’s a hero, and not just famous as a professional boxer. I’m a big hope for a title fight for Mongolia, so I would like to become a world champion and bring a title back to Mongolia.”

nyambayar

But Nayambayar (10-0, 9 KOs) must first get beyond 29-year-old left-handed former champion Claudio “The Matrix” Marrero (23-2, 17 KOs) in a 126-pound eliminator for the right to face southpaw WBC champion Gary Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), doing so on January 26  at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, as Premiere Boxing Champions returns to FOX  (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.).

The main event features WBA “super” welterweight champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ending a 22-month, injury-caused ring absence in pursuit of his eighth defense against third-time title challenger Josesito Lopez  (36-7, 19 KOs).

Nayambayar’s amateur career blossomed in 2009, when he earned a silver medal in the world amateur championships as well as a bronze in the Asian championships. “King Tug” also earned a gold medal in the 2010 World University Games, and another silver in 2012 London Olympics.

But if Nyambayar can become a professional world champion, that, in his mind, would surpass even his countryman and predecessor, Sim.

“I won a world amateur silver medal at the age of 17, and then, I won an Olympic silver medal when I was 20. No one else [from Mongolia] has done that,” said Nayambayar.

“But if I am able to bring a title back to Mongolia, that would be huge. That would be bigger than the [medals] I have won. So I think the Mongolian people will be happy, and there would be a major celebration – one of the biggest celebrations you could ever think of.”

But Nayambayar must first get beyond Marrero, a Dominican Republican fighter who won a clash of southpaws in April by 33-second stoppage over previously unbeaten Jorge Lara (29-0-2, 21 KOs) at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.

In a Knockout Of The Year candidate, Marrero finished Lara with a hybrid left cross-uppercut that crashed “Pilon” to the canvas and onto his left side in fetal position. In victory, “The Matrix” ended the 27-year-old Lara’s run of nine KOs in his previous 11 fights.

In his last bout in May, Nayambayar rose from the canvas in the first-round to secure his five-knockdown, third-round knockout of ex title-holder Oscar Escandon at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“I’ve watched the fight a number of times, and the first-round knockdown was more of a slip,” said Nayambayar, whose win over Escandon came against a fighter who was floored once by Russell in his previous fight in May 2017, a seventh-round knockout loss.

“Still, there was pressure to overcome the knockdown, and I made the proper adjustments and was able to do that. Escandon was a good, tough fighter, but, now, I’m focused on Claudio Marrero. I’m very excited for this next fight. I’ll give an even better performance in this fight.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by sicko on 01-14-2019

Big Fan of King Tug! Could be a break out year for him but Claudio Marrero is a HUGE Step Up for him next week but that is the fight that will steal the show on that Thurman vs Lopez…

Comment by Kannabis Kid on 01-14-2019

Sim actually first became a world champ at super featherweight beating a Japanese fighter for the WBA belt so hes actually a 2 division Mongolian world champion

Comment by Phill lynott on 01-14-2019

Very excited about this kid. Looking forward to seeing more of him. He's in a tough division and only has 10 fights. Not gonna be easy.

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