If Janibek Alimkhanuly has any chance of reaching the meteoric heights of his countryman Gennadiy Golovkin, he will need many more nights like the one from Saturday night.
Alimkhanuly, maybe the most promising fighter from Kazakhstan not named “Triple G” today, increased his profile by starching overmatched Danny Dignum of England in the second round of their all-southpaw, 12-round middleweight bout with a furious left uppercut that floored the Brit like a heap of laundry.
The official time of stoppage was 2:11.
Alimkhanuly scored a knockdown in the opening round as well, courtesy a left hand.
Alimkhanuly's win sets into motion what figures to be an intriguing situation with the WBO, which designated the bout as an interim middleweight contest.
The 29-year-old Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs), who is trained by Buddy McGirt, was originally the mandatory challenger for WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade, but Andrade, instead of facing Alimkhanuly, elected to move up to 168 and challenge Zach Parker of England for an interim belt there in order to challenge the division's champion Canelo Alvarez. The Andrade-Parker bout has been delayed, however, after Andrade suffered a shoulder injury in camp. The WBO, in response to the situation, withdrew their sanction of that bout. Given the circumstances, there is a possibility that Andrade must still face Alimkhanuly, should he wish to hang onto his middleweight title.
After the bout Alimkhanuly called out a few of the titlists in the middleweight division, including WBC titleholder Jermall Charlo and Andrade.
“I am in the ring right now and I want to tell every champion in this weight class I am here waiting for you,” Alimkhanuly said.
Alimkhanuly refrained from calling out fellow Kazakh denizen Golovkin, who owns the other two belts in the weight class, the IBF and WBA, citing fealty to his native country’s custom.
It did not take long for Alimkhanuly to begin landing his vaunted left hand on Dignum, 30.
In the first minute of the opening round, Alimkhanuly landed two hard lefts that left Dignum’s face red. Alimkhanuly turned it up moments later, dropping Dignum with a right hook-left-right combination. Dingnum was able to get up but looked to be on shaky legs. Alimkhanuly followed up with another left hand and hook.
Dignum (14-1-1, 8 KOs) continued to be a sitting duck for the left hand of Alimkhanuly in the second round. Alimkhanuly mixed in a left hand to the body followed by left to the top. Another left hand had Dignum on wobbly legs.
With a minute left, Alimkhanuly threw consecutive one-twos followed by an uppercut that dropped Dignum to the canvas for good.