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PROSPECT WATCH: Izim Izbaki, New Salita Signee

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Not sure you’ve noticed, but New York promoter Dmitriy Salita has been edging his way up the ranks the last few years, and every month, is signing one or more international talents. Yes, his arsenal of talent has to be acknowledged and respected, beyond his affiliation with Claressa Shields and Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

Salita, a former fighter, has taken a new heavyweight into the fold. Izim Izbaki, from Almaty, Kazakhstan, will be battling under the Salita banner, so I reached out to get some deets on this 6-11 specimen.

How did a basketballer-sized figure get into fights sports. Where, when and why, I asked Izbaki…

“When I was young about 10-11 years old,” the 23 year old told us, “I wanted to get involved with sport and my oldest brother signed me up for boxing. I grew to liking boxing and I really want to develop myself in this direction.”

Can he tell us about growing up in Kazakhstan…mom and dad, brothers and sisters, family? What sort of life did he lead?

“Our family consists of six people, our parents, two brothers, sister, and I. My father is a truck driver, mother is a retired house keeper, the oldest brother is a businessman, my sister is a physician, my middle brother is a professional boxer. I graduated high school while maintaining regular practices in boxing, basketball, and soccer. After high school I went to technical college with IT major,” he stated.

So, elephant in the room time…6-11…are people surprised he is a fighter, not a basketball player? Did he try basketball?

“Yes, I tried basketball, I even was a part of school varsity team, but after some time I preferred boxing,” said the hitter, who has a deep base in kick-boxing.

Let’s talk strengths as a fighter…and weaknesses…

“My strengths, I am a hard worker and goal-oriented person. I always strive to achieve set goals,” Izbaki said, deftly skirting the weaknesses arena.

And will the young hitter transition fully to boxing, or continue kickboxing, too?

“I showed good results in kickboxing on the international arena. However, there were no decent offers that would convince me to continue. Also, all the greatest boxers and boxing fights are in the United States. I want to become a world champion in boxing. Choosing boxing over kickboxing was our joint decision with my coaches.”

And personally…married? Kids? Hobbies?

“I am not married and I don’t have children. My hobbies are going camping and swimming. I am goal oriented, disciplined, and hard working. I know how to work independently as well as in the team.”

So, what’s on his “Get ‘Er Done” list, anyway?

“Like many other boxers I want to become a world champion and I am going towards this goal. I am going there since  I started with this sport. I think that every opponent is reputable opponent. Above all it is the experience, but of course I want to fight with famous boxers!”

OK, I’m wanting to see the same. Promoter Salita, what is the plan for this sky-scraper scrapper? “The plan is to bring him to the US where he will train and fight,” Salita said. “We plan to have him debut before the end of the year. He is big, strong and young with lots of successful in ring experience.”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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