â€œBernard Hopkins, here we come!â€ That is the cry from the camp of light heavyweight up-and-comer Ismayl Sillakh, the Ukrainian with the curious nickname â€œThe Black Russian.â€ The six foot three inch Ukraine is cruising through the light heavyweight ranks with an eye toward the big boys. At 26 years of age, Sillakh is already 16-0 with 13 knockouts. Most recently he took out Hamza Wandera Ouma in Russia in three rounds. Sillakh is managed by Ivaylo Gotzev and trained by Shadeed Suluki. â€œIf [Hopkins] is not available, a guy who always has something to say is Jean Pascal. We would love to take him on,â€ Gotzev told PhilBoxing.com.
Sillakh has traveled the world to fight, from Ukraine, where he had a phenomenal amateur record of 302-16, to Moscow, to the United States. He has made Southern California his unofficial new home, training in the northern Los Angeles area of Van Nuys at the new International Fight Center (IFC). So, other top light heavyweights cannot say that that havenâ€™t heard of him or cannot find him. Heâ€™s right in their backyard. â€œâ€¦Itâ€™s no coincidence the divisionâ€™s champions or their promoters never bring Sillakhâ€™s name up. Itâ€™s because theyâ€™re all afraid to fight him, itâ€™s that simple,â€ states Gotzev.