Rob Brant vs Khasan Baysangurov Preview Feb. 15th
Regular WBA Middleweight Champion Rob Brant of Saint Paul, Minnesota will be defending his title for the first time when he takes on unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov of Russia on Friday, Feb. 15th. The 12-round bout takes place at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota and can be seen live in the USA on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Fans in Canada can catch it on TSN2. Brant won the title via a unanimous decision over Ryota Murata of Japan in his last outing in October. Baysangurov last fought in when he beat Paul Valenzuela Jr via a 12-round unanimous decision to retain his WBA Inter-Continental Middleweight Title.
Brant vs Baysangurov Betting Odds
- Khasan Baysangurov +588
- Rob Brant -788
The champion Brant enters the bout with a fine record of 24-1 along with 16 Kos. Before his excellent performance against Murata last year, the 28-year-old Brant was probably best known for his bout against Juergen Braehmer in the super middleweight quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series 12 months earlier. Even though Brant was over a decade younger than Braehmer he lost a wide unanimous decision to the former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion for his only career loss as a pro.
Brant looked terrible against Braehmer, but, was superb against Murata with his ring mobility, speed and stinging combinations. He stands just over six feet tall with a 70.5 inch reach and has boxed 100 rounds since turning pro back in 2012. Brant has also shown pretty good power up to now with a current knockout ratio of 64 per cent, but has been taken the distance in two of his last three fights.
Other than former champions Murata and Braehmer, Brant has fought a steady diet of Grade B boxers and that trend will continue once again when he steps in the ring against Baysangurov on Friday night. Brant fought as a light heavyweight for much of his amateur career and was quite successful. He started boxing at the age of 16 and won several Golden Gloves titles as a youngster and was also the U.S. National champion in 2009. He’s also won a couple of regional and minor titles as a pro.
Baysangurov was born in Russia, but resides in Ukraine. He’s just 21 years old and owns a perfect record of 17-0 with 7 Kos. He turned pro in 2013 and has 90 rounds of experience under his belt since then. He doesn’t really possess much in the way of power with a current knockout ratio of 41 per cent. He has pretty good height for a middleweight at 6-feet-1-inches, but his reach is unlisted. All of his bouts have taken place in Ukraine or Russia with his second-last outing being held in Azerbaijan.
This will be his first appearance in the USA. He won the vacant WBO Youth Super Welterweight Title in November of 2015, but it would be hard to find an opponent of his that you recognize. He’s still young though and is a fine prospect, but is stepping up in class quite a bit against Brant. He has the size and skills to succeed down the line, but his body still hasn’t filled out yet and may not be ready at this point for a world title shot.
Brant was brought along quite slowly as a pro and the same can be said about Baysangurov. Brant’s performances against Braehmer and Murata were like night and day as he looked unbeatable against the latter. He has the skills and power to compete with the best in the world, but he’s taking a step backwards against the young Russian here. However, it’s his first title defence and a confidence builder for bigger names down the line. If Brant fights like he did against Murata he should have no problem defending his crown on Friday, but if he fights like he did against Braehmer he’s going to have problems. I’m expecting him to leave the ring with his belt though.
Brant has the skills to hold onto his title.
Play: Brant -788 @ BetOnline.ag
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