Home Boxing News Janibek Alimkhanuly fighting for respect against Vincenzo Gualtieri this Saturday

Janibek Alimkhanuly fighting for respect against Vincenzo Gualtieri this Saturday

Janibek Alimkhanuy. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Some boxers have to go the long way to get recognition.

Back in the day ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler spent years as the most avoided middleweight contender before finally getting a world title shot. More recently Gennadiy Golovkin had to rack up multiple world title defence before he received his just due.

You can add WBO middleweight champion Janibek ‘Qazaq Style’ Alimkhanuly 14-0 (9) to that list.

The 30-year-old Kazakh southpaw won the WBO belt in his 13th pro bout with a wide 12-round unanimous deicison over Denzel Bentley in November last year before successfully defending the strap against Steven Butler by second-round knockout in May.

Alimkhanuly will now face IBF counterpart Vincenzo ‘Il Capo’ Gualtieri 21-0-1 (7) in a unification bout at Fort Bend Community Center in Rosenberg, Texas on Saturday night. German Gualtieri, 30, won the vacant title in his last bout against Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao 30-1 (20) in July, dropping him twice en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Alimkhanuly’s promoter Top Rank believe they have a budding superstar on their hands, but they are resigned to the fact it will take some time to build his brand.

“I think he’s going to have to do it the Golovkin way – the Triple G way”, Top Rank president Todd DeBoef said to Sky Sports.

“He’s in a division which has a lot of non-high profile fighters – the high profile guys in the division have gone up in weight, so we don’t have a real robust division.

“That’s why he’s going in for a unification.”

“I think people make the connection with Triple G because of where he’s from.

“But I think the thing that you look at is that there’s a high skill level there. You can see the IQ, you can see the natural ability.

“When Triple G came in, the first time I saw him, he fought in the semi-final for us in New York and he had the speed, the power and that presence.

“So, I think this is going to be an interesting moment from him [Alimkhanuly] – he’s going to have to get the stars that we all think he has, bite down and just fight everybody in front of him.

“Being active, staying out there – out of sight, out of mind – if you stay active, go out there, work on your traits and take on everybody in front of you, eventually, everybody gets that buzz.

“Who is the next Manny Pacquiao coming out of the Philippines?

“There probably hasn’t been one – he was super special.

“We’ve seen a wonderful feeder system in Mexico, with who is the next Julio Cesar Chavez – you had a field of guys that played that.

“And I think Janibek – it’s too early to say he’s the next Triple G – but certain things align, and he’s going to have to do it the hard way.”