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Janibek Alimkhanuly Goes For Unified Middleweight Title

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Janibek Alimkhanuly Goes For Unified Middleweight Title

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Janibek Alimkhanuly Goes For Unified Middleweight Title

WBO middleweight champ Janibek Alimkhanuly is ready to add another world title to resume’ Saturday night. This, as the former Olympian from Kazakhstan will meet little known, but recently crowned IBF world champ, Vincenzo Gualtieri of Germany.

The fighters met with the media one final time in Rosenburg, TX in advance of their Saturday night main event showdown for Top Rank Boxing/ESPN.

Janibek is heavily favored

Janibek, 14-0, 9 KOs owns the belt vacated two years ago by Demetrius Andrade, making the third defense of his WBO belt. Also, there is a variable for this bout with Gualtierri- a new man in the corner.

Gone is legendary fighter/trainer James “Buddy McGirt” and now in is Brian Viloria to work with the talented punching Alimkhanuly.

Janibek spoke on the challenge Saturday and Viloria being his new “voice” of wisdom and encouragement coming up.

“I changed my trainer for this fight. We got all the knowledge that we could from Buddy McGirt. And now we have a new trainer in Brian Viloria. We are doing new workouts and learning new things. We’re also adding things to my style. On Saturday night, you’ll see a new side of me.”

“My new trainer was a world champion, so he knows what this is about. It was our first camp together, so we couldn’t add too much. But I’ll show what I learned in the ring on Saturday night.”

Catch Dan Rafael with me breaking down Janibek-Gualtierri off our “Big Fight Weekend Preview Podcast” by clicking play below,

Who is Gualtierri?

As for Gualtierri, 21-0, 7 KOs, he’s never fought outside of his home country of Germany. However, he got a significant win for the vacant IBF title in early July by winning a lopsided decision over favored Esquiva Falcao. That included Gualtierri scoring two knockdowns of the Brazilian.

He said Thursday,

“I am happy to be here. It has always been my dream to have a fight here in the United States. Now, my dream has come true, and I expect to be the winner on Saturday. For this fight, I had more sparring partners than in previous camps, and I’ve been more focused than ever before. I have invested everything in this training camp.” 

However, this is clearly his biggest challenge to date by facing the big punching Janibek.

So, will this be a fight that takes very little for Janibek to figure out and wipe out the opponent, like his two second round title fight KOs of Danny Dignum and Steven Butler? Or will Gualtierri hang in with the Kazak bomber Janibek like England’s Denzel Bentley did for 12 rounds last year?

We’ will find out soon enough.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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