Returning from the Olympics with a Bronze medal, Kunkabayev looks to continue his run to the top of the Cruiserweight division in quick fashion starting with a fight against Belfast’s Steven Ward. The fighter from Kazakhstan is currently 3-0 with 3 knockouts as a pro and has looked impressive in all his fights so far. Steven Ward was a good Light Heavyweight domestically in the UK and scored wins over Liam Conroy and Steve Collins Jr to claim a WBO European title and a BUI Celtic title. His only loss comes to Ricards Bolotniks who would go on to win MTK’s Golden contract tournament and then fight highly thought of prospect Joshua Buatsi, giving him his toughest fight until he was eventually stopped late on.
Steven Ward is a decent fighter but has been inactive and didn’t look his best at the weight in his last fight versus Jones Volau. That fight has been his only one so far at Cruiserweight and judging from that fight I think he may be outgunned in a division full of heavy handed pugilists.
Kunkabayev should have the skill and power to stop Ward within five or six rounds as I don’t think Ward will be fully adjusted to the weight and with his inactivity may be a bit rusty. While Ward is a decent fighter he was also only really fighting around domestic level at Light Heavyweight so it’s hard too see him beating one of the best Cruiserweight prospects even if he is only 3-0. I think Kunkabayev has a good chance of winning a world title at Cruiserweight though will need to learn to go through the gears in fights as currently he is a little one paced.