Janibek Starches Steven Butler In 2 Rounds
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
The king of the middleweight division only needed two
rounds to defend his crown.
Janibek "Qazaq Style" Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KOs) defended
his WBO world title with a second-round stoppage against
Canadian contender Steven Butler (32-4-1, 26 KOs)
Saturday night at Stockton Arena in Stockton,
Alimkhanuly spent the first round collecting data on his
opponent, stalking him around the ring and noticing how
Butler would overcommit when throwing punches.
The 30-year-old southpaw capitalized on this by landing
a counter left uppercut that badly wobbled Butler in the
following round. Alimkhanuly then only needed two or
three more shots to send him to the canvas.
A vicious assault continued as Alimkhanuly landed power
shot after power shot, dropping Butler for a second
time. Referee Jack Reiss allowed Butler to continue, but
his legs demonstrated that he was out on his feet.
Butler was given one final chance, but the native of
Zhilandy, Kazakhstan landed another flurry that sent him
down for a third and final time at 2:35 of the second
Alimkhanuly said, “Championsl. Boxing superstars! Where
are you? I am waiting. Let’s fight. I am the most
avoided boxer. I am the middleweight king. Let’s go.
Let’s fight. I am ready for anybody. Anytime. Anywhere.”
Jason Moloney Captures WBO Title
The third time was a charm tonight for Jason "Mayhem"
Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs) as he captured the vacant WBO
bantamweight world title with a majority decision win
against Filipino puncher Vincent Astrolabio (18-4, 13
Moloney boxed intelligently to prevent Astrolabio’s
ever-present power from hurting him. Astrolabio had some
success in cutting the distance in the early rounds, but
by the middle rounds, the 32-year-old native of
Melbourne, Australia, began easily controlling the fight
with constant footwork and jabs.
Despite a seemingly clear Moloney win, one judge scored
the fight 114-114. That score was overruled by scores of
115-113 and 116-112 for Moloney, who will return home as
Moloney said, “I thought I won it going away, but all
that matters is the victory. And now I have this belt
for the rest of my life.
“I broke my hand in the third or fourth round. It hurt
every time I threw it. But I knew this was my last
chance to make my dream come true.
“This is half the job done for Team Moloney. Next week,
[twin brother] Andrew will join me as champion of the
Lightweights: Stockton’s King, Gabriel Flores Jr. (22-2,
8 KOs), knocked out Derrick Murray (17-9-1, 6 KOs) in
the opening round of their scheduled eight-round battle.
Flores hadn’t fought in his hometown since 2019 and was
shaking off nearly 10 months of ring rust, but it only
took one counter left hook to knock Murray out cold.
Time of stoppage: :27.
Featherweights: Former world title challenger Ruben
“Drac” Villa IV (20-1, 7 KOs) made a successful Top Rank
debut with a fifth-round TKO against Maickol Lopez
Villagrana (16-5, 8 KOs). Villa sent Villagrana to the
canvas with a left hand in the fourth. The punishment
continued in the following round where several
unanswered shots forced referee Gerard White to end the
bout at 1:55.
Middleweights: In a battle of undefeated prospects,
Javier Martinez (8-0-1, 2 KOs) and Joeshon James (7-0-1,
4 KOs) fought to a split draw after eight toe-to-toe
rounds of action. James had more success on the outside,
but Martinez was able to keep the fight at close range
for large periods of time, making it easier to land left
hands through his opponent's guard. Scores: 79-73 James,
77-75 Martinez and 76-76.
Junior Lightweights: Amado Fernando Vargas (7-0, 2 KOs)
returned to the ring with a four-round unanimous
decision win against Bernardo Manzano (2-5). Vargas
scored a knockdown in the first round and dominated the
rest of the bout with a sustained attack to the body.
Scores: 40-35 3x.
Welterweights: Atlanta-born standout Brian Norman Jr.
(24-0, 19 KOs) defeated the rugged Jesus Perez (24-5, 18
KOs) via unanimous decision after eight rounds of
action. Scores: 77-75 2x & 78-74.