Yesterday Vesti.KZ reported that unbeaten Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] had seen his planned October 16th bout fall through. Today, a dat after that news, Vesti have managed to speak with Islam's trainer abut the delay and the now changing plans for Islam.
Islam's trainer, Roger Romo explained:
"Islam's preparation is going well. He trains in Plant City (Florida, USA) at the KO Addiction gym. He spars with different guys there. I can't name them. Yes, his fight has been postponed. Maybe December or January The reason for the delay was the problem with the selection of an opponent.
I think Kanat is definitely ready for big fights. His training was going well. He really wants to fight one of the big names in the middleweight division. After the next fight, he can fight anyone. Islam is a special fighter. He is very smart and mobile. I used to rely on my strength a lot, but I like the way he uses his intelligence in the ring now"
Originally the plan had been for Islam to face Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-3, 6), however that bout fell through when Coria was offered a bout with Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4) [Жанибек Алимханулы] for October 9th, tonight! There was then issues with back up opponent Jesus Gurrola (27-15-3, 14), who can't secure a Visa in time.
Sadly it's going to be a huge shame if Islam is out of the ring until December, or early next year, as Romo suggests. Islam is already 36 and if he doesn't fight against until January he'll be heading towards his 37th birthday by the time he gets his 29th professional bout, and by then the ship will have sailed, big time.
On October 26th it'll be a full year since Islam last fought, scoring a controversial win over Walter Kautondokwa, that was his second bout since September 2017 and his career really hasn't gone the way he, or anyone else, would have wished. He is still unbeaten, but sadly his biggest wins are the one over Walter Kautondokwa and one over Brandon Cook. Disappointing given he was an Olympic medal winner way back in 2008 and turned professional in 2012. If anything his career is a great sign of what happens when a fighter doesn't strike when the iron is hot, and wastes too many prime years padding a record, instead of chasing bigger, more meaningful, bouts.
Earlier today Vest.kz reported that the unbeaten Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] has seen his return to the ring being delayed.
Originally Islam had been pencilled in to fight on October 16th in Florida against Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-3, 6). That bout fell through when Coria accepted a bout with Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4) [Жанибек Алимханулы], which will take place tomorrow.
According to Vest.kz Islam was also unable to face the opponent that the promoter had wanted as a back up, Jesus Gurrola (27-15-3, 14), who has been unable to obtain a visa in time.
As a result of these delays it will likely see Islam pass the year mark between fights, with his last contest coming on October 26th 2019, when he struggled to a controversial decision win over Walter Kautondokwa in Kazakhstan. In that bout he suffered an injury which delayed his return to the ring, which has now been delayed again here.
Having now turned 36 it's hard to imagine Islam ever living up to the early potential he showed, and sadly it seems like his career will end up being an under whelming one, damaged, in part, by repeated injuries and long lay offs.
Last week we reported that Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] had split with trainer Bagaudin Bekov. Thankfully it appears the Bekov sized hole in Islam's team has already been filled, with reports in Kazakhstan suggesting Islam has quickly replaced Bekov with with former Kazakh Olympic boxing coach Nurgali Safiullin.
The two men have world together in the past, in fact it appears that Safiullin has world with a relative who's who of Kazakh fighters over the years including former world champion Beibut Shumenov.
At the moment it's unclear when Islam will return to the ring, though reports are that he is back in training following an injury suffered in his October win over Namibian Walter Kautondokwa. We expect to hear news about his next bout in the coming weeks as the Kazakh really doesn't have time to waste, especially given he's already 35 and very injury prone.
Given that Islam once looked on the verge of a world title fight his career really has failed to hit the heights hoped, and it feels like his next injury could well end his career, despite the fighter himself suggesting he was going to fight on for a few years inspired by the success of Manny Pacquiao at a more advanced age. Reality though is that Pacquiao was injury prone, whilst Islam really is.
(Image courtesy of Vesti)
Earlier today news in Kazakhstan broke that unbeaten contender Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] had split with trainer Bagaudin Bekov, with Bekov himself revealing the split.
Bekov, who had worked with Islam for his two bouts in 2019, revealed that other commitments were to blame, and that he wasn't able to give the fighter the attention he needed.
At the moment it's unclear what will happen with Islam going forward. The 35 year old, who has been plagued with injuries in recent years, was linked to a rematch with Walter Kautondokwa, after their controversial 2019 bout, but it now appears that that talk is cooling and Kautondokwa is expected to return sooner than Islam.
Although Islam beat Kautondokwa in October the Kazakh did suffer a number of injuries, including a broken arm, further slowing his career.
It was injuries that kept him out of the ring for the entire of 2018 and seem likely to prevent him from ever reaching the heights once expected of him. Despite the injuries he suffered last year he was reportedly back in the gym in December beginning training for his next contest.
Back in October unbeaten Kazakh Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] scraped his toughest win so far, as he retained the WBO International Middleweight title with a a very controversial decision victory over the hard hitting Walter Kautondokwa (18-2, 17).
It now seems likely the two will rematch in early 2020, with Vesti reporting a deal for a second bout between the men is being put together.
Vesti have quotes from a member of Kautondokwa's team stating:
“I recently spoke with a promoter of Islam. They are positive about taking revenge. In turn, we are ready to return to Kazakhstan at any time. I’m sure that this is the only fight that Kazakhstanis now want to see. A second fight will attract more sponsors and sell more tickets. It will be beneficial for both boxers. I believe that holding a fight early next year would be ideal"
Given the fact that both teams are interested in the bout, and that it did gain some some international attention, the fight does make sense for both. On one hand Islam will look to right the wrong of the close bout, and will be looking to avoid injuring himself this time around, with that injury really causing him issues in the second half of October's bout. On the other hand Kautondokwa will be looking to avenge the loss, and take Islam out, something that almost happened late in their bout.
Of course Islam may look elsewhere if a good deal can't be made, and given he has got world rankings bigger fights might be possible, but it very much seems like this rematch is a focus for his team who will be wanting to see something better from their man.
(Image courtesy of vesti)
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