Unbeaten middleweight titleholder Janibek Alimkhanuly is scheduled to defend his belt against Denzel Bentley on Saturday in Las Vegas.
JANIBEK ALIMKHANULY (12-0, 8 KOs) VS. DENZEL BENTLEY (17-1-1, 14 KOs)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 12
Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
Where: Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
Division: Middleweights (160 pounds)
At stake: Alimkhanuly’s WBO title
Pound-for-pound ranking: None
Odds: Alimkhanuly 20-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Seniesa Estrada vs. Jazmin Gala Villarino, strawweights (for Estrada’s WBA title)
Prediction: Alimkhanuly KO 10
Background: Alimkhanuly, 29, is a talented 2013 amateur world champion and 2016 Olympian from Kazakhstan who has been fast tracked as a pro. The Southern California-based southpaw won the WBO’s “interim” title in his last fight, a second-round knockout of previously unbeaten Danny Dignum in May. He was upgraded to full champion in August. He also stopped veterans Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam last year, which set up the fight with Dignum. Bentley is a 27-year-old boxer-puncher from London. He was stopped in three rounds by fellow 160-pound contender Felix Cash in April of last year but he bounced back to win three in a row, including a fourth-round knockout of Marcus Morrison in September, to earn a shot at Alimkhanuly’s title. Also on the card, Seniesa Estrada (22-0, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles is scheduled to defend her strawweight title against Jazim Gala Villarino (6-1-2, 1 KO) of Argentina.