Saturday, April 01, 2023  |


Kanat Islam still awaits his shot at middleweight glory

Kanat Islam (right) celebrates after his TKO win over Jeyson Minda. Photo by Ryan Songalia
Fighters Network

Kanat Islam believes the top middleweights are ducking him.

The undefeated Chinese-born Kazakhstani doesn’t have much time to leave his mark on the sport. Islam has yet to land a significant fight, let alone a title shot. However he believes there is still time to turn back the clock.

“Yeah [I feel like I’m being avoided],” he told The Ring. “You know, I’ve been boxing for almost 30 years now. I’m a two-time Olympian and [I’ve boxed for] nearly 10 years as a professional. I’m still training; I’m still learning every day. Boxing is my life. I can fight anybody.”

Islam (28-0, 22 knockouts), who turns 38 in September, explained that he found himself surrounded by people who did not have his best interests in mind, a predicament that has swept up many fighters over the years.

“When I first came to the U.S., I did not have a good team or a good manager. It was a different life and a different situation. Some guys find some good managers or good promoters and they help them [progress in their career]. This wasn’t my plan. This was God’s plan.

“The first year I came to the United States, I wanted to fight for a world championship. I want this. Everyone wants this.”

Islam, who captured a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, is now promoted by Garry Jonas’ Probox Promotions. How strong is the relationship and, if so, has Jonas made any promises to his fighter that have been fulfilled?

“He’s a big guy who has a lot of experience in the boxing business. This is a big team now and we work together now. [On the promises], we are taking it step-by-step.”

After a year of inactivity, on February 25, Islam will square off against the United Kingdom’s Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly (25-2, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout, at Whitesands Events Center in Plant City, Florida, where he currently trains.

“After this show, I would like to be more active. Kelly has a good record. After beating him, I want to face the best fighters at 160. I want to fight [WBC beltholder] Jermall Charlo and [Jaime] Munguia.

“I can fight at 160 or I can fight at 154. I want to fight all of these guys, you know? Now it’s a step-by-step [process]. I want to work for this team. This is very important for me because now I’m very happy because I have this great team now.”




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