With the future boxing career of Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin in a state of uncertainty, the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan is now proudly represented among the middleweight elite by classy southpaw Janibek Alimkhanuly.
The 2016 Rio Olympian made his second successful defence of the WBO 160lbs (11st, 6lb) title in Stockton, California, USA on Saturday. He destroyed Canadian challenger Steven Butler inside six minutes with three knockdowns, first registering a powerful left uppercut followed by left hook that took the legs away from the Canadian for the remainder. The stoppage from there on was inevitable with referee Jack Reiss giving Butler every opportunity to continue before finally waving it off after 2:35 of the second.
The 30 year old Alimkhanuly improved his record to 14-0 (9 KO’s) and confidently called out all in the division, “Champions ! Boxing superstars ! Where are you ? I am waiting. Lets fight”. He then called specifically, “Canelo (Alvarez) and (Jermall) Charlo, I am ready !”. The Kazakh clearly has the amateur pedigree and has been largely faultless as a professional, his first successful defence against Britain’s Denzel Bentley being his sole poor showing in a competitive fight.
The excitement generated by and achievements of Golovkin will take some equalling, but the WBO middleweight belt looks safely in the hands on the new Kazakh hero. Should he get the marquee fights he strives for, he is well equipped to be successful.
Butler dropped to 32-4-1, 26 KO’s) and will need to regroup.
The Top Rank promoted card also featured Australia’s Jason Moloney (26-2, 19 KO’s) winning the WBO ‘world’ bantamweight (118lbs/8st, 6lb) title with a majority decision over Filipino Vincent Astrolabio (18-4, 13 KO’s). The scores were 114-114, 115-113, 116-112 in the man from Melbourne’s favour. He calmly outboxed his opponent after breaking his hand in the fourth round.
His brother Andrew (25-2, 16 KO’s) also boxes for a ‘world’ title soon. Jason proudly predicting “This is job done for Team Moloney. Next week Andrew will join me as champion of the world”.
Australian boxing is back on the up with several new and exciting world champions and contenders. Tim Tszyu (22-0, 16 KO’s) at 154lbs (11st) is the pick of the bunch and sure to challenge for junior-middleweight supremacy soon.
This national resurgence is good for world boxing moving forwards.