At the moment Kazakh boxing is certainly in an interesting phase with Gennady Golovkin and Biebut Shumenov leading the way whilst prospects and contenders such as Zhankhozh Turarov and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly begin to make a mark on the professional scene. Arguably the country's #3 fighter at the moment is Kanat Islam (22-0, 18) [Канат Ислам] who made his first professional outing in Kazakhstan earlier this weekend, when he took on Ghana's Patrick Allotey (34-3, 28), who had been stopped in his last two bouts away from home.
On paper the bout looked like a probably stoppage win for Islam, who had a reputation as a heavy handed fighter, boating 18 stoppages from 21 previous bouts, especially when you consider that Allotey's losses were both by stoppage. Instead however the bout went the distance, exposing Islam's power as over-rated in many ways, and perhaps showing that he wasn't on the fast track to the top. Despite winning the bout.
From the off Islam tried to impose his will, but had to cope with with the intelligent movement of Allotey who refused to stand still, giving Islam issues in terms of connecting on his foe. As the bout progressed Allotey's movement slowed and Islam managed to get into range more consistently, landing copious shots to the body, and hip, of the African visitor. The shots to the hip looked accidentally, and were partly caused by the high trunks of Allotey, but they were effective from a gameplan point of view in slowing Allotey's movement and making him a more stationary target.
Although Allotey was ellusive early his output did lack at times and it seem like he missed his chance to really build a bit of a lead before he slowed and allowed Islam to build some momentumn and land more frequently.
Although never really hurting Allotey it did seem like Islam was doing enough to impress the judges as a result he did enough to secure the win, with scorss of 116-112, twice, and 117-111 winning the vacant WBA Fedelatin and WBO Inter-Continental Ligfth Middleweight titles. Sadly though it wasn't the great performance he was wanting and it looks like a really poor result when you consider that Charles Manyuchi stopped him in 8 rounds, back in 2014, and Patrick Teixeira stopped him in 2 rounds last year, with Teixeira having a similar record to Islam at the time of facing Allotey.
Whilst some can excuse Islam's relatively tame performance by the fact he was under a lot of pressure to perform in his Kazakh debut it does seem like the sort of result that could make him more attractive to the world champions at the weight, who may not see him as the threat he once seemed. Sadly though he's looking unlikely to win a world title unless he can improve significantly from this performance.
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