icon Updated at 11:28 PM EDT, Tue Aug 8, 2017

Islam Kanat vs. Brandon Cook, on September 9 in Kazakhstan

The WBA Inter-Continental and WBO-NABO Champion Islam ‘Qazaq’ Kanat and the undefeated Canadian, Brandon ‘Bad Boy’ Cook, square off in a blockbuster matchup with an already sold-out venue at the Saryarka Velodrome in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday, September 9th.

Kanat vs. Cook is 2017’s biggest boxing attraction in Kazakhstan selling over 12,000 seats at the Saryarka Velodrome. However, due to the high-demand of this stellar boxing event, an additional 3,000 seats have been added. Kanat and Cook are 154-pound world-class fighters in their prime going head to head at a critical time in their respective careers. Both are coming off from spectacular victories and entering the battle for the 154-pound WBA Junior Middleweight title race. 

The Champion Islam Kanat (formerly Hanati Silamu) was born in China but is of Kazakhstani descent. He represented CHINA at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, winning bronze in the latter, and also taking bronze at the 2007 World Championships.

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Like Cook, Islam (24-0, 19 KOs) didn’t turn professional until his mid-20s and this upcoming fight will be the biggest yet of his career. 32-year old Kanat is coming off from an unanimous decision fight over Norberto Gonzalez which took place in the Boca Raton, Florida May of this year. Kanat has heavy power on both hands stemming from an 80% knockout ratio; he has beaten 19 of his last 24 opponents by knockouts.

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, 31-year old Cook has moved quietly since debuting back in early 2011, but he’s boasted wins over seasoned pros such as Fitz Vanderpool and Rafael Pintos. On his last bout as an underdog, the Canadian shocked everyone when he spectacularly knocked out Steven Butler in the seventh round of that fight. Cook has stopped 11 of his last 18 opponents by knockout and expect no different on September 9 in Astana, Kazakhstan. He now faces a difficult task having to fight outside Canada facing a world-class fighter in his home-town.

The boxing duel of Kanat Islam vs Brandon Cook will close the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 in Kazakhstan, which is scheduled to bring a lot of dignitaries such as Gennady Golovkin who has confirmed his attendance. In addition, eight fights will take place that night, which include famous Kazakhstani boxers: Zhankosh Turarov, Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Meirim Nursultanov, Ruslan Myrsatayev, Ali Akhmedov, Aidos Yerbossynuly, Dimash Niyazov and Nursultan Zhanabayev.