Four fights between two MTK Kazakh fighters in a three-week period

RINGSIDE 11/02/2019

Elite Kazakh amateurs Sultan Zaurbek and Nurtas Azhbenov are relishing the prospect of kicking off the year with four fights in three weeks between them.

The young duo, who both defeated Olympic champions during stellar amateur careers, are both scheduled to fight on the March 1 show in Cardiff with Zaurbek opening his year at York Hall on February 22 and Azhbenov following up in Brentwood on March 9 – all live on iFL TV.

With both men coming off the back of eye-catching first-round knockout wins, they are delighted with the relentless activity.

Zaurbek said: “I was born in a gym! I started boxing when I was two years old so it’s all normal to me.

“The crowds in the UK are fantastic. It’s very professional here and we both enjoy fighting in these environments.

“Nobody forced us to do this. We wanted to fight twice in a week. We want to build our records as quickly as possible.”

Azhbenov added: “In Kazakhstan, we are taught discipline by the trainers. We have great weather and the dietary systems are good.

“Our ancestors were warriors and so are the generations since. We are very patriotic and the whole mentality of being a Kazakh is about being strong. Boxing in our country has progressed because of that.

“A lot of fighters don’t have the opportunity to fight this often but we’ve been given it and we’ll take it with both hands.

“I’d even take a ranking fight already if it was presented to me. You have to seize all the opportunities you can in this sport.”

Leading the York Hall show is Paddy Gallagher’s WBO European welterweight title clash with Freddie Kiwitt, topping the card in Wales is IBF European super-lightweight king Akeem Enns Brown against the unbeaten Bilal Rehman and world-ranked Michael McKinson clashes with Ryan Kelly in the Brentwood headline act.

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