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Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Rob Brant vs. Khasan Baysangurov
By: Sean Crose
WBA “Regular” Middleweight Champion Rob Brant, 24-1, will defend his title against the 17-0 Khasan Baysangurov at Minnesota’s Grand Casino on Friday night, headlining a card to be aired lived as part of ESPNs Top Rank Boxing programming. A native of Minnesota himself, Brant will be making his first defense in front of what is essentially a local audience. Brant won his title by besting then-titlist Ryoto Murata last October in Last Vegas. The undefeated Baysangurov will be making his first attempt at a major title. Brant is clearly the Ukrainian fighter’s biggest test to date.
Without doubt, he may have his hands full. For Brant will be making his 12th appearance at the Grand Casino on Friday. Considering the fact that Baysangurov has only knocked out roughly 40% of his opponents (scoring just two stoppages in the six fights he has engaged in during the past two years) he may not be able to rely on a knockout. The Brant-Baysangurov match is scheduled for 12 rounds.
Chicago’s 19-1-1-Joshua Greer Jr will be on the card, as well. The bantamweight will be facing the 19-3 Giovanni Escaner in a scheduled 10 round contest for a stepping-stone belt, the World Boxing Council Continental Americas Bantamweight Title. Escaner, who hails from the Philippians, hasn’t lost since 2014. The only loss on Greer Jr’s record came courtesy of a majority decision being handed to Stephen Fulton in 2015. The man stopped all four of his opponents in 2018, along with three of his four opponents in 2017. This will be Escaner’s fight bout in the US. All of his previous 17 fights have occurred in the Ukraine, Russia, and Azerbaijan respectively.
The first match on the televised card will feature the 9-0 2016 American Olympian Mikaela Meyer, as the Colorado native faces the 13-1-1 Yareli Larios of Mexico in the second defense of her NABF Female Super Featherweight Title, which she won via unanimous decision over Vanessa Bradford last October in Omaha, Nebrasksa.
The televised portion of the card will begin at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, while the preliminaries will be aired live on ESPNs streaming service, ESPN+ starting at 6 PM, Eastern Standard Time. A total of twelve fights are scheduled to go down on the card, which his being presented by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, which has a lucrative broadcast deal with ESPN.
WBSS Results: Braehmer Defeats Brant
By: Ste Rowen
Juergen Braehmer made sure he continued the winning trend for seeded fighters in the World Boxing Super Series, as he dominated American prospect, Rob Brant to a twelve round unanimous decision and hardly looked troubled in doing so.
It was a tentative first round to begin with as Brant tried to force the German back with wayward right hands. The ‘dark horse’ of the competition however was being caught by an accurate Braehmer jab. As the rounds continued Braehmer upped his punch output and began to dominate.
Not only was he landing but he was making ‘Bravo’ miss time and time again with some wonderful head movement, evading Brant’s best shots and then attacking with his own powerful left hand.
More rounds passed by and Brant was looking all out of ideas. Braehmer kept to his skillset, landing accurately with the 1-2 and continuing to expose the American’s lack of a plan B. There was very little difference in round two through to round twelve other than the expression on Rob Brant’s face and as the last bell rang it was clear for all to see that the former Light Heavyweight Champion, Juergen Braehmer was going through to the semi-finals. The scorecards came back as, 119-109, 118-110, 116-112, all for Braehmer.
Speaking in the ring post-fight, now 49-3-0 Braehmer, through a translator said, ‘It was the first time I was training by myself. I felt really fit tonight, sometimes I was a little bit stiff and I wanted too much to knock him out but I showed what I can still do at 39 years of age.’
On the prospect of facing Callum Smith, ‘I was in training camp with his opponent Erik Skoglund and I know exactly what I can do in the ring. Now I have even more confidence. I’m back and I can prove what I can do.’
Callum Smith also joined Braehmer in the ring post-fight saying, ‘He was good, he did a good job … He was the bigger man, he used his size and showed there’s still a little bit left in the tank at 39.’
On where their future bout will be held Smith said, ‘I’d love to fight in Liverpool, I like fighting in Liverpool but I believe I’m the better man and wherever the fight is I still believe I’ll prevail and come out with the win.’
The WBSS Super Middleweight semi-finals are as follows;
George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr
Juergen Braehmer v Callum Smith