By Allan Fox: WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly (15-0, 10 KOs) says he wants to collect the other two 160-lb titles to add to his collection after his sixth round technical knockout victory over the hapless IBF champ Vincenzo Gualtieri (21-1-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday night at the Ford Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has got to know that he won’t be able to get the last two remaining middleweight champions to agree to fight Janibek.
What Arum should do is have Janibek move up to 168 and go after the big dogs in that division because the money is far better. Moreover, Arum’s chances of getting big fights for Janibek in the super middleweight division are far better than it is to get Jermall Charlo & Erislandy Lara to agree to fight him.
If Janibek moves up to 168, these would be the guys he should target:
David Morrell Jr.
Could it be that Janibek or Top Rank doesn’t believe he can beat any of those guys? Is that it? If so, he’s exactly where he needs to be at 160 because the competition is weak in that division.
Some fans see Janibek as GGG-lite or a Walmart version of Gennadiy Golovkin, so maybe he should stay at 160 if he’s not good enough to swim with the sharks at 168, like David Morrell, David Benavidez, Pacheco, Plant, Andrade, and Canelo.
If you look at it with both eyes open, Janibek has NO chance of fighting the two champions he needs at 160 to become undisputed.
You can argue the only reason Janibek got Gualtieri to fight is that the German fighter probably knew that he’d get whipped in the first title defense of his IBF belt, so he agreed to the fight instead of milking his belt the way Jermall & Lara are doing.
Janibek made it look easy tonight, hurting Gualtieri with a left uppercut in the sixth round and finishing him with a follow-up barrage of combinations that forced the stoppage. Referee David Fields ended the fight at 1:25 of the sixth, much to the unhappiness of Gualtieri, who wanted it to continue.
As bad as Gualtieri looked, it was hard to believe he was the IBF champion going into the fight because he looked like an average Joe, not even at the level of a top 15 contender.
After the fight, Alimkhanuly said he would leave it in the hands of his promoters at Top Rank to set up the two fights he needs against to become undisputed champion at middleweight.
It sounds like a hopeless dream on Janibek’s part, thinking that he can face the WBC champion Jermall Charlo & WBA belt-holder Erislandy Lara because neither of those fighters is going to agree to face him.
Even if Top Rank is willing to overpay Jermall & Lara to face Janibek, they probably won’t do it because the money wouldn’t be worth it. Look at it this way. Jermall is likely to face Canelo Alvarez next May, and he won’t agree to face IBF & WBO champion Janibek after his November 25th fight against Jose Benavidez Jr. on Showtime PPV.
40-year-old Erislandy Lara has a good thing going after the WBA champion, milking the title against weak opposition. Why would he want to risk his WBA belt against a killer puncher like Janibek? Unless Top Rank wants to give Lara a boatload of cash, he’s probably not going to agree to the fight.
Janibek landed 82 of 243 punches for a 34% connect rate, while Gualtieri connected on just 22 of 85 shots for a lowly 26% connect rate, showing how much of a slaughter the fight was.
Mark Kriegel: “Janibek, was that what you envisioned?”
Janibek Alimkhanuly: “This is my style of fighting. This is the Kazakh style. This is what I’m going to continue doing.”
Kriegel: “This was a violent style. I don’t know if it was the knockout of the year, but it was pretty good. He didn’t amount much of an attack back. Were you surprised by that?”
Janibek: “We knew from the beginning he wasn’t going to fight back against me. We were ready for that because he was waiting, thinking I was going to get tired, but I didn’t get tired.”
Kriegel: “Where do you go from here? You have two belts and are the best fighter in the division, as far as I’m concerned. Where do you go from here?”
Janibek: “What we would like to do is add another two belts to this collection, and we hope our promoter, Top Rank, can organize that.”