Zhailauov suf­fer­ing in Mzansi

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

South Africa is prov­ing not to be a happy hunt­ing ground for Kaza­khstani wel­ter­weight Ro­man Zhailauov.

Since sign­ing a deal with Golden Gloves in March to stage some of his fights in South Africa, things have gone from bad to worse for him in Mzansi’s square jun­gle.

The 21-year-old has al­ready suf­fered two straight de­feats in the space of three months out of the four bouts he has con­tested at Em­per­ors Palace in Kemp­ton Park, Ekurhu­leni.

His lat­est set­back was a crush­ing fifth-round tech­ni­cal knock­out de­feat to the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo’s Paul Ka­manga for the va­cant World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA) Pan African ti­tle on Tues­day.

Be­fore then, Zhailauov lost to Lim­popo’s Thomp­son Mok­wana by split de­ci­sion over eight rounds.

But it was his en­counter against Ka­manga that proved there has been lit­tle to write home about for Zhailauov.

He strug­gled to see af­ter his right eye was com­pletely closed by Ka­manga’s flurry of punches in the third and fourth rounds. This forced ref­eree Jaap van Nieuwen­huizen to stop the pro­ceed­ings.

The newly crowned Ka­manga’s un­blem­ished record now reads 18 wins.

The erst­while Kaza­khstani ju­nior cham­pion’s poor show­ing at the Palace of Dreams has tar­nished an im­pres­sive pro­fes­sional CV of 13 wins chalked up at home.

His care­taker trainer, Harold “The Ham­mer” Vol­brecht, be­lieves his charge can still pick up the pieces by win­ning more fights in South Africa.

“Look, he has a big heart. He likes South Africa and only comes here for train­ing a month be­fore a fight,” said Vol­brecht.

“We are hope­ful that he will im­prove on his work rate in fu­ture and win more fights here. Other­wise, we might as well close shop,” said Vol­brecht.

He said it was dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate with the fighter, as he was not flu­ent in English.

“His man­ager, Alex Kuznetsov, of­ten trans­lates for him dur­ing train­ing ses­sions at our gym.”

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