Ali Akhmedov is the new World Boxing Council super- middleweight Silver champion, having defeated veteran Gabriel Rosado for the vacant title, at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on that fabled night when his idol Gennady GGG Golovkin fought and lost that final encounter in the Trilogy Classic against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Accompanied by his Promoter Tom Loeffler of GGG Promotions, this young man from Almaty Kazakhstan, who now resides in Venice, near the beach in sunny California, popped into the WBC`s Los Angeles Office for a chat with Pepe Sulaiman.
The name Kazak comes from the Turkik verb qaz, which means to wander. Many of its people are nomads, who travel far and wide to achieve their dreams by reaching their goals. Every great journey starts with its first step. Kazakhstan encompasses more than a million square miles, and as such, it`s the largest landlocked country in the World, populated by only fifteen people per square mile totalling nineteen million citizens, inhabiting its vast territory. A transcontinental nation, it partly straddles Eastern Europe but envelopes a far larger chunk of Central Asia. A geographical emptiness, whose void is only partially filled, but more than fulfilled by the sporting excellence of its people.
Ali Akhmedov aged twenty seven is part of the new wave. One of the new kids on the block, tempered by kerbstone toughness, yet eloquent and erudite. Clad in a simple, starched white T shirt, he has the WBC Silver Belt buckled over his shoulder and close to his heart. Not once during the interview did he remove it, saying how very proud he is to have won it. He looks younger than his years. His beard still has the plucky sparseness of youth, lacking the full luxuriant plumage of resplendent maturity. His wisdom doesn`t come from the bearded lips wistfully described by Othello, but from his soul within. He`s no longer baby faced, but he`s still fresh faced, minus wrinkles, worry lines or the reminder marks a seasoned fighter accumulates as the price of his speculation.
He describes his fight against wily and battled hardened Rosado as a tough one. The learning curve of a scimitar, stressing: “I can box and I can fight, but I prefer to box.” But NO TRASH TALK. Rather mutual respect. He insists: “I don`t want to say anything bad about other fighters. In the ring there is only you and your opponent. There, you show everything. Professionals, but also and afterwards friends.” It`s the way this young man has built, fashioned and burnished his 19-1, 14KO`s career.
Ali Akhmedov explains that Gennady Golovkin`s dazzling amateur stint and then pro career which has spanned from 2006 until now, inspired and enthralled a generation of young Kazak boxers including himself, and boxing is consequently the number one sport in the country: “Gennady opened up the doors for Kazak fighters showing us that we can do the same. Now everyone believes this. Everybody dreams of an Olympic medal and a world championship belt…but it`s not for everybody.”
Then he enthuses: “Gennady is my Promoter and also like my older brother. I`m so happy that I`m with him. The other day we talked for an hour and a half and my future is the Green and Gold Belt! I`m so happy as this is my first big belt. Now… on to the next step which is the Green and Gold Belt.”