In a highly anticipated middleweight bout, Meiirim Nursultanov remained unbeaten after stopping Kazuto Takesato in the eighth round at the Paradise City Plaza in Incheon, South Korea on Saturday night.
Both fighters produced solid exchanges throughout the fight, with the victory being up for grabs until the final moments.
Nursultanov, originally from Kazakhstan and now residing in Oxnard, California, improved his record to 19-0, with 11 knockouts. The 29-year-old is managed by Egis Klimas and is ranked in the top 10 by three major sanctioning bodies.
Takesato, a resident of Tokyo, Japan, entered the fight with an impressive record of 15-1-1, with 14 KOs. The 31-year-old had won his last five bouts by knockout, with his only blemish being a split-decision draw against Shuji Kato in March 2019. Takesato would go on to defeat Kato in a rematch by knockout five months later.
The fight was tightly contested from start to finish, with both fighters exchanging blows in the pocket. In the eighth round, Nursultanov landed an overhand right to the head that stunned Takesato. Nursultanov followed up with a series of hooks and crosses to the head, backing Takesato into a corner.
One cross landed to the chin, sending Takesato face-first to the canvas. The referee, Yuji Fukuchi, immediately stopped the fight at 2:33.
At the time of the stoppage, Nursultanov was leading on the judges’ scorecards, with scores of 68-65, 68-65, and 67-66.
Nursultanov's last fight was in October 2020, where he defeated Marcelo Coceres by unanimous decision. With this victory, Nursultanov looks to further establish his place as one of the top middleweight contenders and potentially earn a shot at a world title in the near future.