Alimkhanuly Defeats Bentley
To Retain Middleweight Title
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
The script underwent some last-minute changes. Janibek "Qazaq
Style" Alimkhanuly was supposed to blow out Denzel Bentley,
but the London native had other ideas. Alimkhanuly made the
first defense of his WBO middleweight world title with a
unanimous decision (116-112 2x and 118-110) over Bentley on
Saturday evening at Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino
Janibek (13-0, 8 KOs) controlled the early rounds, but
Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs) turned the tide of the fight in the
dramatic fifth round. He pushed Janibek to the ropes and
laced the heavy favorite with right hands.
After a competitive 11th, Janibek nearly closed the show in
the 12th, landing a series of straight lefts that wobbled
Janibek said, ďItís boxing. Anything can happen in the ring.
He came prepared. I respect my opponent because he was
prepared. He was 100 percent, but I am a champion and I
fought all 12 rounds as a champion.
ďI am ready for any champion, for unifications. I am ready.
Bentley, a two-time British middleweight champion, believed
the fifth round marked the fight's turning point.
Bentley said, ďI thought I was in the fight. In the fifth
round, my coach told me we werenít in front and to pick up
the pace, so I picked up the pace.Ē
The rally proved too little, too late, as Janibek stemmed
the changing tide and stamped his victory with a dramatic
Estrada Retains World Title
After more than 300 days away from the ring, Seniesa "Super
Bad" Estrada made her triumphant ring return, defending her
WBA minimumweight world title with a one-sided decision over
Argentina's Jazmin Gala Villarino. All three judges had the
bout a shutout, 100-90, and Estrada outlanded her foe,
Estrada (23-0, 9 KOs) came back in fine form, keeping
Villarino off balance by switching from orthodox to southpaw
and back again. Villarino (6-2-2, 1 KO) hung tough and
landed her share of clean shots, a phone booth affair that
culminated in a toe-to-toe 10th round.
Estrada said, "Itís been an emotional week for me because
itís been 328 days since Iíve been in the ring. And I just
want to tell all girls and all women in sports to always
believe in yourself and always believe in what you can do
and always go after what you want. I mightíve been slowed
down, but I canít be stopped. This is what I was born to do.
This is the talent God has given me, and this is my destiny,
and you cannot stop destiny.
ďAfter 11 months, we were prepared for her to come in and
win. Iím the best opponent sheís faced, and she wanted to
defeat me. I was prepared to go 10 rounds or get the
ďI shook the ring rust off, and Iím ready to go for
unification fights and undisputed fights.Ē
In undercard action:
Lightweight: Emiliano Fernando Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs) KO 2
Julio Cesar Martinez (1-1, 1 KO), :47. The prodigy
delivered. Vargas, the youngest son of former world champion
Fernando Vargas, knocked out Martinez with a left hook in
the second round, bringing the capacity crowd to its feet in
his Top Rank debut. Vargas withstood an early charge from
Martinez, who landed 11 of 45 punches in the opening round.
In the second round, the vaunted Vargas left hook ended
matters. The celebration began, and Vargas ran into the
waiting arms of his father, who also serves as his head
Vargas said, "The dude was a sturdy guy. He came in there to
fight. I know he prepared himself 140 percent, and I
prepared myself 140 percent. I just had to listen to my
corner, my father, keep on boxing, and the shots will open
up. Just box beautifully."
Lightweight: Raymond Muratalla (16-0, 13 KOs) TKO 6 Miguel
Contreras (12-2-1, 6 KOs), 2:23. Muratalla, one of the
sport's rising lightweight contenders, used an educated
right hand to grind down Contreras, a tough-nosed veteran
from Bakersfield, California. After a right hand shook
Contreras in the sixth, Muratalla unloaded. Contreras,
defenseless in the blue corner, was saved from further
Super Middleweight: Javier Martinez (8-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Marco
Antonio Delgado (7-5, 5 KOs), Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x.
Martinez, a former U.S. amateur standout from Milwaukee,
earned his fourth straight six-round decision with a
workmanlike performance over the durable Delgado.
Junior Featherweight: Floyd Diaz (8-0, 3 KOs) TKO 4 Edgar
Joel Cortes (9-7-1, 1 KO), 1:14. "Cash Flow" notched his
second knockout in three fights, knocking Cortes down with a
right hand in the fourth round. Cortes beat the count with
time to spare, but referee Mike Ortega deemed Cortes unfit
to continue and waved it off.
Lightweight: Charlie Sheehy (5-0, 4 KOs) TKO 1 Markus Bowes
(2-1, 2 KOs), 1:37. Sheehy overwhelmed Bowes in 97 seconds,
knocking down the North Carolina native with a right hand a
little more than one minute into the opening stanza. Bowes
rose to his feet on wobbly legs and Sheehy pounced to earn
Lightweight: Karlos Balderas (14-1, 12 KOs) TKO 8 Esteban
Sanchez (18-3, 8 KOs), 1:02. Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian,
earned the most significant victory of his career in
knocking out Sanchez, a native of Tijuana, Mexico. Balderas
dropped Sanchez with a right hand in the opening round, and
in the eighth, a right cross prompted referee Raul Caiz Jr.
to stop the fight. Sanchez pushed Balderas in the middle
rounds, but he was losing via shutout on all three
scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
Heavyweight: Antonio Mireles (6-0, 6 KOs) KO 1 Eric Perry
(5-1-1, 5 KOs), 2:26. "El Gigante," a southpaw from Des
Moines, Iowa, let the left hands fly in a one-round
destruction over the previously undefeated Perry. Mireles
landed a plethora of lefts that had Perry stumbling into the
ropes, but it was a right hook that planted the Georgia
native onto the canvas for the 10-count.