Kanat Islam to return on May 26th
By David Finger
For fans of WBO junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, there is no question that the Kazak fighter everyone will be talking about in the next three months is WBA-WBC-IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who Alvarez is slated to fight in September. But those boxing fans looking to make a long-term investment in the junior middleweight division will undoubtedly be watching another Kazak closely on May 26th in Boca Raton, Florida on a Nelson’s Promotions card.
WBA #4 and WBO #6 ranked junior middleweight Kanat Islam (23-0, 19 KOs) will take on Norberto Gonzalez (23-8, 13 KOs) for the NABO and WBA intercontinental titles in a fight that could set the stage for Islam’s emergence as a world title challenger before the end of the year. But all that is contingent on Islam winning and looking dominant against a fighter with all the tools to score the upset. Although Gonzalez’s career has been plagued by inactivity, he is coming into the fight on the heels of a pair of split decision victories over prospect Daniel Rosario Cruz in November of 2016 and Argentine contender Javier Francisco Maciel in November of 2015.
But he has a tall order in front of him on May 26 against Islam. The 32-year old Kanat Islam has already made a name for himself as one of the hottest prospects in the country and he possesses a top line pedigree in the sport. Islam fought in two Olympics in 2004 and 2008, and took bronze in Beijing while representing China (he was born in Altay, China of Kazak ancestry). Since turning professional in 2012 he has turned heads with impressive wins over Patrick Allotey (by decision in October of 2016) as well as knockouts over Juan De Angel (in May of 2015) and Francisco Cordero (in May of 2014). The fight over Allotey was a homecoming for the Kazak fighter, as over 18,000 fans in Almaty, Kazakhstan came out to see the local boy win the vacant WBO Intercontinental junior middleweight belt.
The card will feature fighters from no less than six countries.
“This is a very special event with an International feel,” said Nelson Lopez, Sr. of Nelson’s Promotions. “The Boca Raton Resort and Spa is an incredible facility…this will be a great night and we look forward to having a great crowd to see one of the best fighters in the world in Kanat Islam on May 26th.”
In the eight round co-feature, Islam’s stable mate and fellow Kazak, Zhankosh Turarov (20-0, 14 KOs), will face Gustavo Garibay in a welterweight battle. The 26-year old Turarov has been a professional since 2009, with his most notable win being a fifth round stoppage over Abraham Peralta for the WBA Fedecentro super lightweight title back in 2013. However, Turarov suffered from some inactivity in 2014 and 2015, fighting only twice during that time. However, with three fights in 2016, including a knockout over Isaac Aryee in Almaty, Kazakhstan on October 29, 2016, it is safe to say that Turanov is back and is poised to make his own run at a world title in 2017. His opponent will be Garibay of Mexico (13-8-2, 5 KOs).
Also on the card will be undefeated prospect Dagoberto Aguero (11-0, 8 KO’s) of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic as he takes on Gustavo Molina (24-10, 9 KO’s) of Mexico in a super bantamweight bout.
Zhilei Zhang (15-0, 11 KO’s) of Zhoukou, China will take on Curtis Harper (12-4, 8 KO’s) of Jacksonville, Florida in a heavyweight attraction.
Wellington Romero (12-0-1, 9 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic takes on Wilfrido Buelvas (18-7, 12 KO’s) of Barranquilla, Colombia in a 140-pound fight.
In a six-round heavyweight bout, Mike Bolagun (10-0, 9 KO’s) of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will take on the ever dangerous TBA.
Also in a heavyweight fight, Tyrone Sprung (7-0, 7 KO’s) of Miami takes on an Osvaldo Ortega (2-5, 1 KO) of Mexico heavyweight bout.
Justin Wright will make his pro debut in a bantamweight bout against Christopher Salerno (0-1) of Florida while Lawrence Newton (6-0, 4 KO’s) of Boynton Beach, Florida will take on another TBA in a super bantamweight bout.
Lawrence Newton (6-0, 4 KO’s) of Boynton Beach, Florida will take on an opponent to be named in a super bantamweight bout.
The Nelson’s Promotions event will be distributed globally by New York-based MultiVision Media, Inc. The Executive Producer is Brian Ricco. The event will be produced and directed by Ira Steven Glass. Tickets for the event can be obtained by calling Boca Raton International at 561-419-2580.