Kazakhstan has pushed out some world class boxers in recent years, chiefly world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, Beibut Shumenov and Zhanat Zhakiyanov. Thanks to Golden Gloves, we may soon add another name to this illustrious list.
Twenty-year-old Roman Zhailauov is unbeaten in 13 fights, his management claiming his fighting style is reminiscent of a young Golovkin.
Video footage indicates a well-educated fighter with a solid right hand; something sure to go down well with SA audiences.
Zhailauov will make his SA bow at Emperors Palace on April 13, having sought out Golden Gloves after seeing countryman Golovkin’s success fighting under the SA banner in Monte Carlo.
Tournament promoter Jeff Ellis has matched the Kazakh with SA veteran Luyando Jako, who has fought decent names like Jason Bedeman, Grant Fourie and Adam De Moor. The southpaw is a nine-year pro who figures to give the foreigner a reasonable test.
“I keep hearing about this kid, but you never know until you actually see him fight,” said Berman. “We’re all looking for the next Golovkin and if he’s even half as good he’ll be dynamite. I’m looking forward to see how he goes.”
Zhailauov is 13-0 with eight stoppages. He is the national welterweight champion and also the WBC Asian champion. There are no big names on his record, but, like Golovkin himself, he is being slowly built with a view to making an assault on the world rankings in the medium-term.