Just moments ago we saw a new WBO "interim" Middleweight champion being crowned as Janibek Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8) absolute demolished the over-matched Danny Dignum (14-1-1, 8), inside 2 rounds, in one of the most one sided "world level" bouts we've seen this year.
From the off Alimkhanuly looked looked crisp, relaxed and like a man with a point to prove as he took the fight to Dignum, using his skills to dictate the tempo and range of the bout, before a combination hurt Dignum. At the end of the combination Alimkhanuly bundled Dignum to the canvas to secure a 10-8 and prove that there really was nothing that Dignum could do rally fight back.
Following the knockdown Alimkhanuly got to his boxing and easily out boxed Dignum for the rest of the round, whilst really not taking anything in return. In fact he looked not just levels above Dignum but almost like the men were competing in totally different sports.
In round 2 it seemed like we were in line for more of the same. That was until a combination hurt Dignum and a follow uppercut sent down the Englishman, with the bout being stopped whilst he was down, ending what was a farcical bout for a title that really shouldn't exist.
The bout, which came about when Demetrius Andrade was allowed to delay a mandatory defense, really showed that Alimkhnauly should be fighting world level guys, like Andrade who has had made it clear that he didn't want this fight, or Jermall Charlo, as he needs a genuine test. As for Dignum, don't be surprised if this ends up being the first of numerous stoppage losses for the English fighter who looked like a punch bag.
The Middleweight division seems to have two major fighters in it. One of those is WBC and "Lineal" champion Miguel Cotto, a man who is viewed as the guy who was in the right place at the right time. The other is Gennady Golovkin, the WBA "super" champion and a man carving his way through the division in real style. Below those two men there are a lot of pretenders, contenders, hopefuls and prospects, but no one that genuinely stands out as being a true "next in line" guy.
This past Saturday we saw two of those hopefuls meet in a battle for the recently vacated WBO Middleweight title. One of the men was former amateur star Matt Korobov, a man tipped for success by many due to his incredibly career in the amateurs. The other was Ireland's hugely popular Andy Lee, who had been bullied in his only previous world title bout. The contest seemed a weak one in many ways for a "world title bout" but it was an intriguing one, at least on paper.
Sadly whilst it looked great on paper it certainly didn't look great in the ring. The opening round was tedious to say the least with next to nothing landing from either man. Whilst we tend to forgive fighters for using the first round to feel out their opponent this continued for 3 rounds or so with neither man coming close to taking the initiative. Lee backed up, trying to keep distance, whilst Korobov followed applying loose pressure. It was, for 3 rounds, terrible.
Things began to heat up in round 4 as Korobov slowly began to let his hands go whilst inside range. It wasn't turning into a war but it was slowly becoming more action based than it had been in the first 3 rounds. The action again heated up slightly in round 5 and it seemed we were on the verge of a fight slowly breaking out with both finally find a home for their jabs.
In round 6 it seemed that Korobov was going to build on his success from the previous round. That however backfired for the Russian who seemed to tag Lee with a solid shot of his own before being caught by a hard counter right hand. Lee's shot sent Korobov stumbling across the ring. Out of nowhere we had drama and an injured man. Lee could smell blood and immediately unloaded knowing that this was his opportunity to score a shock win and he let his hands go until the referee saved Korobov who wasn't throwing back, wasn't defending himself and somehow wasn't going down. The decision to step in by Bayless may have been slightly premature but Korobov was looking like a man hurt and confused, it was very unlikely he was going to recover before Lee did send him down, or knock him out.
The loss Korobov sees his record fallign to 24-1 (14) whilst Lee is now 34-2 (24) and it's likely Lee will be defending his belt in the UK early next year against the unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders in what should be a more exciting fight than this one which really was dull until the the final few moments.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.