Macaulay McGowan returns after over a year out to take on a man taking part in only his second professional contest in Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet for the vacant WBC International Super Welterweight title, on the latest MTK Global bill in Wakefield on Wednesday.
The card should have been topped by an intriguing European Bantamweight title clash between the champion, Karim Guerfi, and Scotland’s Lee McGregor. Unfortunately, McGregor tested positive for COVID-19, so their meeting has been shelved for the time being.
Kulakhmet (1-0, 1 KO) is the latest off the Kazakh conveyor belt of talent, and he may just turn out to be up there with the best.
He claimed bronze at the 2019 World Championships as an amateur, but always looked like he had a style made for the professional game.
The 26-year-old made an impressive debut in his native country in August, where he dismantled Sagadat Rakhmankul, forcing his countryman to retire after four rounds of one sided action.
He now travels to the UK to take what on paper looks a big step up, but the Kazakh and his team have much confidence in taking the win against McGowan.
The 25-year-old has been a professional since May 2014, and is unbeaten in 15 fights.
His only blemish came in October 2016, where he was dropped in the second round before rallying to a draw with Jez Smith over eight rounds.
McGowan (14-0-1, 3 KOs) has won four on the spin since against moderate opposition, his last coming in August last year, stopping Kristaps Zulgis in three in Oldham.
Prediction: There must be good reason why Kulakhmet has taken such an assignment so early on in his career, and I think he’s taking a calculated gamble in taking on McGowan. The Kazakh can box his way to a clear lead, before scoring a late stoppage down the stretch.
Chief support here comes in the form of a rescheduled Welterweight eight rounder, where Lancashire’s Jack Rafferty takes on Yorkshire’s Tom Hill.
The pair were set to clash on the undercard of Jay Harris’ victory over Marcel Braithwaite last month, but Hill tested positive for COVID-19.
Rafferty (12-0, 7 KOs) has only faced a man with a winning record on one occasion, which came in his last fight in February, where he won every round of six against Ismael Molina Moreno.
Hill (9-1, 2 KOs) is much the same, though isn’t a noted puncher. His sole loss came in a vacant Northern Area title challenge in December 2019, where he was dropped and stopped in four rounds by Ellis Corrie. He returned in February to outscore the tough Serge Ambomo over six.
Prediction: Rafferty should be able to overpower Hill, and score an inside distance win.
Dave Allen protégé Danny Murrell makes his professional bow at Super Lightweight against Dale Arrowsmith (2-37-1, 1 KO).
Paddy Donovan (4-0, 3 KOs) continues his education, as he faces Jumanne Camero (10-6, 3 KOs), with Camero never stopped in six defeats. Lewis Edmondson (2-0) goes up against Scott Williams (0-8).
The sole six rounder comes at Super Welterweight, where, in a battle of unbeatens, Inder Bassi (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jack Martin (3-0) lock horns.
Hassan Azim was set to make his professional debut against MJ Hall (2-56-2) at Welterweight, however the fight was postponed after Azim’s trainer tested positive for COVID-19.