Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov improved to 10-0 (6 KO) this past Friday, when he stopped former unified 140-pound titleholder Julius Indongo inside of two rounds on the Jacobs-Rosado undercard.
Now 29, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist Yeleussinov, nicknamed “Kazakh Thunder,” is of the age to make a big move at 147 pounds, maybe get in with some of the division’s best. Since he’s not with Premier Boxing Champions, that may prove difficult — as it has for Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr, for instance — but promoter Eddie Hearn says his guy is up to the task now:
Yeleussinov has great ability, and Hearn may be right that he’s settled in as a pro now. Some of his early bouts in the paid ranks weren’t as impressive as might have been expected, but he’s tearing through opponents now, winning his last three by stoppage. He shows power, skill, and some ferocity with the way he fights.
Hearn has suggested a potential matchup with the aforementioned Vergil Ortiz Jr (16-0, 16 KO), a Golden Boy fighter. That one could be pretty easy to make, in theory — both Matchroom and Golden Boy are with DAZN, after all, and both fighters need a step up. That sort of matchup would be truly welcome by boxing fans, I’d say.
Both would also potentially be attractive options for Terence Crawford, the WBO titleholder with Top Rank. That would require one of them fighting on ESPN, but Matchroom and Golden Boy have both been willing to work with Top Rank, so that part itself shouldn’t be a big problem.
You might suggest neither of them are quite ready for Crawford, and you might even be right, but Crawford desperately needs quality opponents, and he’s already washed out veteran names like Amir Khan and Kell Brook in the last year-and-a-half, as well as Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who was the best in-house option at Top Rank. There simply aren’t many names for Crawford to fight if he can’t get a deal with one of the PBC guys. At the very least, Yeleussinov and Ortiz are both unbeaten, obvious talents, Yeleussinov with a gold medal to boast and Ortiz seen as one of the bright young stars of boxing.
But that’s all just chatter for the sake of it. Do you think it’s time for Yeleussinov to take a big swing?