The cruiserweight scene is largely overlooked for the talents at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. Despite several good fighters, the 176-200lb division doesn’t get the kind of attention that it really deserves. Last night a fighter who isn’t ranked in the top 25 made a big statement in knocking out the once beaten Argentinean fighter Ruben Angel Mino in the very first round.
Mino had a record of 25-1 with all 25 wins coming by way of stoppage. Whilst he had not been involved with the best fighters in the world, it’s always impressive when you dispatch every opponent you face. He had one loss at the start of 2014, but came back with five straight victories to set up this fight.
Isa Akberbayev came in undefeated and was coming off of another first round stoppage of an unknown fighter. This was a big step up in terms of competition, but he managed to duplicate the result none the less. With this type of record, and a solid win like this, he now has an opportunity to move into the big leagues at cruiserweight. He is 31, so his career progression will have to be brought along at a decent pace, but it certainly can happen for him in the next few years.
This is a fighter I have only watched once previously to this, and it was on the undercard of a bout in America a few years ago. I remember in that bout he looked very aggressive and was throwing a lot of punches looking for a knockout. When I watched him again, he looked to still have that same hunger and fought as though he could only win via stoppage.
Hopefully his team manage to match him up with few more decent opponents as realistically he could be fighting for a title in 12-24 months time.