With featherweight champion Robin van Roosmalen on the long-term injury list, an interim featherweight championship belt is on the line at GLORY 48 NEW YORK.
Kevin Vannostrand (14-1, 11 KO’s) and Anvar Boynazarov (91-23-2, 53 KO’s) will dispute the strap’s ownership in the main event, with the winner then going forward to face Van Roosmalen in a title unification bout when he returns to action next year.
Vannostrand was originally set to face Abdellah Ezbiri but the French featherweight suffered some injuries in winning the GLORY 47 LYON tournament, so tournament runner-up Boynazarov stepped in to replace him.
Boynazarov’s own performance in that tournament was remarkable for the finish he put on Fabio Pinca, who had never previously been stopped by anyone. His crunching left-hook lifted Pinca off his feet and sent him to the canvas unconscious and has surely earned him a ‘Knockout of the Year 2017’ nominee.
Vannostrand placed his own name into the title contender picture by winning the Featherweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 43 NEW YORK earlier this year, beating the highly-ranked Giga Chikadze in the tournament final.
His unique style has given problems to a lot of his opponents, due to his unorthodox combinations and off-beat timing, but Boynazarov does not anticipate too many difficulties.
“Kevin looks good. He has a weird style - he’s a karate guy or something?” he shrugs.
“We’re fighting in kickboxing and I am a Muay Thai guy. I punch hard, I kick hard. I really think I can knock this guy out because he won’t be able to stand up to my power. I’m the hardest hitter in this division.
“So the plan is first to beat Kevin Vannonstrand in New York, then Robin van Roosmalen when he comes back.”
Vannostrand and Boynazarov headline GLORY 48 NEW YORK on Friday, December 1 at Madison Square Garden in downtown New York City. The event airs live in the US on ESPN 3 and will re-air on ESPN 2 over the weekend.