Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan (12-0, 8 KOs) made quick work and sent the fans at Resorts World Las Vegas out to the casino early Saturday. Alimkhanuly threw jabs like power shots, setting up a three-punch combination ending his bout with Danny Dignum of Essex, England (14-1-1, 8 KOs) at 2:11 of the second round.
The powerful middleweight, whose moniker is “Qazaq Style,” resembles his countryman Gennadiy Golovkin and WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in the use of a swift snapping jab to force their opponents back.
“I didn’t land my best punches in this fight,” said Alimkhanuly. “I’m saving them for the future.” Alimkhanuly landed 36 total punches in two rounds, Dignum just six punches and only a single power punch. Ouch.
Alimkhanuly announced he's ready to take on anyone at middleweight and the men with the titles who'd like to keep them, including Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, and Jermall Charlo. “I am in the ring right now, and I want to tell every champion in this weight class, I am here waiting for you. I am asking every champion to come and fight me.”
Alimkhanuly’s trainer Buddy McGirt said he keeps improving because he's willing to learn. ‘When we start camp, he tells me what he wants to work on, and we do it and put it together,” said McGirt.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is high on Alimkhanuly's future. “Janibek is the next middleweight superstar. There is no doubt that he is the future of the division. What a sensational performance from a great young man and fighter.”
Jamaine Ortiz Prevails Over Jamel Herring
Former super featherweight champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring of Cinncinati via Coram, New York (23-4, 11 KOs) couldn’t overcome the realities of age and wear and tear, losing a close decision in his ring return at lightweight with new trainer Manny Robles. Jamaine Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) of Worcester, Massachusetts, prevailed by scores of 96-94 X 2 and 97-93.
Ortiz had the busier work rate and beat Herring to the target far too often. Herring’s best punch was the left uppercut, but they weren’t enough to swing the fight his way.
“I’m not afraid of challenges, and I wanted to prove it against the best,” said Ortiz. “Much respect to a former world champion. That’s an achievement I wanted to do. I hope people recognize me, and I get higher profile fights.”
A dejected Herring was brutally honest about his performance. “He was just quicker on the trigger. He just had a better output. I wasn’t tired or anything. He just beat me to the draw,” Herring told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel.
Kriegel expressed the feelings of Herring’s many admirers who honor his service as a United States Marine, a devoted father who lost a daughter, a promoter of young boxing talent, and an increasingly insightful and likable ringside commentator. Herring hinted he might call it a career inside the ring, and made it official via social media shortly after the bout.
“I gotta think about it, but after tonight, I just don’t think I’m where I need to be anymore. I tried Mark, I tried. Jamaine, continue to keep rising, brother.” Herring said he won't put his family through “these moments” anymore. Herring has already accomplished more at age 36 than most humans on the planet in their total lifetime. He may be disappointed, but he need not hang his head.
Tiger Johnson Bites Down for Third Round KO
Welterweight Tiger Johnson of Cleveland (4-0, 3 KOs) sank his teeth into Augstin Kucharski of Argentina (8-5-1, 3 KOs), timing a counter right hand to perfection to score a third-round knockout win. It was a pretty and efficient performance for the 2020 US Olympian.
Adam Lopez Escapes Disaster – Barely
Adam Lopez of Glendale, California (16-3, 6 KOs) is back in the win column by the skin of his teeth and with some help from the judges after a wild war against William Encarnacion of the Dominican Republic (19-3, 5 KOs). Lopez suffered two knockdowns by Encarnacion in the first and third rounds, and his route to a win looked grim. But judges gave Lopez the fourth through eighth rounds to allow him to prevail by scorecards of 77-74 X 2 and 76-74.