Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (15-0, 10 KOs) defeated Vincenzo Gualtieri (21-1-1, 7 KOs) via sixth-round TKO to unify the WBO and IBF middleweight world titles Saturday evening at Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas.
Janibek, the 30-year-old fighting pride of Zhilandy, Kazakhstan, took a few rounds to establish his rhythm. But once he figured out Gualtieri, the former IBF champ’s fate was sealed.
Janibek, a southpaw, controlled the earlier rounds against Gualtieri, who used lateral movements and occasional bursts of offense. Then, a counter left uppercut from Janibek in the fifth round hurt and began to punish Gualtieri.
Gualtieri survived the round, but end was near. He was once again badly hurt during the sixth and barely stayed on his feet. Several more unanswered shots in round six forced referee David Fields to halt the fight at 1:25.
The dangerous puncher will now target the other two world champions in the weight class – WBC world champion Jermall Charlo and WBA titleholder Erislandy Lara. Both of them are slated to make world title defenses before the end of the year.
Janibek said, “This is my style of fighting. This is Qazaq style, and this is what I will continue to do. We knew from the beginning that he wasn’t going to fight back. He was waiting because he thought I was going to get tired. But I didn’t get tired.
“We would like to add another two belts to this collection. We hope that our promoter Top Rank can organize that.”
Gualtieri gave no excuses, but he was hoping that the referee would have given him more time.
“Congratulations to Janibek. He was better tonight. But I think it was a little bit early to end the fight. But he was better today,” Gualtieri said.