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Kazakh Update: Islam’s US Debut, Demyanenko Retires

By Alexey Sukachev

After compiling a rapid streak of one-sided demolitions in Colombia and Dominican Republic, the 28-year old junior middleweight Kanat Islam, also known as Hanati Silamu, is ready for his US debut. Nelson Lopez Sr., his promoter, who guides the Kazakh fighter alongside his business partners from ZHERSU, is planning a fight for Islam in April or in May against an opponent to be named later. Islam is now back to training in Pahokee, Florida.

Kanat Islam (8-0, 8 KOs), also almost unknown overseas, was once a stellar amateur – firstly for his native China, and then – for his adopted homeland of Kazakhstan (Islam is of the Kazakh origin). He took part in two Olympics, winning bronze in Beijing in 2008 as a welterweight. He grabbed the same honours a year before during 2007 Chicago world championship.

Islam made his pro debut on Sep. 28 the last year and notched eight kayo wins in just two and a half months. His first seven opponents had a pitiful combined record of 15-94-5, but in his latest outing it took Islam just 33 seconds to knock out Ecuadorian veteran Humberto Toledo (41-8-2 at the time) for the WBA Fedecaribe light middleweight belt.

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Undefeated Kazakh welterweight prospect Vitaliy Demyanenko (22-0, 12 KO) has put his professional career on hold to join already thriving national team “Astana Arlans”, which represents Kazakhstan in the World Series of Boxing. Demyanenko, 29, a son of 1980 Moscow Olympics silver medalist Victor Demyanenko, joins two-time world (2005 and 2007) and 2012 Olympic champion and Val Barker’s trophy owner Serik Sapiev and 2004 Olympic champion and Val Barker’s winner Bakhtiyar Artayev in making the Kazakh boxing management by far the most stellar in world amateur boxing.

“That was a verdict of medical commission. They recommended me to take a long layoff from boxing. However, I still hope to recover and to fight more after the recovery”, commented the Kazakh southpaw. “Demyan” enjoyed his best period between 2006 and 2010, when he scored several quality wins over second-tier opposition and grabbed an assortment of minor titles in process. He fought thrice in 2012, lopsidedly outpointing Ayi Bryce and Roberto Valenzuela before going through all kinds of trouble in a split decision win over Damian Frias.

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