Former world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa intends to climb back into position for a big fight at middleweight and the opponent in his upcoming bout prove such effort.
The heavy-handed Namibian pugilist will be on the road once again when he takes on unbeaten and fellow world-rated Kanat Islam in his opponent’s backyard in Kastana, Kazakhstan on October 26.
Kautondokwa (18-1, 17 KOs) is best known for his last-minute jump in a vacant WBO world title fight against American Demetrius Andrade in Boston, Massachusetts in October 2018. Andrade had originally been scheduled to face Billy Joe Saunders until the Englishman failed a pair of doping tests and thus eliminated himself from the bout. Though Kautondokwa took the fight in less than two weeks notice, he surprised the boxing world with his toughness by not only going the 12-round distance against the much more experienced Andrade but also rose from the canvas four times along the way.
Following his unsuccessful try to win the title, Kautondokwa had his comeback last May when he demolished Simeon Tcheta in two frames in Zimbabwe.
Thanks to his most recent victory, the Namibian is back to the world ranking of the World Boxing Organization where he currently stands at No. 10. Islam, who is the reigning WBO International titlist at 160 pounds, is rated No. 8 on the same list which makes the encounter even more prestigious. Matchups between fellow top-15 ranked contenders are relatively rare, and sanctioning bodies like to compensate such efforts with a faster route to the top of such ranks.
The winner of Kautondokwa-Islam could easily find himself in the top 4 of the ranks and thus being a fight or so away from a bout against the reigning world champion at middleweight who is none other than the aforementioned Andrade.
Islam (26-0, 21 KOs) has been labeled as the next Gennady Golovkin during his run through journeymen, prospects, and contenders, thanks largely to his aggressive style, massive punching power, and fellow Kazakh nationality. The 34-year-old fighter, who was born in China, has earned his best victories against then-unbeaten Canadian Brandon Cook and Ghanaian Patrick Allotey. He stopped Cook in nine frames and won a tough decision over Allotey. The latter is challenging WBO 154-pound titleholder Jaime Munguia this upcoming weekend in Carson, California.
Namibian boxing promoter Nestor Tobias, who drives the career of Kautondokwa, is excited about the challenge that is the next in line of a series of important bouts he brought together for his proteges in 2019.
“This has been a big year for us, with all 3 of our world-rated boxers fighting wold-rated opponents which rarely happens in boxing. In March, [WBO No. 3-ranked super featherweight, Jeremiah] Nakathila destroyed [Zoltan] Kovacs from Hungary, in August, [WBO No. 5-ranked welterweight, Mikka] Shonena won against [Youli] Dong from China and now it is Kautondokwa’s turn,” said Tobias in a press release, before he pointed out, “This fight is critically important because a win puts [Walter] right back at the top where he belongs.”
You can reach Tomi Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.