By: Sean Crose
WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly made easy work of Steven Butler Saturday night in Stockton, California. The main event of an ESPN Top Rank card, Alimkhanuly-Butler wasn’t much of a contest, though the ending came quickly and violently. The 32-4-1 Canadian Butler never really stood a chance. Although he was able to get through the first, a thunderous uppercut from the 14-0 Alimkhanuly in the second was the beginning of the end. Alimkhanuly followed his powerful shot up with a series of punches that put Butler on the mat.
Butler got up, but was subsequently knocked down again. The man bravely returned to his feet once more and tried to hold the oncoming champion. It wasn’t enough. Alimkhanuly subsequently put Butler down and out with less than thirty seconds left in the round. It was a stellar performance from the Kazakh champion, though as a middleweight he could conceivably face stronger competition than Butler. Alimkhanuly himself was clearly aware of this fact, for he directly addressed the men he wants to face in the future after his win on Saturday. “Champions and the boxing superstars, where are you?” he said. “I’m waiting. Let’s fight.”
Alimkhanuly then went on to express his belief that the best competition out there isn’t interested in facing him. “I am the most-avoided boxer,” he said. “I am the middleweight king. Let’s go, fight. Top Rank, who is next?” The WBO champion then personally called out two of the biggest individuals in the fight game. “Canelo and Charlo,” he said. “I’m coming. I’m ready for anybody, any time, anywhere.” Alimkhanuly may have to wait before squaring off against WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and the great Canelo Alvarez. Charlo hasn’t been able to fight in almost two years while Canelo seems to want a rematch with light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol or a fight with hard hitting super middleweight contender David Benavidez. Alimkhanuly, however, doesn’t appear to going anywhere for the time being.
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