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October 14th Confirmed As Date For Unification Match Between Janibek Alimkhanuly And Vincenzo Gualtieri

October 14th Confirmed As Unification Match Between Janibek Alimkhanuly And Vincenzo Gualtieri featured image
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 20: Janibek Alimkhanuly is declared the winner by referee Kenny Bayless after defeating Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam in a middleweight bout at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alimkhanuly won the fight with an eighth-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

The middleweight division finally seems to be on the move following the announcement of the unification middleweight title fight between Janibek Alimkhanuly and Vincenzo Gualtieri. Both fighters are current world champions at 160 lbs, and the winner of their contest will become the sole unified champion in the division.

German champion Vincenzo Gualtieri (21-0-1, 7 KO’s) only recently became a world champion after defeating Esquiva Falcao (30-1, 20 KO’s) on July 1st this year. After Gennady Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KO’s) relinquished the IBF middleweight title earlier this year, both fighters were considered the top contenders according to the IBF’s middleweight rankings, which allowed them to compete for it. Gualtieri won his battle against Falcao by unanimous decision.

October 14th Confirmed As Unification Match Between Janibek Alimkhanuly And Vincenzo Gualtieri image 1
POTSDAM, GERMANY – MARCH 25: Vincenzo Gualtieri of Germany n action against Serhi Ksendzov of Ukraine during their middleweight fight at MBS Arena on March 25, 2017 in Potsdam, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Kazakhstani Janibek Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KO’s) has reigned as the WBO champion for almost a year, having been upgraded to full WBO champion in August 2022 following a short stint as the interim champion. A decorated amateur, Alimkhanuly had a notably slow start to his career after his debut in 2016, fighting only once per year over the next two fights before increasing his number of matches in 2019. However, 2020 became a single-fight year for him.

In 2021, he fought twice and eventually became the WBO interim champion in his second fight of the year after defeating British middleweight contender Danny Dignum (16-1-1, 9 KO’s) by stoppage. Following his victory over Dignum and his subsequent promotion to full WBO champion, Janibek Alimkhanuly defended his title twice in 2022 and 2023.

Alimkhanuly and Gualtieri are set to face each other on October 14th at the Fort Bend Community Center in Texas. The event will be promoted by Top Rank and featured on ESPN, as well as presumably their subsidiary outlets or programs.