Janibek Ready To Crash
Middleweight World Title Party
Kazakhstan's next middleweight star, Janibek "Qazaq Style"
Alimkhanuly, has long called out world champions and
160-pound standouts. He finally gets a chance to win a belt
this Saturday at Resorts World Las Vegas when he takes on
fellow unbeaten contender Danny Dignum for the vacant WBO
Interim middleweight world title.
Janibek (11-0, 7 KOs) is a 2016 Olympian who broke through
in 2021 with knockout victories over former world champions
Rob Brant and Hassan N'Dam. Dignum (14-0-1, 8 KOs), from
Essex, England, has been the WBO European middleweight
champion since knocking out Conrad Cummings in November
In the 10-round co-feature, former junior lightweight world
champion Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring returns to the
lightweight ranks against undefeated contender Jamaine "The
Technician" Ortiz (15-0-1, 8 KOs). The ESPN-televised opener
will see U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (3-0, 2 KOs) step up in
a six-round welterweight bout against Agustin Kucharski
(8-4-1, 3 KOs). Janibek-Dignum, Herring-Ortiz and Johnson-Kucharski
will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 8
p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+
(5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT) and includes featherweight
contender Adam "Blunose" Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) against William
Encarnacion (19-2, 15 KOs) in an eight-rounder,
featherweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (5-0,
1 KO), the comebacking Steven "So Cold" Nelson (17-0, 14
KOs), 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (12-1, 11 KOs), and
former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno
(28-1, 18 KOs) returning from a nearly two-year layoff to
fight Edy Valencia Mercado (19-6-6, 7 KOs).
At Thursday's press conference, this is what the fighters
had to say.
ďItís boxing. Everything happens in boxing, as we all know.
I am very happy that this young man took this fight. Weíre
going deliver a very good fight for the audience."
ďI think Iím one of the most avoided fighters. And I think
in the future, many are going to continue to step aside.
Many will not want to face me in the ring."
ďI respect him very much for taking this fight. He is a good
fighter. He has a good record. He is 14-0. He has a good
amateur career. But when we step in the ring, all the
respect is going to go away. Itís boxing."
ďIíve been preparing for this fight for a very long time.
Iíve learned a lot about him. Iíve learned about all of the
mistakes that he does in the ring. Iíve learned what his
weaknesses are. Iím going to be playing with him, and Iím
going to be showing my ĎQazaq Style' of fighting.Ē
ďThis is what Iíve dreamed of since I was nine years old
when I first started boxing. Iím so pleased that the other
fighters didnít fight him because now itís going to be my
opportunity to fight him. Heís a very good fighter. Iíve
prepared well. Iíve done everything possible to give myself
every opportunity, and Iím ready to take it."
ďIím pleased the other fighters didnít take this fight
because otherwise I wouldnít be sitting here now with the
opportunity to box for the interim world title. The
opportunity came up, and I just said yes straight away. Iíve
boxed to try to prove myself, and now Iíve got the
opportunity, and Iíve grabbed it with both hands."
ďYouíre going to see a good performance from me on Saturday.
Iím going to cause a big upset. Iím going to gain a lot of
fans. Iím looking forward to that.Ē
ďEverythingís been good. It was a great camp. Iím just happy
to be back in the ring. Jamaine is basically the only one
that stepped up. You got to give him that respect. Iíve got
nothing against anyone else. Richard Commey was a name that
was thrown at us. But heís moving up in weight. Robson
ConceiÁ„o was another name thrown at me. We were supposed to
set up a match against Miguel Berchelt as well, but you see
how that played out."
ďBut I donít complain. I donít fuss. I really donít give Top
Rank or anyone an issue about who I match up with as long as
itís a fight that people want to see and it makes sense,
then Iím all for it.Ē
ďI always feel like I have something to prove. I mean, you
guys know it really well. Even when I was champion, I was
considered the underdog in big fights. When I fought
Masayuki Ito, I was the underdog. When I fought Carl
Frampton, I was a big underdog, and so on. I just have the
mentality that no matter who is in the ring, you always got
to take them seriously. You always have to prepare like your
backís against the wall. Thatís how I prepare for every
"I had a great camp with Manny Robles. A lot of people donít
know, but weíve had a relationship for over 10 years. Manny
was actually in my corner when I was getting ready for the
Olympics, through the AIBA Worlds, the Continental
Qualifiers and even the Olympic Games. Coach Manny was
there. I just want to put that out there. Even with the
change, itís not a big change. Iím familiar with him.Ē
ďItís a big opportunity. I wanted to fight a former world
champion just to get myself up there and prove to myself
that I can beat a former world champion and beat a current
world champion, so this is the road thatís ahead of me."
ďMaybe the opponent wasn't something that I was expecting,
but Iím not surprised at the road that Iím heading down by
fighting a former world champion because this is what I
expect in my career by moving up and trying to climb the
ladder. These are the fights that are going to be headed my
ďI prepare for every fight with the same mindset. Itís a
tough fight. I do what works. I do what fits best for me and
for my body. Weíre going to be ready on Saturday.Ē
ďItís a blessing. Iím happy to be here. Weíre just taking it
one fight at a time. I had a good camp with Brian CastaŮo.
Shout out to him. He had a good fight. Iím just ready for
ďItís been fun. I like fighting. I enjoy getting better as
time goes on. With each fight, you see that Iíve been
improving. Itís going to get better and better, and this
Saturday, you will see.Ē
On Visiting the White House with the U.S. Olympic Team
ďIt meant a lot. Because of COVID, we didnít get a chance to
see the White House, so they arranged it for us. We went
there in the beginning of May, and it felt like I was on the
Olympic team all over again. Then we had a nice gala. It
felt like I was at prom."
ďItís been a long two years, and I have been waiting,
waiting and waiting. And now that the time is here, I am
very excited about it. I canít wait to shine."
ďI missed everything. The training. Getting punched. Feeling
the hits. The soreness. I missed it all. Iím very pleased to