What’s Next For Kanat Islam After Majority Decision Loss To Jimmy Kelly?

Kanat Islam Faces a Crossroads Decision After Upset Defeat

Kanat Islam faces questions following loss to Jimmy Kelly
Kanat Islam faces questions following loss to Jimmy Kelly

Where Does Kanat Islam Go After the Upset Loss to Jimmy Kelly?

On February 25, #8 ranked WBO middleweight contender Kanat “QazaQ” Islam (28-1, 22KOs) lost his unbeaten record via majority decision to former world title challenger Jimmy Kelly (26-2, 10KOs). The 37-year-old Kazakhstan representative was the favorite going into the matchup with the U.K.-based Kelly. However, once the two men got into the ring, Islam was far from the explosive and effective fighter seen in his previous 28 bouts.

Having not fought in over a year, Islam showed every bit of the accumulated ring rust. However, that’s not to discredit Kelly at all as his jab was exceptional. He used it not only to stifle the attack of Islam, but also to set up his straight right hand and left hook to the head and body. Furthermore, he has previously challenged former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (2015) and former world title challenger Dennis Hogan (2018). He lost those fights by stoppage and unanimous decision, respectively.


Although this was his first loss as a professional, it’s a crushing one. At 37 years old, one has to wonder if he’ll ever get the long-elusive world title opportunity he’s been seeking. That remains to be seen. It may be best to pursue a rematch with Kelly to show the loss was just a bad night at the office. Whatever the call, he needs to look much better than he did against Jimmy Kelly in his next fight.

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By: Jerrell Fletcher

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About Jerrell F.1648 Articles
Jerrell Fletcher - Lead Journalist Jerrell "Big Kool" Fletcher is the host of YouTube boxing channel "Colossal Sports TV" and is the Lead Journalist for 3kingsboxing.com.