In October we saw unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (9-0, 5) [Жанибек Алимханулы] score his latest win, knocking out Argentinian foe Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-4, 6) in 2 rounds at MGM Grand as a fight that took place in the Top Rank Bubble.
Sadly for those hoping to see Alimkhnuly again this year he will not be squeezing in another fight.
The fighter took to social media to informed his fans and followers about his plans for the rest of the year, explaining "Dear fans! Our team has gone on vacation. We were informed that there will be no fights this year. We are planning to return to the ring early next year,"
Whilst it's a huge shame that we won't see the unbeaten Middleweight in the ring again this year, and that his 2 rounds with Coria was his in ring action for the year, it does seem likely that Top Rank will have big plans for him in 2021. Hopefully that means an easy-ish bout early in the year before a big one towards the middle of the year, perhaps even a world title fight.
At the time of writing Alimkhnauly is world ranked by all 4 world title bodies. He has called out WBO champion Demetrius Andrade in the past, the same Andrade who is happy to claim he's being ducked whilst having at least two WBO ranked fighters calling for a fight with him. He is also promoted by Top Rank just like WBA champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太], in what would be a genuinely interesting fight, though is unlikely given that Top Rank are looking to secure career defining opponents and big names for the aging Murata.
Just moments ago in the bubble unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (9-0, 5) [Жанибек Алимханулы] made a statement as he knocked out Argentinian foe Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-4, 6) in 2 rounds.
The talented Kazakh showed his class in round 1. He showed how comfortable he was in the ring, and fought smartly, putting Coria down with a nice left hand counter. He looked calm and didn't really break a sweat in what was a very comfortable opening 3 minutes.
And then Alimkhanuly turned heads in round 2.
He started out a bit more aggressively and guided Coria where he wanted before landing a series of big head shots. The series was ended with a dynamite left hand that dropped Coria like sack of potatoes. The shot was brutal and Coria had no idea where he was in the moments that followed, as the referee began a count, then waved off the bout.
It was a brutal finish against a tough opponent, and a real statement by a man who has spent the last year or so calling for a major fight. It was a performance that screamed "give me a test", and now, hopefully, Top Rank will give him someone worthy of sharing the ring with him.
It's worth noting that, prior to this, Coria had never been stopped, and few would have expected such a blow out, even those anticipating a stoppage for Alimkhnauly. This was impressive. Not just in the speed of it the stoppage, but also the brutality of it.
Later today unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4) [Жанибек Алимханулы] will face Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-3, 6), with the talented Kazakh looking to secure his latest win and move one step closer to a potential world title bout.
Last night the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men comfortably made the Middleweight limit.
On the scales Alimkhanuly was around 159lbs whilst Coria was just under 158lbsm both easily making the divisional limit, with no issues at all.
The bout, which will be held in "The Bubble" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be shown on ESPN+ in the US, FITE TV in the various regions including the UK, and Khabar TV in Kazakhstan.
For those with a gambling side, this bout has been priced up by a number of bookmakers. In the UK those bookmakers have Alimkhanuly as an almost unbackable favourite, best priced at 1/16, whilst Coria is an 11/1 under-dog. The draw is available at 33/1.
Not only is Alimkhanuly expected to win, but he's expected to win early, with odds of 1/2 on a stoppage win for the Kazakh fighter, whilst a decision for Alimkhanuly is 15/8. Coria is 16/1 to win by stoppage, and the same odds to take the decision win. We'll be honest it's a little surprising to see those odds given that Coria has never been stopped, though this is clearly a big step up in class for him.
Although Alimkhanuly is expected to win by stoppage the bout is expected to go into the middle-rounds. The "Length of Bout" market has been set at 6.5 rounds. The under is best priced at 5/6 whilst the over is available at 68/67. The bout is 7/4 to go the distance and 4/9 to end inside the schedule.
Earlier today Vest.kz reported that the unbeaten Kanat Islam (27-0, 21) [Ислам Канат] has seen his return to the ring being delayed.
Originally Islam had been pencilled in to fight on October 16th in Florida against Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-3, 6). That bout fell through when Coria accepted a bout with Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4) [Жанибек Алимханулы], which will take place tomorrow.
According to Vest.kz Islam was also unable to face the opponent that the promoter had wanted as a back up, Jesus Gurrola (27-15-3, 14), who has been unable to obtain a visa in time.
As a result of these delays it will likely see Islam pass the year mark between fights, with his last contest coming on October 26th 2019, when he struggled to a controversial decision win over Walter Kautondokwa in Kazakhstan. In that bout he suffered an injury which delayed his return to the ring, which has now been delayed again here.
Having now turned 36 it's hard to imagine Islam ever living up to the early potential he showed, and sadly it seems like his career will end up being an under whelming one, damaged, in part, by repeated injuries and long lay offs.
Around a week ago news broke that unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4) [Жанибек Алимханулы] was going to be facing a genuine step up in class when he returns to the ring on October 9th, in Las Vegas as part of a bout in "The Bubble".
The plan was for Alimkhanuly to face someone who was a "top 15" opponent, who is "unbeaten" and a "southpaw". This left us with a pretty interesting short of potential opponents, including Carlos Gongora (18-0, 13), Mikalai Vesialou (11-0-1, 6), David Papot (24-0-1, 3), Danny Dignum (13-0, 7) and Esquiva Falcao (27-0, 19). Though none of those were actually announced at any point.
Sadly however, it now appears that plans have changed, and his opponent will not be an unbeaten top 15 ranked southpaw afterall.
Earlier today Vesti reported that Alimkhanuly's planned opponent had suffered an injury in training and has had to be pulled from the bout. As a result his team were now looking to find a replacement opponent.
Taking to social media the fighter himself stated:
"The promoter will name a new opponent in two or three days. We hope that this time it will be stronger and more famous than the previous one. Of course, you should not change your opponent shortly before the fight. But we are ready for anything"
It's worth noting that this will be Alimkhanuly's first bout since defeating Albert Onolunose back in November 2019. He was scheduled to fight in March, in Canada, but that bout was cancelled when boxing was put on hiatus.
The contest will be a supporting bout for a show headlined by Emanuel Navarrete (31-1, 27) and Ruben Villa (18-0, 5), who battle for the vacant WBO Featherweight title, and is expected to be shown on ESPN+ in the US and FITE TV in various other territories.
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