Janibek Alimkhanuly did not waste any time to sort out his next challenge following his latest win.
An official request has been filed with the World Boxing Organization (WBO) by Egis Klimas, Alimkhanuly’s manager who aims to secure a mandatory title shot for the unbeaten middleweight from Kazakhstan. If approved, Alimkhanuly will receive a one-spot bump from his current number-two ranking and a clear path towards next challenging WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade.
“As per WBO regulations, the deadline of mandatory for Middleweight World Champion Demetrius Andrade is next month in December of this year,” Klimas noted in a letter to the WBO on Sunday. “We would like you and [the] WBO committee to consider my middleweight boxer Janibek Alimkhanuly for [the] mandatory position.
“Janibek is a 2016 Olympian and in his pro career since October 2016 he got his record 11-0 with 7KOs. In his 6th pro bout Janibek won the WBO Global title and defended it 5 times with top opponents including former World Champions Rob [Brant] and Hassan N’Dam in his last 2 fights. We strongly believe that Janibek deserves to be in the mandatory position against the WBO Champion, Demetrius Andrade.”
The letter was submitted barely 24 hours after Alimkhanuly registered an eighth-round knockout of badly faded former secondary middleweight titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. The bout took place on the televised undercard of an ESPN+ Pay-Per-View event headlined by Terence Crawford’s tenth-round stoppage of Shawn Porter to defend his WBO welterweight titlist November 20 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Fittingly, Alimkhanuly’s win came one night prior to the latest WBO middleweight title fight. Providence’s Andrade (31-0, 19KOs)—a 2008 Olympian and two-division titlist—defended his current title for the fifth time following a second-round knockout of Ireland’s Jason Quigley (19-2, 14KOs). The bout took place November 19 at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, less than two hours from Andrade’s hometown and with the demand of a bigger challenge for his next ring appearance.
The hit list includes: WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22KOs); the winner of the December 29 middleweight title unification bout between IBF champ Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOS) and WBA titlist Ryota Murat (16-2, 13KOs); and current WBO number-one contender Jaime Munguia (38-0, 30KOs), a former WBO junior middleweight titlist who is also number-one in the WBC 160-pound rankings.
A years-long struggle to get Charlo in the ring has verged on wasted energy, however significant the fight is to the division. Munguia has twice passed on the opportunity to enforce his mandatory status and is now entertaining a possible fight with Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10KOs) in what would be a sanctioned WBC title eliminator.
That would leave Andrade to wait out the December 29 clash between Golovkin and Murata. A ruling from the WBO in the direction of its latest fielded request could alter those plans.
“Please be advised that on Sunday, November 21, 2021, the WBO confirmed receipt of email correspondence by Mr. Egis Klimas, manager of WBO Middleweight contender Mr. Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, regarding the subject matter,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee informed Eddie Hearn, Andrade’s promoter and chairman of Matchroom Sport. “The referenced participant is a former Olympian who currently holds a perfect professional record of 11 wins with no losses and 7 of said wins by knockout. Furthermore, in his last two outings, Mr. Alimkhanuly has defeated via TKO former world champions Robert Brant and Hassan N’Dam, respectively.
“Therefore, considering the preceding, I am referring the matter to the WBO World Championship Committee to proceed accordingly. Do not hesitate to contact the WBO offices if you have any further questions or concerns.”
Andrade made back-to-back mandatory title defenses preceding his win over Quigley. The long-reigning titlist outpointed Wales’ Liam Williams this past April in his first fight since the pandemic. The fight was his first since a ninth-round knockout of Ireland’s Luke Keeler last January in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Alimkhanuly has fought three times since the pandemic, including back-to-back eighth-round stoppage wins over former secondary titleholders. Prior to his win over N’Dam, Alimkhanuly halted Minnesota’s Brant (26-3, 18KOs) in stunningly one-sided fashion this past June 26 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox