Nurtas Azhbenov is excited to test his skills against a serious operator when he meets Evgeny Smirnov on February 27 at MTK Fight Night 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. Boxing fans in the US can watch the event live stream on ESPN+, while internationally the fight card is available 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.”
In the main event Kamshybek Kunkabayev (2-0, 2 KOs) faces Server Emurlaiev (23-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title. Also on the card Talgat Shayken (3-0, 2 KOs) has a big step up against Evgeny Pavko (18-3-1, 13 KOs).
Among other bouts, 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).