It’s not the type of higher-profile middleweight title unification fight he sought, but Janibek Alimkhanuly will face another 160-pound champion next. has learned that Kazakhstan’s Alimkhanuly and Germany’s Vincenzo Gualtieri have agreed to square off in a 12-round championship unification match October 14. Barring any issues with Gualtieri’s visa, the deal will be finalized soon and announced by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which promotes Alimkhanuly.

ESPN will televise the bout between Alimkhanuly, who owns the WBO middleweight title, and Gualtieri, who holds the IBF belt, as a main event from a site to be determined. The venue for the card headlined by Alimkhanuly-Gualtieri wasn’t solidified when this story was posted Thursday.

The 30-year-old Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KOs) has repeatedly called out long-inactive WBC champ Jermall Charlo, WBA champ Erislandy Lara and former WBO champ Demetrius Andrade. The Oxnard, California-based boxer has settled, however, for less appealing optional title defenses against England’s Denzel Bentley (18-2-1, 15 KOs) and Canada’s Steven Butler (32-4-1, 26 KOs) since he won the WBO interim middleweight title by stopping overmatched Brit Danny Dignum (16-1-1, 9 KOs) in the third round of their May 2022 bout at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Alimkhanuly, who was later elevated to full champion by the WBO, battered Butler. The strong southpaw dropped Butler three times en route to a second-round knockout victory May 13 at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.

Gualtieri, also 30, won the then-vacant IBF middleweight title in his last fight. He beat Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao by unanimous decision in a 12-round fight for one of the middleweight titles Gennadiy Golovkin gave up.

Gualtieri dropped Falcao (30-1, 20 KOs) once apiece in the second and 10th rounds and won their contest comfortably July 1 in Wuppertal, Germany, Gualtieri’s hometown. The judges scored Gualtieri a 117-109, 116-110 and 116-110 winner over Falcao.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.