Janibek Doesn’t Quite Live Up To The Hype

It is clear Unbeaten WBO middleweight champion Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (13-0, 8 KOs) is one of the best middleweights in the world, but the moniker of “the boogeyman” creates a certain standard that we hold the fighter to that level of performance.

Facing a former British champion in Denzel Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs), who was stopped by Felix Cash, in the not-so-distant past, we saw an oddly close fight with the score comprising of 116-112, 116-112, 118-110. This came in a fight, most astute observers were expecting a stoppage victory coming into Saturday, at the Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s boxing,” said Alimkhanuly afterward. “Anything can happen in the ring. He came prepared. I respect my opponent because he was prepared. He was 100 percent, but I am a champion and I fought all 12 rounds as a champion…I am ready for any champion, for unifications. I am ready. Let’s fight.”

“Listen, he’s world champion, and I still say he’s the best middleweight,” said his coach, Buddy McGirt. “I’m taking nothing away from {Bentley} because he came and I told Janibek before the fight, ‘He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. So, he’s going to put on the line.’ He did what he had to do to retain his title.”

The bout headlined a stacked night of fights on ESPN+.

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