Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan successfully defended his WBO middleweight world championship by knocking out Canadian Steven Butler in the second round.
Unbeaten Alimkhanuly has won 14 matches without losing, including nine knockouts. Following the fight, he called out American Jermall Charlo and Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. While Charlo is currently in possession of the WBC middleweight championship, Alvarez is the undisputed super-middleweight champion.
“Where are the boxing champions and legends?”, remarked Alimkhanuly. “Everyone’s avoiding me because I’m the middleweight king. I’m coming, Canelo and Charlo. I’m prepared for anyone, anywhere, at any moment.”
Jason Moloney of Australia defeated Vincent Astrolabio by a decision to claim the WBO bantamweight title on the same card in Stockton, California. The 32-year-old Melbourne native won with scores of 115–113 and 116–112, respectively, while the third judge scored the contest a draw.
In another fight, American Rolando Romero stopped Venezuelan Ismael Barroso in the ninth round amid controversy to win the WBA Super lightweight championship. Romero appeared to be missing his opportunities to connect with Barroso when referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight in the ninth round.
With his 15th victory in 16 matches, he now holds the world championship in the division he joined. Romero was scheduled to fight Alberto Puello, the undefeated world champion, but Puello, a Dominican, was declared a “champion in recess” on Wednesday after returning a positive A-sample for a performance-enhancing drug last month.
Romero slammed Barroso to the ground at the beginning of the ninth round despite the South American claiming it was a push after being down in the third. “The fight was simply ended by him [the referee],” Barroso stated, “He didn’t tell me anything. You could see it – I had been striking him.”