Earlier today we were informed that unbeaten Kazakh prospect Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2) [Жанибек Алимханулы] would be returning to the ring on April 12th in Los Angeles, as part of the under-card to Vasyl Lomachneko's bout with Anthony Crolla.
Not only we were informed of the when and where but also the who, with Alimkhanuly set to face off with American based Mexican foe Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13).
Olivas may not have the reputation as the Kazakh, who was a stellar amateur and a real stand out in the unpaid ranks, but is a pretty solid fighter on paper. Olivas can certainly bang, with 13 stoppages in his 16 wins, and he has never been stopped. He has lost his last 2 bouts, but they have come to the unbeaten pair of Bilal Akkawy and Tyler Howard, and he is clearly not there to fall over and collect a pay cheque, instead he will be in the ring trying to defeat the highly regarded Alimkhanuly.
Whilst Alimkhanuly hasn't yet blown us away on a consistent basis as a professional, it was hard to not be impressed by his last performance, where he stopped Steven Martinez in 5 rounds and a similar performance here against Olivas is likely to land him a notable bout before the end of 2019.
Yesterday fight fans got the chance to see just how good Kazakh prospect Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2) [Жанибек Алимханулы] really is. For the first time since with Top Rank things actually clicked for him, and toyed with the durable Steven Martinez (18-5, 13), in what was easily his best performance to date.
In the first 2 rounds Alimkhanuly looked smooth, but not like he had really found his killer instinct. Despite not being in destroyer mode, Alimkhanuly did show his power round 3, when he dropped the American.
Despite dropping Martinez we didn't see Alimkhanuly really go for the finish. Instead of devour his hurt prey he played with him, taking the opportunity to show case what he can do. It was both impressive, and disappointing in equal measure.
It seemed like Alimkhanuly could finish the show at any point, but instead he played to the crowd a little too much, especially in round 4. Thankfully Martinez's corner showed mercy the following round pulling their man out.
This was a huge improvement from the Kazakh, and whilst there is still a serious amount of work to do on how he fights, this was really impressive from Alimkhanuly who seems to be taking huge strides forward.
(Image courteys of Top Rank)
Later today we'll see highly touted Kazakh prospect Janibek Alimkhanuly (4-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы] facing off with Steven Martinez (18-4, 13) in the US, in what looks like a really good step up in class for Alimkhanuly.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both men came in in great shape.
On the scales the unbeaten Kazakh was around 161.8lbs, over the Middleweight limit but within a couple of pounds of it, whilst Martinez came in at 160.25lbs, just over the Middleweight limit.
With both men looking great on the scales we're expecting a fantastic fight when they get in the ring together. Interestingly we were also informed today that Kazakh fans will be able to watch the fight from 7:30am local time, tomorrow morning, on QazSport and Qazaqstan, it is however unclear if they will be showing the full card or just Alimkhanuly's bout
This coming weekend Janibek Alimkhanuly (4-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы] will be facing off with Steven Martinez (18-4, 13). Interestingly the bout has been priced up by the UK bookmakers, who have opened up a "To Win" market for the bout.
The unbeaten Kazakh fighter have is widely available at 1/4 to win the bout at the moment, though is best priced at 2/7 to win and extend his winning start. These odds seem short given that Alimkhanuly hasn't yet settled as a professional, but he is a very accomplished amateur and is likely being priced on that basis, rather than his professional performances and accomplishments so far.
Martinez on the other hand is available at 3/1 to win the bout. Although he's suffered 4 losses they have typically been close, with a split decision loss to Denis Doughlin and a majority decision loss to Terrell Gausha. He should be the under-dog, but should really be seen as a live one given his prior performances.
The draw has been best priced at 25/1 .
On December 26th we reported that unbeaten Kazakh Janibek Alimkhanuly (4-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы] would be having his next bout would be taking place on February 2nd in Frisco Texas, as part of the under-card for the rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev. At the time of that report there was no idea as to who the Kazakh would be up against.
Now boxrec have listed Alimkhanuly's opponent as being 28 year old Steven Martinez (18-4, 13), a Puerto Rican born fighting living in the Bronx.
Martinez made his debut in 2009 and is a tall, rangy fighter at 154lbs, standing at 6', but hasn't fought since losing a decision to Courtney Pennington last March. In fact through his last 6 bouts he is 3-3, including competitive losses to Christopher Pearson and Terrell Gausha. He's also never been stopped.
On paper this is a big step up in class for the Kazakh, but a win here will see him kicking off the new year with some impetus, something his professional career has lacked at times. He's got a lot of promise but hasn't really shown it in his last 3 outings, which is a shame given how talented he is and how successful he was in the amateur ranks.
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