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Daniyar Yeleussinov faces Julius Indongo on April 17 on DAZN

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By Jim Maltzman: Undefeated welterweight prospect Daniyar Yeleussinov (9-0 5 KOs) will be facing former IBF/WBA light-welterweight champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo (23-2, 12 KOs) on April 17 on DAZN at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The 2016 Olympic gold medalist Yeleussinov and 37-year-old Indongo will be fighting on the undercard of the Regis Prograis vs. Maurice Hooker card.

The Yeleussinov vs. Indongo fight could tell us whether the Kazakhstan fighter has a future at welterweight.  Indongo has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights in knockout defeats to Terence Crawford and Prograis. Crawford stopped Indongo by a third-round knockout in August 2017. For his part, Prograis had an easier time in stopping Indongo by a 2nd round knockout in March 2018. Indongo was down three times in the fight before the bout was halted in the 3rd. The finishing shot from Prograis was a jab.

The southpaw Yeleussinov, 28, is promoted by Matchroom Boxing USA, and he’s someone they’re high on. However, Yeleussinov hasn’t looked altogether powerful since turning pro in 2018. His lack of power is something that could limit his success at 147. Unless Yeleussinov can develop his punching power, he might need to think about moving down to 140 where he’ll stand a better shot at competing against the elite level fighters.

Yeleussinov was forced to go the distance with these 2nd tier fighters:

  • Silverio Ortiz
  • Luis Norambuena
  • Gabor Gorbics
  • Zoltan Szabo

Indongo’s only losses came by knockout (inside three rounds) to Terence Crawford for the undisputed junior welterweight title and Prograis.

The southpaw Indongo has some punching power that could give Yeleussinov problems if he’s able to land his big shots. It’s not easy to hit Yeleussinov, because he’s got the amateur style, and he’s evasive. But when Yeleussinov opens up on offense, that’s when his opponents have been able to nail him with shots.

Indongo will be fighting for just the second time in two years since his loss to Prograis in 2018. In Indongo’s last fight, he emerged from a 15-month layoff to defeat Carltavius Jones Johnson by a 2nd round knockout last August. It wasn’t a good enough opponent to tell whether Indongo has anything left at 37. But even if Indongo isn’t the same guy he once was, he can still punch, and he’ll be dangerous for Yeleussinov throughout their fight.

Indongo’s best career wins have come against Eduard Troyanovsky, Ricky Burns and Kaizer Mabuza. The loss to Prograis might have affected Indongo’s self-confidence because he stayed out of the ring or almost a year and a half before fighting the little known Johnson.


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