Posted 11/11/2022By Sean Crose
Although he holds the WBO World Middleweight title, he is not well-known outside of the hardcore fight fan community. This is despite the fact that he has twelve wins to zero losses, with eight of those wins coming before the end bell. Janibek Alimkhanuly is a world champion and it’s obvious. He’s looking to change all that, however. The Top Rank-promoted fighter will be ply his trade Saturday night at Las Vegas’ Palms Resort & Casino. Alimkhanuly’s opponent this weekend will be the widely unknown Denzel Bentley. Alimkhanuly seems to be impressing, but Bentley, with a record that includes seventeen wins, a loss, and a draw, is clearly looking for shocks in the fight world.
With that being said, Alimkhanuly isn’t particularly happy with the current state of the fight game. “I don’t know why nowadays champions don’t want to fight with the other champions,” he said at the last press conference before this weekend’s fight. “I don’t think they should be afraid. I am here. I am a champion now. I am here to fight champions. Hopefully, Top Rank can organize a fight with another world champion next.”
With that being said, there appears to be a consensus that the division’s other world champions, IBF and WBA titlist Gennady Golovkin, and WBC titlist Jermall Charlo, aren’t too thrilled at the prospect of facing a fighter as little known and as talented as Alimkhanuly. It’s a common problem in the fight game, one Golovkin felt himself when he was younger. Marvin Hagler, the greatest middleweight ever, had a rough time before he was able to face his opponents. Alimkhanuly may follow the Golovkin/Hagler route, which would make it difficult to avoid him if he continues to win.
In the meantime, the six-foot Kazakh must win and win well. Avoided fighters are at risk of giving opposition an excuse to not fight them. A rough performance against Bentley on Saturday, or worse yet, a loss, would certainly put a spoke in the wheel of Alimkhanuly’s career trajectory. The 29-year-old does not want something like that to happen.
“Today I looked into the eyes of the opponent,” he tweeted late on Thursday. “He has no fire! He knows who is right in front of him. He is very familiar with the Qazaq style. Inshallah, I will knock him out. Before the fight, many boxers don’t want to say anything. I am different, I will say and I will do what I said inshallah!”