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Jaime Munguia vs Janibek Alimkhanuly ordered for WBO interim middleweight title

Jaime Munguia has been the WBO No. 1 contender for years, though Janibek Alimkhanuly was recently named mandatory.

Jaime Munguia and Janibek Alimkhanuly have been ordered for a WBO interim title fight
Jaime Munguia and Janibek Alimkhanuly have been ordered for a WBO interim title fight
Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions via Getty Images and Steve Marcus/Getty Images

With middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade off having adventures at 168, the WBO is turning to its top contenders to keep the division moving. They have officially ordered mandatory challenger Janibek Alimkhanuly and previous mandatory challenger Jaime Munguia to face off for an interim title, giving them 10 days to come to terms before going to a $200,000-minimum purse bid.

It’s worth noting that Munguia (39-0, 31 KO), who’s technically had dibs on a title shot since moving up from 154 a couple years back, has another option: a WBC final eliminator against Carlos Adames, which would set him up for a crack at Jermall Charlo. Should he go that route, No. 3 Esquiva Falcao would presumably take his place in this matchup.

I’m hoping this one goes through, though. Both Munguia and Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KO) are at the “one more fight before a crack at the big time” stage, and it’s a delightfully interesting style matchup between the implacable Mexican and the skilled, increasingly destructive Kazakh. They’re also coming off of impressive beatdowns, Munguia over D’Mitrius Ballard this past Saturday and Alimkhanuly over Hassan N’Dam last November.