Janibek vs Gualtieri will be presented live Saturday, October 14, at 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT, on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ from Fort Bend Epicenter, Rosenberg, Texas, courtesy Top Rank.
In the main event, reigning WBO world champion Janibek Alimkhanuly faces unbeaten IBF world champion Vincenzo Gualtieri in a title unification showdown.
Janibek vs Gualtieri Details
From a TR release:
Janibek (14-0, 9 KOs) is a 2016 Olympian from Zhilandy, Kazakhstan, who took the fast lane to top of the division. He became world champion in 2022.
He's made two defenses, beating British champion Denzel Bentley via unanimous decision last November and Canadian contender Steven Butler via second-round stoppage in May.
Our award winning reporter Gayle Falkenthal covered the win over Butler.
Gualtieri (21-0-1, 7 KOs) debuted as a professional in October 2015. He went 15-0 before fighting to a draw against fellow unbeaten German Thomas Piccirillo in August 2020.
He captured the vacant IBF middleweight world title this year with a unanimous decision win against then-undefeated Brazilian Esquiva Falcao.
Re: Janibek, he's a lefty and will continue to be avoided, because the risk-reward ratio is a putoff.
TR executive Todd Duboef touched on that, to Sky Sports: “I think he’s going to have to do it the Golovkin way – the Triple-G way,” DuBoef said. “He’s in a division which has a lot of non-high profile fighters – the high profile guys in the division have gone up in weight, so we don’t have a real robust division. That’s why he’s going for the unification.
I think people make the connection with Triple-G because of where he’s from. But I think the thing that you look at is that there’s a high skill level there. You can see the IQ, you can see the natural ability. When Triple-G came in, the first time I saw him, he fought in the semi-finals for us in New York, and he had the speed, the power and that presence.
So, I think this is going to be an interesting moment from him [Alimkhanuly] – he’s going to have to get the stars that we all think he has, bite down and just fight everybody in front of him.”
Janibek in May after beating Butler on ESPN said that he wanted the top dogs, the Canelo's, the Jermall Charlos. “I'm the most avoided,” he told a bemused Mark Kriegel during the in-the-ring-post-fight chat. He mixed his Kazakh, and English, with help from manager Egis Klimas, translating: “I'm ready for anybody, any time, anywhere.”
Support Bouts For Janibek vs Gualtieri
In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, U.S. Olympic silver medalist from Virginia, Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), takes another step up in class against Philadelphia-born contender Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs).
Davis is on a short list of guys likely to break out in 2024, I think.
This past July, Davis shut out former European champion Francesco Patera via 10-round unanimous decision, while Albright is coming off an upset majority decision win against U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas.
The Janibek vs Gualtieri undercard features U.S. Olympic Silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (6-0, 6 KOs) making his third appearance of 2023 in a six-round heavyweight battle against Tyrrell Anthony Herndon (21-4, 14 KOs).
Torrez hopes to notch his third first-round victory of the year after first-round stoppages over James Bryant in February and Willie Jake Jr. in August.
The Janibek vs Gualtieri undercard streams exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:55 p.m. ET / 2:55 p.m. PT.
Calling the action will be Hall of Famer Timothy Bradley, Jr., Mark Kriegel and Bernardo Osuna.