Home Boxing News Janibek Alimkhanuly says the middleweight division is full of ducks, vows to...

Janibek Alimkhanuly says the middleweight division is full of ducks, vows to take it out on Steven Butler

Janibek Alimkhanuy. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO middleweight champion Janibek ‘Qazaq Style’ Alimkhanuly 13-0 (8) says the future of the middleweight division runs through him.

The 30-year-old Kazakhstan southpaw has been impressive in the past couple of years, defeating former world champions Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam by stopped in 2021. Last year he knocked out Danny Dignum in two to be crowned the WBO interim champion before being elevated to full champion status with his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Denzel Bentley in November after Demetrius Andrade vacated the title to move up in weight.

The 160-pound division is in a state of flux at the moment with WBC champion Jermall Charlo appearing to be on permanent hiatus having not fought in two years and Gennadiy Golovkin relinquishing his belts. Erislandy Lara, 40, remains the WBA champion while the IBF belt is vacant.

The weight class is screaming out for a new king and Alimkhanuly firmly believes that crown should sit on his head.

He will face Canadian Steven ‘Bang Bang’ Butler 32-3-1 (26) at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California on Saturday night. The 27-year-old is on a four fight in streak.

“I give all the credit to Steven Butler for accepting this fight,” said Alimkhanuly, a 2016 Olympian. “In a division full of ducks, Butler is a true warrior. I know he will come to fight, and we will give the fans a great show.

“Demetrius Andrade gave up his title to avoid fighting me. He ran eight pounds up the scale. He is the ultimate duck. Jaime Munguia turned down a shot at the title to fight weaker opposition. They are the two ducks, but I am the champion now.

“I called out the division’s other champions, and they didn’t answer. Butler answered the call. I am fighting Saturday to prove a point. I will knock out Butler in devastating fashion.

“The middleweight division runs through me now. I am here to stay. While the other champions continue not to fight, I will challenge the best and knock out everyone in my path.”

At the final press conference to promote the fight, Alimkhanuly promised to put Butler to the sword.

“I don’t want to defend my title every time I fight, I want to unify my titles. I think it’s going to be a big fight on Saturday night and I think it’s gonna be an easy win for me,” he said.

“I’m going to show him what he’s not going to be even able to knock me out, he’s not gonna be able to touch me.”

But Butler said he was not going to lie down easily.

“I’m going to shock the world. He’s making a big mistake when by thinking he’s already beaten me,” Butler said.

“He has a big fight on his hands on Saturday, I’m going to hurt him, mark my words.”

Also on the card Australia’s Jason Moloney 25-2 (19) will contest for the vacant WBO bantamweight title against Filipino Vincent Astrolabio 18-3 (13).