It appears that a middleweight unification bout is on the horizon, though it will not feature household names - at least.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com, the WBO middleweight world champion Janibek Alimkhanuly will face Germany's Vincenzo Gualtieri, who recently won the vacant IBF middleweight world title as the bout appears to be agreed for a 12-round championship unification clash on October 14.
The bout would be promoted by Top Rank Inc., and the fight would be shown on ESPN. A rumor of the fight landing in Texas has been floated, but nothing has been confirmed at the time of this pbulication.
The 30-year-old Alimkhanuly has consistently called out notable names of his division, but as of now has had no luck landing those fights. Whether it is calling for the long-inactive WBC champion Jermall Charlo, WBA champion Erislandy Lara, and former WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Despite his ambitions for these high-profile encounters, Alimkhanuly recently title defenses have been against rather mortal opposition. Alimkhanuly won the interim WBO middleweight title when he quickly stopped Danny Dignum in three rounds, after the bout once Andrade moved up to the super middleweight division - he was elevated to full champion. His first title defense was a close fight against Denzel Bentley which went to division, and his last fight against Steven Butler saw him return to his knockout ways as he got a high-profile KO win via a second-round stoppage.
Gualtieri, also aged 30, claimed the vacant IBF middleweight title in his most recent bout over Brazil's Esquiva Falcao through a unanimous decision in their title fight. The belt he has was made vacant once boxing legend Gennadiy Golovkin had relinquished the belt. Most notably, Gualtieri dropped Falcao in the second round and once again in the tenth in his world title win.
The bout will serve as a consolidation of the titles with only Erislandy Lara, Carlos Adames and Jermall Charlo holding forms of world titles in the middleweight division after a victor is confirmed in this bout.