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Janibek Alimkhanuly secures win over Denzel Bentley in latter rounds

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Janibek Alimkhanuly his victory over Denzel Bentley on November 12, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

In Janibek Alimkhanuly’s (13-0, 8 KO’s) first official title defense – since he was promoted to full WBO champion, the Kazakh world champion achieved a solid victory over British challenger Denzel Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KO’s). Janibek won by unanimous decision with scores of 116-112 (twice) and 118-110. The two fought on the 12th of November at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, USA.

The fight was more evenly-matched than anticipated, with Bentley’s pressure being a major obstacle that prevented Alimkhanuly from fully settling in and by the time the championship rounds (round ten to twelve) started, the two seemed to be sharing the amount of won rounds between one another. Alimkhanuly truly showed the full extent of his ability during these latter rounds however, and after a strong performance in the tenth and an even stronger in the eleventh where he clearly won the round, Alimkhanuly seemed close to taking out Bentley in the twelfth whose legs were wobbling.

Following the twelve rounds, Alimkhanuly was announced as the winner and therefore retained his WBO Middleweight title in his first official title defense of it. He was promoted to full champion after a stint as interim champion, when Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19 KO’s) was stripped of the WBO title due to alleged inactivity and apparently not fighting Alimkhanuly (who he had been mandated to fight with by the WBO).

The Middleweight division currently boasts three different champions; Gennady Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KO’s) who is the WBA (Super) & IBF champion, Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KO’s) who is the WBC champion and Janibek Alimkhanuly – WBO world champion – but it is completely unclear if or when these three will face one another at this point. Charlo is apparently still out due to injury as confirmed by Mauricio Sulaiman at the annual WBC convention, and it is unknown what Golovkin – who is 40-years old – will do at this point in time.

Despite his loss, Denzel Bentley put in a surprising performance against a newly-promoted world champion in Janibek Alimkhanuly. Alimkhanuly was arguably Bentley’s first elite-level opponent, and as such even in losing he gained valuable experience.

The event also featured a world championship bout between women’s WBA Minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada (23-0, 9 KO’s) and her challenger Jazmin Gala Villarino (6-2-2, 1 KO’s). In that fight, Estrada completely outclassed her opponents and the scorecards of the judges reflected the bout accurately with scores of 100-90 – which for a ten-round bout means that she won every single round.

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Jazmin Gala Villarino (left) and Seniesa Estrada (right). In a masterful display of skill, toughness and power, Estrada won every single round against Villarino to retain her women’s WBO Minimumweight title. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Estrada’s victory was perhaps even more impressive considering she had no tune-up fights prior to the fight, after initially being out for almost a year since her last fight in December of 2021. Estrada is currently undefeated but as there are three other champions in the division, she will still need to establish herself as the best women’s Minimumweight champion. Her prospective opponents are WBC champion Tina Rupprecht (11-0-1, 3 KO’s), WBO and IBF champion Yokaste Valle (26-2, 9 KO’s).