Alimkhanuly and Dignum make weight
Later today we'll see a new WBO "interim" Middleweight champion being crowned as Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) [Жанибек Алимханулы] clashes with Danny Dignum (14-0-1, 8) in a battle of unbeaten men.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout, and both men made the 160lb limit for the bout with no issues at all, with Alimkhanuly coming in bang on the limit and Dignum coming in well under the limit.
The bout won't crown a new world champion out right, but the winner will be expected to either face Demetrius Andrade later in the year for the regular title, which Andrade holds, or will be upgraded to the regular champion if Andrade abandons the division to compete at Super Middleweight, which is widely expected to happen.
Related - Alimkhanuly and Dignum battle for WBO interim title!
It's fair to say that the last few months have been interesting for unbeaten Kazakh Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) [Жанибек Алимханулы], who was ordered to face WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19) back in December, before Andrade decided to test the water at 168lbs. He was then ordered to face former WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (39-0, 31), before Munguia took a different option, leaving the WBO ordering Alimkhanuly to begin negotiations with Danny Dignum (14-0-1, 8).
Yesterday it was reported that a deal had finally been struck for the Alimkhanuly Vs Dignum fight, which is set to take place on May 21st in the US on an ESPN broadcast, being promoted by Top Rank.
The bout is set to be for the WBO "interim" Middleweight title, which is expected to be upgraded if Andrade vacates the belt later in the year. If Andrade decides to return to 160lbs, then the winner of this bout will face Andrade for the world title.
WBO order Alimkhanuly Vs Munguia
Earlier today the WBO announced that they were ordering Kazakhstan's Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) [Жанибек Алимханулы] to face former WBO Light Middleweight Jaime Munguia (39-0, 31), of Mexico, in a bout for WBO "interim" Middleweight title.
The order states that the two men have 10 days to reach an agreement, or move on and look elsewhere for their next fight, before a purse bid will be ordered, with a minimum purse bid of $200,000.
The bout is, interestingly, the #1, Munguia, Vs the #2, Alimkhanuly, for the interim title, with the full title expected to be vacated in the near future by unbeaten American Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19), who is expected to move up in weight in the very near future and begin campaigning at Super Middleweight. If that happens in a timely fashion the Alimkhanuly Vs Munguia fight will almost certainly be fore the vacant, rather than interim, title. If Andrade remains at 160lbs they would become his mandatory challenger.
Notably Alimkhanuly became the mandatory for Andrade last year, though rather than facing the Kazakh the unbeaten American is seemingly looking at other options. Potentially we could also see Munguia do, with the unbeaten Mexican being ranked #1 by the WBC and potentially in line for a shot at Jermall Charlo, instead of Alimkhanuly. If that happens the WBO will begin to go down the WBO rankings in search of a replacement foe, which would likely end up being WBO #4 ranked fighter Danny Dignum (14-0-1, 8), from the UK.
At the end of November the WBO announced that their Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19) was to make a mandatory defense of this title against unbeaten Kazakh Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) [Жанибек Алимханулы], and made it known that they had given the two sides time to negotiate a deal.
It appears now that no deal has been reached with the the WBO now ordering purse bids for the fight, with those purse bids now set for January 14th.
The WBO shared a letter, that was sent to Top Rank and Matchroom, outlining the situation, and the fact they had also extended the original negotiation window for the bout, but that no deal had been agreed.
The bout has a minimum bid amount of $200,000 with the bout to be split either, 75-25 in favour of the champion or 80-20 in the champion's favour, depending on whether the bout is held in the US or not. If it's in the US Andrade will take home 75% of the bid, whilst if it's outside of the US that will increase to 80%. That would mean Andrade would be guaranteed $150,000 whilst Alimkhanuly is assured $40,000. The reality however is that the bid is likely to be well above the minimum.
Despite the purse bids being called there is also a very real possibility of Andrade vacating the title to join the Super Middleweight ranks, where he would instantly become one of the highest ranked WBO contenders. If that were to happen it would open the door to a more attractive fight for the American, and see Alimkhanuly fighting for the vacant title, potentially against Jaime Munguia or Esquiva Falcao, with the Falcao bout being an easy one to make.
Back in November 2019 unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Janibek Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7) [Жанибек Алимханулы], made it known that he wanted to face WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19).
At the time Alimkhanuly was 8-0 (4) and a relatively unproven, but hungry professional, with a big reputation following his days as an amateur. Since then he has picked up three wins and scored stoppages over both Rob Brant and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam, two former world champion, proving his ability in the process.
Now it seems like those wins have helped him secure the fight he wanted with the WBO ordering the fight, as reported by Carlos Toro.
As reported by Carlos, the two teams have been given 20 days to negotiate for the bout, or purse bids will be called.
For Andrade the bout would serve as his 6th defense since winning the title back in October 2018. Sadly despite having a reign dating back more than 3 years he still lacks a defining defense, with his defenses coming against Artur Akavov, Maciej Sulecki, Luke Keeler, Liam Williams and Jason Quigley. The most recent of those, against Quigley, came earlier this month in a farcical mismatch that served no purpose other than to get Andrade an easy win.
As for Alimkhanuly the bout would be his first for a world title, though as mentioned his last two wins have seen him stopping former world champions in Brant and N'Dam, and he would be the most proven challenger for Andrade.
It seems likely that this bout will take place early 2022 and is certainly something to look forward to in the Middleweight division, which has certainly not been a great one to follow over the last couple of years.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!