Kanat Islam outpoints Norberto Gonzalez over 12 tough rounds
Junior middleweight fringe contender Kanat Islam continues to win. He now hopes that will parlay into a world title shot.
Islam won a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision over Norberto Gonzalez Friday night at Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
Islam improves to 24-0, with 19 knockouts, while Gonzalez drops to 23-9, with 13 KOs.
After a feeling-out opening round, both fighters began letting their hands go in the second round. By the fourth round, Islam’s punches began walking Gonzalez down, scoring repeatedly with lead or counter right hands to the head.
During the fifth round, Gonzalez complained numerous times of Islam butting him to referee Frank Santore. Later in the round, a cut opened above Gonzalez’s left eye, likely from an inadvertent head-butt. Gonzalez was deemed fit to continue after the ringside physician looked at the cut.
Despite the cut, Gonzalez more fought aggressively during the second half of the fight. The fighter from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico scored repeatedly with right hands in round eight and backed Islam up at certain points of the round.
But Islam was too good, outboxing Gonzalez during the last final rounds from the outside. Islam was deducted a point in round 12 for using his left forearm to push off Gonzalez.
The 32-year-old Islam, who is of Kazakh descent and resides in Pahokee, Florida, is ranked in the top 10 in three of the major sanctioning bodes. Islam is ranked as high as number four by the WBA. He is not in THE RING’s junior middleweight top 10.
In the co-feature, junior middleweight standout Zhankhozh Turorov of Kazakhstan stopped Gustavo Garibay in the third round.
With the win, Turorov improves to 21-0, with 15 KOs, while Garibay, who hails from Mexico City, falls to 13-9-2, with 5 KOs.
Turarov, who is ranked number 10 by the WBA and number 12 by the IBF, dropped Garibay with a left hook midway through the third round. Turorov ended matters at the end of the round, landing a right hand to the head of Garibay right before the bell sounded. Garibay stood up and staggered back to his corner, prompting referee Samuel Burgos to stop the fight. Official time of the knockout was 3:00.
Heavyweight Zhilei Zhang of China improved to 16-0, with 12 KOs, stopping Curtis Harper (12-5, with 8 KOs) at 2:34 of the opening round.
Bantamweight Dagoberto Aguero (12-0, with 9 KOs) of the Dominican Republic knocked out Gustavo Molina (24-15, with 9 KOs) of Mexico in the first round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing