Exclusive: Undefeated Kazakh puncher Kanat Islam hunts title shot, wants Canelo, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara or Manny Pacquiao
US-based, Chinese-born Kazakh KO artist Kanat Islam is primed to take his place among the world’s elite at 154 pounds following yet another quick stoppage earlier this year.
The 32 year-old, who has amassed an impressive 23-0 record with 19 early finishes, took just 132 seconds to dispatch of Robson Assis in Delaware last February and believes he’s now ready to make the next step up.
With 16 knockouts coming in the first three rounds, many are heralding Islam as another Gennady Golovkin and Islam is training on United States soil in a bid to emulate the success of his compatriot.
“I have been in professional boxing for five years. This is not a short time. In this period, I had 23 fights and won all of them, plus 19 of them are won by knockout. Now, I am currently ranked highly by the organisations and it’s time for me to become the world champion,” Islam exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I arrived to the US from Kazakhstan a few days ago as my vacation has come to the end. Now, I’m in my promoter Nelson Lopez’s training base in Florida, USA. I started to train and at the end of May, I will have my 24th fight. Hopefully, an opponent will be known this week.
“I cannot stop now. I need to increase my rankings and take the appropriate championship belts.”
Asked about his main goal for 2017, the confident Islam answered: “This year is important for me because on September 9, a great evening of professional boxing will be held in Kazakhstan,” he explained.
“My main aim is to become a world champion, so after the fight in May, we will start preparing for this fight. Negotiations are underway and I am convinced that this September I will attract world attention in Astana. We are expecting up to 15,000 fans to attend this great show.
“I just want to fight with only the strongest fighters. I’m ready to fight with any champion.
“I have been in the field of boxing for 25 years. I took part in the Olympic Games twice, won a bronze medal and won the World Championship at amateur level. But I am not a young boxer. Five years of campaigning in professional boxing is sufficient time to fight for the championship title.
“I want to beat Canelo, Cotto, Lara or Pacquiao. This is a goal, not a dream. These are the events of tomorrow that boxing fans around the world will talk about. I’m working hard now to achieve the goals I aim for and I’m ready!”
On the current crop of champions, which includes Canelo and Lara, Islam said: “I respect them. It is not easy to be a champion among the thousands of boxers in the world. Each of them is unique.
“I always respect the men who increase the reputation of their country. But they are, like me, created from flesh and blood.
“To my fans, I say; I will not make you wait for long. Very soon, you will see me fighting for the title of champion of the world and I will not let you down,” he added.