Standing on the shoulders of GGG, Janibek Alimkhanuly unified his WBO Middleweight title with a sixth round TKO of Vincenzo Gualtieri to capture the IBF middleweight title this past Saturday. The event took place in Rosenberg, Texas and was live on ESPN+.
Alimkhanuly cruised to a win, a statement performance again for the Kazakh fighter, and put the entire 160-pound division on notice. The win moved “Qazaq Style” to 15-0 and was his tenth career knockout.
Janibek Alimkhanuly cruises through Vincenzo Gualtieri
The fight was one way traffic from Janibek Alimkhanuly. The 30-year-old southpaw set the law of the land early with the jab and forward pressure that paralyzed Gualtieri into a state of inactivity. All night, the 30-year-old with 307 amateur fights came forward as Gualtieri looked for a moment to set in and mount some sort of offense.
Alimkhanuly kept coming forward, however, grinding down Gualtieri and looking for the left uppercut. Late in round five, Alimkhanuly hurt Gualtieri but the German managed to survive and stay on the feet and make it to the sixth round.
“Il Chapo” wouldn’t make it much farther. In round six, Alimkhanuly would land another uppercut and wobble Vincenzo Gualtieri much earlier in the round. As Alimkhanuly poured on the damage, the referee had seen enough and called the fight off.
What’s next for Janibek Alimkhanuly?
Now with two belts in tow, the question turns to what is next? Janibek Alimkhanuly wants to become undisputed in his division and plans on continuing his quest on doing that after tonight’s win.
“What we would like to do is add another two belts to this collection,” Alimkhanuly said in his post-fight speech.
In his division, he has two belts, the IBF and WBO. The other two champions are Erislandy Lara, who holds the WBA title, and Jermall Charlo, who has the WBC title but hasn’t fought or defended it since 2021. Charlo is also on the shortlist of who could be next for Canelo Alvarez at 168. Other fighters at 160 include Chris Eubank Jr. and Liam Smith.
There’s also the possibility that Alimkhanuly has to defend a mandatory for one of his belts. With the win, Alimkhanuly becomes the first Kazakh middleweight to unify since Gennadiy Golovkin did the same.
Elsewhere on the card
The Top Rank card featured some of tomorrow’s stars in addition to Janibek Alimkhanuly. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis defeated Nahir Albright via decision.
Duke Ragan, who has a win over former UFC fighter John Moraga in 2020, survived his first career knockdown to win a split decision over Jose Perez.
Now, Top Rank will pivot to Tyson Fury versus Francis Ngannou on October 28th for a monster pay-per-view dubbed “Battle of the Best.”
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