Pictured above: Jokhar Taimukskhanov (left) earns victory over Vitalij Boev (right)
Earlier this year Kazakhstan’s Jokhar Taimukskhanov announced himself as a most daunting opponent for any contender. The athletic newcomer gave incredibly strong first impressions at the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships, his first appearance on the international amateur stage. The former welterweight now drops to the 155lb lightweight bracket for next month’s Asian Open championships in Singapore and will literally be one of the biggest threats to his counterparts.
An imposing submission specialist with strong striking presence; the exciting new prospect, age 22, stormed his way to the welterweight semi-finals of this year’s European Open in Sofa, Bulgaria, first taking the scalp of 2015 bronze medalist, Norway’s Jørgen Indsetviken, who was submitted at just over 90 seconds in to the opening round via a north-south choke (pictured). If his brushing aside of one proven amateur contender was not impressive enough, Taimukskhanov’s quarter-final victory was over in 35 seconds with an arm-bar submission over Germany’s Vitalij Boev.
The script was flipped in the semi-finals as Taimukskhanov himself was caught out on the ground by Swedish finalist Oskar Biller, via a rear-naked-choke. Now a solidified top contender for the gold medal, Taimukskhanov will be going for his first title once again at the 2017 IMMAF Asian Open Championships with a tactical move down to the smaller weight division where his strengths could amplified to an even greater extent.
The nine athletes who make up Kazakhstan’s national amateur team for the 2017 Asian Open includes:
Ayan Tursyn – Women’s Strawweight
Ernaz Mussabek – Men’s Flyweight
Olzhas Moldagaliyev – Men’s Bantamweight
Bekzat Zhassiya – Men’s Featherweight
Jakhar Shapkhatov – Men’s Featherweight
Jokhar Taimuskhanov – Men’s Lightweight
Darkhan Zhumabay – Men’s Lightweight
Zhan Kenzhebayev – Welterweight
Meirambek Demeubayev – Middleweight
By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran