WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly has boldly stated recently that the middleweight division “runs through him” and Saturday night in Stockton, California, he made the kind of statement to make you believe him. This, as Alimkhanuly scored a devastating second round KO of Canadian opponent Steven Butler.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 14, 2023
Janibek felt out Butler in the first round with the southpaw right jab and not much action. However, things heated up very quickly in the second round, as the former Khazak Olympian landed a booming left uppercut followed by two left hooks that dropped Butler to his knees for the first knockdown of the fight. Butler rose on unsteady legs, but referee Jack Reis allowed him to continue.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t long before Janibek, now 14-0, 9 KOs, overpowered him, again, with a series of lefts and rights and Butler stumbled onto his right side for the second knock down.
Reis took a long look to stopping the fight, but allowed the game Butler to continue. Still, in a matter of seconds later, two more heavy lefts by Janibek dropped him hard to the mat for the third time and the bout was waved off.
The emphatic victory for Allimkhanuly will definitely make him more marketable in the middleweight division that is in flux. This with WBA/IBF champ Gennady Golovkin having relinquished his two of the titles and Jermall Charlo, as the WBC champion, having not defended his belt in 23 months and counting.
Alimkhanuly needed to be more impressive, as he was heavily favored to KO England’s Denzel Bentley last November, but needed 12 rounds to get the victory.
“Champions and the boxing superstars, where are you? I’m waiting. Let’s fight,” Janibek said to ESPN in the ring. “I’m the most rewarded boxer. I am the middleweight king. Let’s Go. Fight. Top Rank, who is next?!”
Saturday night will make many more believers in Janibek for sure.