MTK Global, in association with D4G Promotions, promote in Dubai this Friday, as a Yorkshireman with recent shock success tops the bill against an unbeaten Kazakh talent.
Rossington’s Maxi Hughes (21-5-2, KO4) upset the apple cart in August, when he arrived as the B side in Wakefield in a Lightweight ten-rounder in what was meant to be a cobweb shaking fight for Jono Carroll.
The Irishman was coming off a career best win against Scott Quigg, but Hughes didn’t read the script, and turned in a great performance to take a deserved win on the scorecards after ten rounds.
The reward for that win is an assignment in the UAE, with Viktor Kotochigov (12-0, KO5) his opposition at Caesar’s Palace, Dubai. Kotochigov’s WBC International Lightweight title will be up for grabs over ten rounds.
A winner of several international tournaments as an amateur, 27-year-old, Kotochigov has amassed a dozen wins as a professional, boxing in outposts in Russia, Germany, Georgia, Poland, and even York Hall, Bethnal Green.
His last three fights have taken place in his native Kazakhstan, with the first, in July 2019 seeing him win the vacant WBC belt that he still owns.
That night saw him take a wide points win over Jairo Lopez, the Mexican that Hull’s Luke Campbell stopped in two rounds in February 2017.
Viktor has made one defence of the title, winning every round of ten against Javier Jose Clavero in December of the same year. He last boxed at the end of August, stopping the 30-17 Andrei Isayeu in three.
Hughes should present the biggest test by far of Kotochigov’s career. Prior to his breakthrough win over Carroll, Hughes was a type that would usually meet his match at high domestic level.
Involved in an unsuccessful tilt at the Central Area Lightweight title in April 2013, outscored by Scott Cardle, and had an unsuccessful trilogy at Super Featherweight with Martin J Ward.
A draw in their first meeting in December 2014, before retiring in five in the rematch for the WBC International belt four months later. The third fight saw the British title on the line nearly two years later, and this time Ward handily outscored Hughes.
April 2018 saw another shot at the vacant British belt, but Sam Bowen would deny Hughes this time, with an eighth round stoppage win.
Hughes’ last defeat came in November last year, when Liam Walsh took a ten round decision to claim the vacant WBO European strap at Lightweight.
Hughes is unbeaten in his last two, and in good spirits and form coming off the Carroll victory.
Prediction: Although Hughes enjoyed a career best win last time out, and will be brimming with confidence.
The Kazakh will be a lot more disciplined, and will rely more on his boxing skills than Carroll, which could serve to frustrate Hughes over the ten round distance.
I lean towards Kotochigov taking a clear points win.
Wythenshawe prospect, Macaulay McGowan (14-0-1, KO3) makes a return to the ring, after a year out, and takes on Dubai based Mancunian, Rohan Date (12-0-1, KO9) over eight rounds at Welterweight.
The only blot on McGowan’s slate so far is an October 2016 draw with Jez Smith over ten, where Macaulay was floored in the second round. He has won four on the bounce since that setback.
Date turned pro in June 2016, and drew over four in his fifth paid contest with Wes Smith.
He is on an eight fight winning streak since, with his last three fights taking place in the same Dubai venue where he boxes McGowan.
Rohan was last seen in March this year, stopping Rivo Kundimang in three rounds.
The pick should be for a McGowan points win here.
Liverpool’s Blane Hyland (3-0, KO0) takes part in fight number four, a six round Super Flyweight attraction against Mohamed Salah Abdelghany (3-2, KO0).
Armenian amateur sensation, Hovhannes Bachkov, makes his professional debut over eight at Super Lightweight, against the experienced Samuel Gonzalez (22-6, KO13).
India’s Faizan Anwar (4-0, KO4) takes on JR Mendoza (11-19, KO5) over six at Super Lightweight.