By Adam Baskin Janibek Alimkhanuly says he’s ready for a unification against the other middleweight champions after his successful title defense on Saturday night against Denzel Bentley.
Janibek’s late surge in the 11th and 12th rounds preserved his victory over Bentley, as he was able to hurt him and land a lot of hard lefts to the head.
If Janibek had used combinations instead of single punches, Bentley would have been knocked out. Felix Cash knocked Bentley out with three rounds of combinations. Janibek, however, never tried that approach.
Janibek will need to do a lot of work if he is going to be able to take on Gennadiy Glovkin, Erislandy Laara, and JermallCharlo, the champions at 160.
Janibek, WBO 160 lb champion, was forced to play the 12 round distance in beating Bentley (17-1, 9 KOs), by unanimous decision with the scores 116-112,116-112,and 118-110 at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas.
Janibek, 29, wasn’t expecting as hard a fight as Bentley gave him, but he had a lot to do with making it a tougher match than it should have been. Janibek’s inability throw combinations hindered him from dominating the fight, and his fatigue during the middle rounds.
Janibek’s trainer Buddy McGirt was telling him to stop waiting around and let his hand go against Bentley, but he couldn’t follow his instructions.
Janibek was slow to react between shots and he did not do enough combination punching. If Janibek could throw combinations of four, five, six, and seven punches at a time, tonight’s fight would have been an easy one for him. He couldn’t do it and never tried.
“It’s boxing. Anything can happen in the ring,” said Janibek following his victory over Bentley. “He came prepared. Because he was prepared, I respect my opponent. He was 100 per cent, but I am a champion and I fought all 12 rounds like a champion.
“I’m ready for any champion, and for unifications. I am ready. Let’s fight.”
Despite Janibek’s less-than-spectacular performance tonight, it’s doubtful that he’ll get any of the champions at 160 to fight him. Jermall hasn’t fought in a year and a half, and we probably won’t see him fight until 2023.
If Janibek wants a fight, he should be willing to move up to 168 because he’ll get more takers in that weight class than at 160.