Unbeaten featherweight made a big statement this past Saturday in his stoppage of Oscar Escandon, but 2012 Olympic silver medalist eager to make an even bigger one before the end of the year.
Tugstsogt Nyambayar declared himself ready to face southpaw Gary Russell Jr., Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Josh Warrington or any current or former champion at 122 or 126 pounds following Saturday’s five-knockdown, third-round knockout of ex title-holder Oscar Escandon in the co-feature of PBC on FS1 at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“I want to fight the winner of the [June 9] Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares fight, specifically,” said Nyambayar, a Mongolian silver medalist in the 2012 Olympics.
“But if it’s the IBF’s champion [Josh Warrington,] [WBC champion] Gary Russell, [the WBO’s] Oscar Valdez or [former titleholder] Carl Frampton who wants to fight me, it doesn’t matter. I think I’m ready for anybody.”
Searing right hands factored into each knockdown of the victory for the 5-foot-8 Nayambayar (10-0, 9 KOs) over the 33-year-old, 5-foot-1½ Escandon (25-4, 17 KOs), who was floored once in his previous fight in May 2017—a seventh-round knockout loss to the southpaw WBC champ Russell.
Coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Harmonito Dela Torre, a 24-year-old who entered their November bout at 19-0 with 12 knockouts, Nayambayar demolished Escandon a week after Russell’s unanimous decision over previously undefeated Joseph Diaz on May 19.
“I saw Escandon’s fight with Gary Russell, and Escandon is a really tough fighter who came to win,” said Nayambayar, who rose from a first-round knockdown. “But I wanted to make a statement showing the world I’m ready to fight for the title next, and before the end of this year against anybody at 126 or 122, whichever comes first.”
Nayambayar, Russell and Warrington are among several top 126-pounders competing in a deep division, with Warrington dethroning Lee Selby as IBF champion following a split-decision victory on May 19.
“ I wanted to make a statement showing the world I’m ready to fight for the title next, and before the end of this year against anybody at 126 or 122, whichever comes first. ” 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar
WBA king Santa Cruz meets Mares in a June 9 rematch of Santa Cruz’s majority decision victory in August 2015, in the wake of Oscar Valdez’s unanimous decision defense of his WBO crown over ex-champ Scott Quigg in March, and Carl Frampton’s winning a clash of former champions by unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire last month.
The 122-pound champions are Ryosuke Iwasa (IBF), Rey Vargas (WBC), Isaac Dogboe (WBO) and Daniel Roman, the latter of whom defends against Moises Flores on June 16.
“King Tug” represents Mongolia’s biggest world title hope since Lakva Sim earned the WBA’s vacant 135-pound title via fifth-round TKO of Miguel Callist in April 2004 before being dethroned following a unanimous decision loss to then-unbeaten Juan Diaz that July.
“I want to make history,” said Nayambayar, who turns 26 next month. “I am grateful to have my entire country behind me on the fast-track to becoming a world champion.”
Nayambayar landed a second-round left uppercut followed by a head-bobbling, right-left-right combination that floored Escandon with 45 seconds remaining. The Colombian rose only to hit the deck 19 seconds later from a blistering straight right hand but courageously survived the round.
Nayambayar’s overhand right dropped Escandon for a third time 35 seconds into the third as did his straight right 22 seconds after that. Escandon used the ropes to climb to his feet before being leveled for the last time from a left-right combination, causing referee Keith Hughes’ stoppage at the 1:18 mark.
“I was able to catch Escandon with good counters all night,” said Nayambayar, who was dropped by a crisp left hook in the final 30 seconds of the first round.
“I was more off balance than knocked down, but that motivated me to win every round for the rest of the fight. If the PBC gives me a title shot in two months or in the next few, I’m ready for it.”
For a closer look at Tugstsogt Nyambayar, check out his fighter page.