Rob Brant has an opponent for the February 15th defense of his WBA middleweight title in Minnesota. The Ring reported back in November that former Olympian Esquiva Falcao was the frontrunner, but it’s 21-year-old Khasan Baysangurov getting the call.
Baysangurov (17-0, 7 KO) made his professional debut in 2013 at the age of 16, spending the entirety of his career in Eastern Europe. Just from a cursory glance at his record, this seems way too much, way too soon; he only graduated to full-time 10-rounders in 2017, and his biggest victories came over Guido Nicolas Pitto and Paul Valenzuela Jr., neither of whom are in the BoxRec top 100 at middleweight.
On paper, at least, he’s a far less daunting foe than Ryota Murata, whom Brant (24-1, 16 KO) upset in dominant fashion this past October. I suppose this is a victory lap defense, though an undefeated 21-year-old prospect seems an odd choice for the role of antagonist.