Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri is almost upon us. Zhanibek Alimkhanuly and Vincenzo Gualtieri will come to blows on Saturday night in a middle-weight unification fight at Fort Bend Community Centre, in Rosenberg, Texas, promoted by Top Rank. You can watch on the ESPN platform.
Zhanibek, which is how Boxrec has it, or JANIBEK, as Top Rank refers to him, hails from Kazakhstan, will be looking to unify the division, adding the IBF belt to the collection, before pursuing his goal to become undisputed middleweight champion.
He can then target big names in the division, such as WBO champion Jermall Charlo, WBA champion Erislandy Lara and of course fellow Kazakh fighter Gennady Golovkin. Maybe Chris Eubank Jr. as well. But first, a lower profile challenge.
Zhanibek (14-0-9kos) is currently undefeated, most recently retaining his title by second-round knockout of challenger Steven Butler and scoring a points victory over Denzel Bentley in his first defence.
He's being teased as a future star, see what you think Saturday.
His opponent is German, Vincenzo Gualtieri, an unbeaten IBF world champion, who will be looking to cause an upset and pursue his undisputed aspirations.
Comparing both fighters as we look to Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri, Gualtieri is the more experienced fighter having fought eight more times than Zhanibek.
Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri On ESPN Main Event Style Matchup
However, physically Zhanibek is the bigger more powerful man.
Standing at 5’11 ½ Zhanibek is 1 inch taller than his opponent and has a 1inch advantage in reach.
The WBO champ is also the much bigger puncher, knocking out nine of his 14 opponents giving him a ko ratio of 64% compared to Gualtieri’s 33% ko ratio.
They say styles make fights, interestingly Zhanibek will be Gualtieri’s third consecutive southpaw opponent. He won both, but given the gulf in ability between his previous opponents, not surprising. Zhanibek will be a much tougher fight.
Zhanibek is a massive favourite going into the Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri contest, priced at 1/12 by Sky Bet, he is an overwhelming favourite.
If you fancy an upset Gualtieri is priced at 7/1 by sky bet, and Zhanibek is also priced at ½ to score a knockout victory compared to 12/1 for Gaultieri to close the show inside the distance.
Zhanibek is hoping to send out a statement to the rest of the division so he can finally fight the big names and show the world how good he is.
Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri Undercard Standout: Keyshawn Davis
Keyshawn Davis–by the way, here's his handle on Instagram— is looking for win number 10. On the undercard top prospect Davis will look to improve to 10-0 when he takes on Nahir Albright (16-2-7kos).
The Olympic silver medallist is a real talent and is seen as a future world champion. He will be looking to put on a great display this coming Saturday.
Despite only having nine fights Davis has so far cruised past decent opposition. He scored two emphatic knockouts, over Omar Tienda and Esteban Sanchez.
This was followed by a brutal round knockout of Anthony Yigit. NYF covered that KO.
Davis turned in a masterclass performance to school former European champion Francesco Patera halting his 10-fight unbeaten streak.
Keyshawn Davis will enter the ring before the Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri main event the slightly bigger man having a 1-inch height advantage standing at 5’9 compared to the 5’8 frame of Albright.
With a ko percentage of 67%, Davis is the bigger puncher out of the two compared to Albright's 44% ko ratio. This is very evident with Keyshawn Davis stopping three of his last 5 opponents.
Keyshawn Davis is the big favourite going into the contest being priced at 1/25 to get the win, whereas you can get Albright at 9/1 if you feel he can get the upset.
This fight is seen to provide another tough test for Davis, but a test he is expected to look good in.
A big performance from Davis will keep his momentum going and he can look forward to an exciting 2024. He looks to establish himself as one of the best young boxers in the sport, in arguably the most competitive division. Here is some video of Keyshawn.
Ragan Returns On the Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri ESPN Undercard in Texas
Unbeaten featherweight Duke Ragan (8-0-1ko) faces off against Jose Perez (11-1-2 -5kos) in a scheduled 8-round contest.
Ragan, a stand-out amateur, won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
He made the perfect start to his pro career, knocking out Luis Alvarado with a punch-perfect right hand halting the contest in the first round.
He has since gone on to score seven consecutive victories.
Like Davis he will want to put on a dominant display, entertaining the crowd in the process.
This will be his first bout of 2023. Following following a spell on the sidelines with tendinitis, he will want to put on a good performance this Saturday, which will give a springboard for a more active and successful 20204.
“Next October, when you talk to me, I'll probably have five or six wins and I'll still be undefeated,” Davis stated, as to how he is looking to make up for lost time and show why he is one of the world's most talented young featherweights.
His opponent on Saturday evening before the Alimkhanuly vs Gualtieri main event is Jose Perez (11-1-2 5kos), he will be there to upset the favourite, which would be his biggest win to date.
A win here would elevate his career and give his profile a massive boost, however being priced at 6/1 he is the underdog going into the fight with the favourite Ragan’s odds at 1/6.