WBO Champ Janibek Alimkhanuly Hopeful Liam Smith Takes the Fight
The World Boxing Organization has ordered that reigning WBO middleweight champion Janibek “Qazak Style” Alimkhanuly (13-0, 8 KOs) must next fight WBO number-one ranked middleweight contender Liam “Beefy” Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs). A twenty-day window has been given for the two parties to negotiate a fight, or it will head to a WBO-sanctioned purse bid.
Alimkhanuly stopped Danny Dignum in two rounds to win the WBO interim middleweight title in May 2022. When then-WBO 160-pound champion Demetrius Andrade vacated the title, Alimkhanuly was elevated to full-time WBO champion in August 2022. In his last outing, Qazaq Style defended the title with a unanimous decision over Denzel Bentley in November 2022.
A one-time WBO junior middleweight champion, Smith is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of Chris Eubank Jr in January 2023. Following that victory, Beefy was moved up to the top of the rankings by the WBO. In reaction to the WBO’s decision, Alimkhanuly posted the following statements on social media:
PROBABILITY OF THIS MATCHUP TAKING PLACE
While Alimkhanuly and Smith have been ordered to fight, don’t expect it anytime soon, if ever. Eubank Jr has activated a rematch clause and Smith has expressed a willingness to run it back with him. It’s a strong possibility that Smith’s next fight will be a rematch with Eubank Jr later this year. We at 3kingsboxing.com will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates.