Zhailauov suffering in Mzansi
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.”