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Viktor Kotochigov wins in main event, Thomas Essomba knocks off another prospect in Kazakhstan

Kotochigov and Sultan Zaurbek dominated in the main bouts, while bantamweight Essomba scored another solid upset.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Viktor Kotochigov UD-10 Javier Jose Clavero

26-year-old Kazakh lightweight Kotochigov moves to 11-0 (4 KO) with the win, coming on shutout scores of 100-90 across the board, and deservedly so.

Kotochigov doesn’t look to have a ton of upside, being honest, pretty low ceiling, but he’s technically sound, decent jab, doesn’t make big mistakes. Workmanlike, solid fighter, and those skills were fully on display against Argentina’s Clavero, who drops to 27-6 (5 KO) with the defeat.

Sultan Zaurbek RTD-4 Leshan Li

Li (16-4-2, 9 KO) also has a date on Jan. 12 at Korakuen Hall scheduled against Shohei Omori, and, well, this fight didn’t necessarily need to be stopped after four, but he marked up a bit and instead of risking it getting worse and losing a payday in a month, they probably just pulled the plug on purpose here.

Zaurbek, 23, is a nice looking prospect at 130, a southpaw now based in England, went 6-0 on the year with fights in the UK, Dubai, and Kazakhstan. At 9-0 (7 KO) he’s certainly got levels to climb in 2020, but there’s talent here.

Ray Seitzhanov UD-4 Ramiz Mammadov

A little swing fight here, lightweights coming in with 1-0 records each, and now Seitzhanov, 21, is 2-0, and the 25-year-old Mammadov, who hadn’t fought since Aug. 2018, is 1-1. There wasn’t a lot to it, really, Seitzhanov was better and won on scores of 39-37, 40-36, and 40-36.

Thomas Essomba TKO-3 Iksander Kharsan

Essomba just completely rules, about as good as a “gatekeeper” as you’re going to find, and that’s despite a record that is now 10-5 (4 KO). If you watch him fight, you’d never guess he’s 10-5. The 32-year-old bantamweight, originally from Cameroon and now based in the UK, went 2-0 in 2019, knocking off a pair of unbeaten prospects, first Sean McGoldrick on Aug. 2 and now Kharsan, who drops to 7-1 (6 KO).

Kharsan, 22, was down twice in the first round and again in the third, and though he got up in the third, the referee waved it off. Essomba was just too good for him. It could get tough for Essomba with this sort of record at his age, because after two wins like he’s had this year, promoters are going to be a little leery of matching him with their prospects, and understandably so. I totally understand why BoxRec’s system ranked Essomba No. 147 in the world coming into this fight, but if there are 146 bantamweights in the world better than him, I’ll eat my shoe.

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