Janibek Alimkhanuly won the interim WBO middleweight title tonight in Las Vegas, demolishing Danny Dignum inside of two rounds in what turned out to be a brutal mismatch main event for Top Rank on ESPN.
Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KO) was a heavy favorite coming in, as he had gotten here thanks to dominant victories last year over Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam, both former contenders and secondary titleholders, while Dignum (14-1-1, 8 KO) had mostly made a minor name for himself winning lower-level fights on MTK Global shows, but with minor WBO trinkets at stake since 2019.
Janibek wasted no time here, dropping Dignum in the first round, and then finished him off in brutal fashion in the second.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:11 of round two.
Janibek could wind up elevated to full titleholder status depending on what happens with Demetrius Andrade, who is flirting with a move up to 168, but had his return date scrapped due to injury. He hasn’t given up the WBO belt at 160 yet, but a decision could wind up made there even before Andrade returns. Janibek doesn’t seem like the sort of “big fight” he’s been chasing, though I think any boxing fan would welcome it.
Janibek vs Dignum highlights
Jamaine Ortiz UD-10 Jamel Herring
Jamel Herring moved back up to 135 for this fight, which was never his best weight before, and though he started fairly well here, he hit a wall, and Jamaine Ortiz picked up a career-best win over a former 130 lb titleholder.
Scores were 96-94, 97-93, and 97-93 for Ortiz (15-0-1, 8 KO), who has been a solid pick-up for Top Rank coming out of Jimmy Burchfield’s shows in the northeast. At 26, he’s no blue chip prospect or anything, but he can fight and is generally good to watch, too. He hung in this fight against Herring (23-4, 11 KO), and when he got the openings to take over, he took over.
Ortiz says he might move up to 140, which could be rough, a lot of talent in that division, but there’s a lot of talent at 135, too. He’s not built to have any easy path to the top in weaker divisions; literally, not physically built to be able to do that. He’s at weight(s) where there are a lot of good fighters in their primes and on the rise.
For the 36-year-old Herring, this could be the end of the road. He moved back up, got a new training team, and still lost his second straight after getting stopped by Shakur Stevenson last October. Stevenson looks like a proper P4P list guy still on the way up in the sport, so that’s one thing. Ortiz isn’t that guy on paper, though talented, and Herring just didn’t have quite enough.
But as always, he was a total class act and an unusually honest man about his own performance, fully congratulatory toward his opponent, and said he’ll have to think about what’s next. He floated the idea of maybe doing more commentary and stuff, staying around the sport but maybe outside of the ring.
If it was our last time seeing Jamel Herring fight, I’d like to add my name to a long list of those who will wish him a genuine and fond farewell as an active fighter.
- Tiger Johnson TKO-3 Agustin Kucharski
- Adam Lopez UD-8 William Encarnacion
- Karlos Balderas UD-6 Ruben Cervera
- Jessie Magdaleno UD-8 Edy Valencia Mercado
- Giovanni Cabrera UD-8 Elias Damian Araujo
- Duke Ragan UD-4 Victorino Gonzalez