Weights from Kazakhstan

By David Finger

Kanat “Qazaq” Islam 153 vs. Brandon Cook ??
Zhankosh “Da Kazakh Kid” Turarov 151 vs. Bruno “El Zar” Romav 148
Zhanibek Alimkhanuly 174 vs. Gilberto Pereira Dos Santos 171
Ruslan Myrsatavev 220 vs. Adres Matias 202
Ali Akhmedov 176 vs. Thomas Justin Beryl 177
Aidos Yerbossynuly 169 vs. Jonathan Geronimo Barbadillo 155
Dimash Nivazov 140 vs. Eduardo Pereira Dos Reis 137
Nursultan Zhanabavev 154 vs. Alex Sandro Duarte 151

Photo: Lester Silva

Venue: Republican Cycling Track, Astana, Kazakhstan
Promoter: Nelsons Promotions

It’s a safe assumption to say the biggest fight this month featuring a fighter from Kazakhstan will take place on September 16th in Las Vegas when Gennady Golovkin takes on Saul Alvarez in a middleweight title fight.

But there is another intriguing match up featuring a popular Kazak titlist set this weekend at the Saryarka Velodrome in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday, September 9th. Undefeated NABO junior middleweight champion Islam “Qazaq” Kanat (24-0, 19 KOs), the #7 ranked fighter in the WBO, will take on the undefeated Canadian prospect Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (18-0, 11 KOs), who is currently ranked #13 by the WBO at 154-pounds.

The popular Islam has already earned a solid fan base back in Khazakstan, with the 12,000 seat Saryarka Velodrome in Astana reportedly already sold out for this weekend’s event.

The 32-year old Islam, who fought for China under the name Hanati Silamu at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics (but is of Kazak descent) is hoping to land a world title fight before the end of the year, but needs a solid win over the undefeated Canadian to position himself for a fight with Miguel Cotto. But his opponent is seen as the most dangerous foe he has faced to date and could derail the Kazak’s plans of a title fight before the end of the year. Cook is coming into the fight off the heels of an impressive knockout over fellow Canadian Steven Butler back in June in a fight for the NABA title.

The fight card is highlighted by a stacked undercard featuring eight undefeated Kazak prospects including Ali Akhmedov (8-0, 6 KOs) as he takes on American Justin Thomas (18-2, 7 KOs). Also on the card is welterweight prospect Zhankosh Turarov (21-0, 15 KOs) as he faces Bruno Romay (21-4, 18 KOs) of Argentina.

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