Is World Ranked Middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly Ready For a World Title Shot?
When it comes to the middleweight division, the majority of the attention and focus goes towards the reigning world champions Gennady Golovkin (IBF), Jermall Charlo (WBC), Ryota Murata (WBA ‘super’), and Demetrius Andrade (WBO). It’s certainly understandable. All of those fighters are talented and well-deserved champions in their own right. However, there’s a 160 pounder lurking and quickly rising in the ranks. Janibek Alimkhanuly (10-0, 6 KOs) is a talented 28-year-old southpaw from Zhilandy, Kazakhstan who now resides in Oxnard, California. Only ten fights into his professional career, he’s already ranked second by the WBO.
Alimkhanuly sports a strong team which includes manager Egis Klimas, promoter Bob Arum, and trainer “Buddy’ McGirt. As a pro, the fighter nicknamed “Qazaq Style” has been impressive. His last two outings have been particularly noteworthy. On October 9, 2020, Alimkhanuly destroyed Gonzalo Gasto Coria in two rounds. That was followed by what was supposed to be the biggest test of his career.
In June of 2021, he stepped in the ring to face former WBA ‘regular’ world middleweight champion Rob Brant. Alimkhanuly had his way from the opening bell on the way to a performance that was so dominating, Brant’s corner threw in the towel after the eighth round.
Both of those bouts were aired live on ESPN. What made the wins so stand-out was how he performed. Against Coria, the highly ranked middleweight used a sharp and accurate jab to set up an array of power shots before ending matters with his big left hand.
He revealed more layers to his game against Brant. It was a thorough and complete performance. One of the qualities that make Alimkhanuly so highly regarding is his transition game. The ability to smoothly go from offense to defense, back to the offense is a quality you only see from highly skilled boxers. His creativity and ability to distribute punches also come with two-fisted punching power. He is a fighter with a loaded arsenal of boxing tools.
BLUEPRINT TOWARDS A WORLD TITLE
There’s a reason why some critics and those in media circles argue that, despite his limited professional experience, he might be ready for a world title shot. While there’s no word on what’s up next for Alimkhanuly, the fighter himself believes he’s ready to do battle against the elite at 160.
Mr. “Qazaq Style” is on the fast track, and Arum has a plan in mind for his fighter. Before the fight against Brant, the CEO of Top Rank promotions said his long-term goals are to match Alimkhanuly against former WBO world junior middleweight champ and current WBO number one ranked middleweight Jaime Munguia in a WBO 160 pound world title eliminator. Then from there, shoot for a fight against WBO world middleweight champion Andrade.
Janibek Alimkhanuly is one of the best up-and-comers in the sport. Given his age, handlers, and ability, there is no reason to mess around. Some thought Brant was too much, too soon. Alimkhanuly proved he was more than ready for the challenge. If skills and potential means anything, the risk is worth taking as far as going for a world title so soon.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.