Janibek Alimkhanuly had no trouble tonight in Texas, dominating and stopping Vincenzo Gualtieri to unify the WBO and IBF middleweight titles in their ESPN main event.
Janibek put Gualtieri away via TKO at 1:25 of round six.
The win saw the Kazakh retain his WBO title, and take the IBF belt from Gualtieri.
Janibek (15-0, 10 KO) didn’t face any real resistance at all from Germany’s Gualtieri (21-1-1, 7 KO), who just had no advantages whatsoever in the style matchup, as he was the lighter puncher, and also slower and not as skilled.
It wasn’t exactly a rampaging beatdown, but Gualtieri couldn’t do anything with Alimkhanuly, and lost every round before he was stopped.
Referee David Fields stepped in after Gualtieri had been hurt a couple times, but hadn’t gone down. If he’d let it go any further, Gualtieri would have been down, and there was just no point in that. It was a one-sided fight.
“We knew from the beginning he was not going to fight back,” Janibek said through an interpreter. “He was waiting, thinking I was going to get tired, but I didn’t get tired.”
Asked what he wants to do next, Janibek said, “We would like to add the other two belts to this collection. We hope our promoter Top Rank can organize that.”
Keyshawn Davis MD-10 Nahir Albright
Not the most inspiring performance from Davis, who goes to 10-0 (6 KO), but really he deserved this win, there’s no controversy or anything. The worst card was probably the even one that gave Albright (16-3, 7 KO) five rounds.
Bad Left Hook’s John Hansen had it 98-92 for Davis on his unofficial card, which was the same as what ESPN’s Mark Kriegel had.
“I had it as a win for me, that’s all that matters,” Davis said. “Honestly, I’m never really satisfied, but shouts out to ‘Woo,’ he is a hell of a fighter. He was another tough fighter, and this fight today definitely gave me some good experience.”
Davis is planning to return on Dec. 9, and is hoping to face Jose Pedraza, who would be coming back down from 140 lbs, in theory.
“I just want to show that I belong here in the 135 division at the top. I’m working my way up there, and if Pedraza is willing to take this fight with me, let’s do it,” he said.
Pedraza, 34, last made the 135 lb limit in 2019, and his last seven fights have been at 140. He’s 0-2-1 in his last three, but still a quality operator, and if the weight is no issue for him — he started at 130, so it may not be — then it’s a solid fight for the 24-year-old Davis.
Notably, when Davis was offered the chance by Mark Kriegel to use stomach problems as an excuse for tonight’s scores and performance — which Tim Bradley had already tried to speculate was an issue toward the end of the fight — he declined.
“I was feeling good, honestly,” he said. “I was just boxing, having fun, doing what I wanted to do.”