Another Kazakh boxer seeks to join the boxing elite alongside Gennady Golovkin, Beibut Shumenov and Serik Sapiyev.
Northern Kazakhstan’s Isa Akberbayev, also known as Bumblebee, beat Morris Okola of Kenya, June 1, in a bout in Mytischi, Russia. The match brought his record to 12-0-0 (KO-8), with a knockout percentage of 61.54.
In the first round, the 106-kilogramme Okola (4-1-0) demonstrated messy boxing but powerful punches. It seemed that Akberbayev, at 88 kilogrammes, outclassed Okola, who had lacked speed in both footwork and punches.
Due to his large torso and heavy punches, Okola took control of the centre in the second round. He put pressure on Akberbayev, who in turn missed a few heavy punches. The Kenyan showed that he could take a punch, while Akberbayev had difficulty sustaining Okola’s heavy shots, and the 18-kilogramme weight difference mattered.
Akberbayev almost fell in the third round, but only because he stumbled. After the incident, he avoided any exchange with Okola, trying to wear him out until the referee reminded the boxer he had to engage and stop running around. Akrberbayev missed a few powerful uppercuts from Okola and seemed to be avoiding exchanges with him. By the end, however, the Kazakh started boxing Okola’s bout with messy punches and no clear tactics. Evidently he was tired, too.
In round four, Akberbayev tried to outbox and outwork Okola, managing to do so with his footwork. He wore Okola out and the Kenyan seemed very tired by the end of the round.
The Kazakh hit Okola below the belt line in the fifth round and the Kenyan was given a count. The action threw the judges off balance, as Akberbayev received no warning and the count was open. Technically, the extra point should have been given to the Kazakh, yet it was deducted for a violation. By the end of the round, the Kenyan seemed like a punching bag that Akberbayev just couldn’t knock down or out.
No count was needed to determine the winner. Okola didn’t continue to round six, as his second was unable to stop the bleeding from his nose, and after a short while Akbaerbayev was given the technical knockout.
New IBF Australian Champion Seeks Bout with Golovkin
Australian IBF middleweight champion Sam Soliman, 40, who won the title with a unanimous decision over Germany’s Felix Sturm in Germany last month, wants to challenge Gennady Golovkin, Kazakhstan’s top, unbeaten boxer. He is the one boxer no one wants to face at this stage. Experts agree that Soliman would be a heavy underdog in a fight against Golovkin, however, the Australian is convinced that Golovkin is the one he wants to face in the ring.
“I’m going after Gennady Golovkin. I’m going to follow him and show up to challenge him wherever I can, until he has to fight me. Nobody else will fight him. We’ll see if he’ll fight me. Unification is everything for me now. Maybe somebody will offer me a lot of money to fight somebody else, but I doubt it. I want Golovkin,” said Soliman.
Soliman looks to be a man of his word, so that fight could happen this winter in New York.