Perth’s “Bullet” Michael Kaplan has landed himself a place in the WBA’s world top 15.
Kaplan doesn’t herald from a traditional boxing background, having competed at an elite level of Taekwando. The Australian light flyweight sensation opened up about his past in combat sports.
Kaplan said, “I was a world-level competitor in two different forms of Taekwando, and I really took to the kickboxing style of it and won numerous tournaments at that style which is the more similar style to traditional boxing.
“I had a couple of amateur fights and then decided to turn professional with Tony Tolj who has been a godsend to me. I am so grateful for what he has done for me so far and I believe I am improving all the time and I will get better and better as time goes on.”
Kaplan has entered the world top 15 at light flyweight for the first time and a world title fight may not be out of the realms of possibilities for the Perth native. Kaplan gave his take on breaking into the world top 15 and his plans going forward.
He said, “It’s an amazing feat to become a world-ranked fighter and I am so grateful to my team for making it happen. I couldn’t have done it without them and I believe this is just the start of an amazing journey.
“I want to keep progressing. Of course, I would love to become world champion one day, but I am happy to continue to learn my craft and I trust my manager Tony to make the right decisions for me when the time is correct to step me up into title fights. In the meantime, I will continue to train hard and fight anyone who is put in front of me.”
Sibusiso Zingange eyes Billel Dib scalp as he targets Andrew Cancio
Current WBA Pan African Champion & WBA World #14 Sibusiso Zingange has targeted a clash with Australia’s Billel Dib who also sits in a lofty position in the WBA ratings, with Dib clocking in at number 5 in the latest ratings issued by the World Boxing Association.
Dib has openly targeted a clash with current WBA world champion Andrew Cancio, who recently repeated his stoppage victory of Alberto Machado last month, however, Zingange is looking to scupper Dib’s world title plans by creating some of his own.
The South African gave his thoughts ahead of a potential clash with Australian Dib, “Dib is a good fighter and I take nothing away from him. He has been a champion so he has my respect definitely but I believe that I can beat Dib in good style.
“A fight with Billel Dib would mean the world to me as it would put me in line to face a world champion after I beat him. It will give me a great opportunity that I will grab with both hands.”
Zingange has won back to back titles in his last two contests, picking up the ABU and WBA Pan African titles at 130 pounds. The South African discussed his feelings about winning both of these titles.
He said, “Being WBA Pan African champion is fantastic as it got me ranked in the world top 15 and it gives me the opportunity to get big fights and get closer to becoming a world champion which I believe I am going to be.
“I will beat Dib as I am coming to fight and I want to wish him good luck if we do fight as I think it will be a fun fight for everyone to watch. After Dib I am coming for Cancio and I will be ready to beat him and become world champion.”