Athlete of the Month – Yerassyl Zhakpekov
Kazakhstan’s promising junior talent Yerassyl Zhakpekov delivered fabulous performance in the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines in the recent one week and following the Asian Boxing Confederation’s Facebook voting he was named as the Best Boxer of the Month.
Yerassyl Zhakpekov was born in the Western region of Kazakhstan on October 1 in 2002 in a boxing family. His father Talgat is a well-known coach in the country while his elder brother Yermakhan claimed silver medal in the 2016 Children of Asia Games in Yakutsk and competed in the 2017 ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Bangkok.
Yerassyl began his boxing career at the age of 9 under the management of his father in Western Kazakhstan. He was only 13 when he took bronze medal in the Makanalin & Nokerbekov & Satenov Junior Memorial Tournament in Balkhash where he competed at the featherweight (57kg).
Following his successes in the smaller schoolboy events he achieved bronze medal in the 2016 edition of the Kazakhstan Schoolboys National Boxing Championships where he lost to Yevgeniy Prikhodko in a hectic semi-final. Yerassyl decided to train even harder after that loss and joined to the junior age group this January.
The southpaw talent had to meet in the semi-final of the 2017 Kazakhstan Junior National Boxing Championships with Yevgeniy Prikhodko on a repeat match but that time Zhakpekov was able to do revenge in the event. He was able to take also the title at the light middleweight (70kg) after beating Kuandyk Maksut in the final. Following that final Maksut moved up one category and claimed gold in the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa.
Zhakpekov was involved to the Kazakh junior national team and his last preparation event before the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships, he bagged the gold in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup in Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan in June. In that important world class event he defeated strong boxers from Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
He arrived to the venue of the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships as favourite of the light middleweight (70kg) and the youngest team member of the Kazakh delegation. The super talented Yerassyl Zhakpekov eliminated Uzbekistan’s Khayotbek Bakhtiyorov in the quarter-final of the ASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships which was an early final in Puerto Princesa.
The defending Kazakh Junior National Champion, whose elder brother is member of their current youth national team, defeated Japan’s tough Rei Nakano in the semi-final by RSC. Zhakpekov met for the title with Iraq’s Children of Asia Games silver medallist Sajjad Ali Saleh Saleem but their gold medal bout was also a quick one. The 14-year-old Kazakh talent knocked out his Iraqi opponent with his remarkable right-handed hook and won the title of the category in Puerto Princesa.