Ask a fighter if they’re going to try for a knockout in their next fight and the standard answer is they will “see what happens, but if the opportunity presents itself…”
But if you’ve ever seen undefeated Kazakhstani welterweight Bakhtiyar Eyubov (9-0, 9 KOs) in action, you know the hard-punching marauder is doing more than seeing what happens. Eyubov is trying to hurt you with every punch he throws.
The 29-year-old from Aktjubinsk will face Jared Robinson (16-2-1, 7 KOs), of Sumter, South Carolina, tonight, in the televised opener of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader emanating from the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona.
Rather than asking Eyubov if he’ll go for a knockout, the more apt question is “what would happen if you ever did have to go to a decision… would you be upset?”
“Of course I wouldn’t be upset,” he laughs unconvincingly, “but my style is to break my opponent down, round-by-round, minute-by-minute, so it’ very unlikely I will have to go to very many decisions in my career. But whatever is the will of god is what will happen.”
But just because Eyubov says he expects another knockout for his collection against Robinson, doesn’t mean he thinks it will be easy. “Robinson is a very good boxer,” admitted Eyubov. and I’m familiar with his style. He moves well and has a good jab. I have a lot of respect for him. I took this fight very seriously and trained for a long time. This guy has twice as many fights as I do. But I trained well and I’ve got every confidence in my preparations.”
Eyubov shares a country of origin with another fearsome puncher who seemingly hates decisions: middleweight champion and budding superstar Gennady Golovkin.
Is that just how they teach you to box in Kazkhstan?
“I came from nothing. I had no support. No famous trainer. It was me against the world. Golovkin and I both had rough upbringings in rough neighborhoods, so I imagine that’s why we both have a lot of aggression in our hearts. Nobody told me to box the way I do. That’s just who I am and that’s just what I do. I try to hurt you every second.”