Five fights in 2015: Kanat Islam means business28 january 2015, 00:56
Islam is an ethnic Kazakh born in Xinjiang, China. There he started his boxing career as an amateur in 1997. He won bronze medals at the Summer Olympics in 2004 and 2008. Islam also won the bronze at the Asian Games in Doha in 2006 and the World Championship in Chicago in 2007. The background of the 30 y.o. boxer created controversy, because many did not entirely accept Islam as a Kazakh boxer. He became a citizen of Kazakhstan in 2010.
In 2012, Kanat Islam started his professional career after competing for the Astana Arlans professional boxing team of Kazakhstan in the World Series Boxing. So far, the undefeated boxer Kanat Islam has had 18 fights with 15 KOs (83%). His last fight took place on August 7, 2014 against Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in Colombia. Kanat KOed his opponent in the 5th round.
In an interview to Megapolis, the boxer talked about his tough training, future plans and possible fights.
“During 8 weeks of training I press myself to the limit. You can say I exhaust myself. I want to have five fights. The first fight in scheduled for April. After that I plan to sign up with a promotion company. There are some offers,” the boxer said.
Islam admitted that his last fight was the most difficult one. “I won, but I did not get much satisfaction from the victory,” he added.
Kanat Islam usually starts his Spartan training 6 weeks prior to the fight. But for the title fight in 2012, the Kazakhstani boxer prepared for 8 weeks.
“I endure the training, traumas, hits of my opponents, but I cannot endure not seeing my family. That is why last year I took my family to the States, where I was preparing for a fight for six month. My youngest child was born there,” Islam said. The boxer has 3 children.
Currently, Kanat is living and training in Pahokee, Florida.
Before becoming a professional boxer, Islam was the captain of the Kazakh WSB team Astana Arlans. The team had a successful season last year. The Arlans started the season victoriously this year again. During his career in the Arlans Kanat bought a piece of land near the Astana Arlans training camp and built a house there. All boxers from the team live on the training camp during the season. “During my time in the Astana Arlans, I passed my house every time I went for a run. In the evening I could stop by at house for a tea. It was a really great way to relax,” Islam said.
Kanat Islam in Astana Arlans. Photo © astanaarlans.com
Islam is sure that if he were not invited to represent the Astana Arlans he would have come himself. While in the States, Islam continues to cheer for the team that became his family. “I competed for the Arlans as a citizen of Kazakhstan for the first time. Thanks to the club I became known among Kazakhstani boxing fans. I usually watch all their fights while I am in the USA. I always support the team,” Islam shared.
Boxers are known for strict diets, especially before fights when they need either to lose or gain weight rapidly. Islam is no different in that respect. “I have been a professional sportsman for over 17 years, so I am programmed, if you will, to eat healthy. It is almost mechanical. When I see some food I automatically start thinking if I can eat it, how many calories it has and how much of it I can eat. I do not crave sweets or pastry. I am indifferent to sweets. But I love beshparmak (Kazakh national dish with meat). I eat it every time I come to Kazakhstan. But then again, I eat beshparmak in small helpings,” the boxer said.
Islam’s promoter Nelson Lopez earlier said that his boxer could pose a serious threat to the WBA (Super), IBO and WBC Interim middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. He named the possible fight between the two Kazakhstani boxers from an amateur boxing background a “super fight”.
Gennady Golovkin and Kanat Islam, circa 2005. Photo courtesy of vk.com/public51786088
By Gyuzel Kamalova