Janibek Alimkhanuly did pretty much as expected tonight, making quick work of Steven Butler to successfully defend his WBO middleweight title in Stockton, Calif.
Janibek got the knockout win at 2:35 of round two, having dropped Butler three times, with the viewing audience treated to some very brave officiating from veteran referee Jack Reiss, who could have really stopped the fight after the first knockdown, when Butler had no legs upon getting up.
After getting up the first time, Butler (32-4-1, 26 KO) tried to wobble around and hold, staying away from Janibek, but the Kazakh fighter just kept easily closing the distance and landing. Butler went down a second time, and it really could have been stopped, but it wasn’t.
So we got a third Butler drop, at which point Reiss called the fight.
Janibek improves to 14-0 (9 KO), and looked much more like the middleweight bogeyman Top Rank and ESPN want to sell than he did in his defense against Denzel Bentley last November.
Janibek vs Butler highlights
Middleweight division takes center stage pic.twitter.com/8Yr12hzo9P— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 14, 2023