By Steve Kim Updated on November 16, 2022

the Qazak Quandary

Picture for the Qazak Quandary

It wasn't the early blowout that was expected by Janibek Alimkhanuly retained his WBO middleweight title by out-pointing the tougher-than-expected, Denzel Bentley over 12 rounds. The scores (116-112, 116-112 and 118-111) don't really reflect how tough of a fight this was.

But it was a fair decision as Alimkhanuly finished with a flourish in the 12th round to hammer home the victory.

Janibek Pours It On Late, Retains Belt Against Bentley In Action Packed Fight | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS


To be blunt, on this night in Las Vegas he wasn't really the middleweight boogeyman as many have proclaimed. In reality he is a talented, but undeveloped fighter, who still needs a good deal of seasoning. Alimkhanuly came out victorious, but didn't truly leave the desired impression.

                           Picture for the Qazak Quandary                              Top Rank 

“It’s boxing. Anything can happen in the ring. He came prepared. I respect my opponent because he was prepared. He was 100 percent, but I am a champion and I fought all 12 rounds as a champion," said Alimkhanuly.

This is the truth of the matter, we've only seen the 29 year old southpaw, 13 times over six years as a pro.  He has boxed just five times since the end of 2019. Really what he is, is a still developing prospect who just happens to have a world title belt in what is a watered down boxing industry.   As you saw him battle the game Bentley, you saw where he needed a more well-rounded attack to break his opponent down with a steady attack.

Alimkhanuly has legitimate power in both hands, but there are times when opponents will not just fall over at the first touch. Bentley actually had the temerity to fight back at times. Truth of the matter is, these rounds were much-needed for his overall development.

Buddy McGirt, his esteemed trainer said afterwards, "Listen, he’s world champion, and I still say he’s the best middleweight. I’m taking nothing away from {Bentley} because he came and I told Janibek before the fight, ‘He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. So, he’s going to put on the line."

But it has to be asked, if Alimkhanuly, like most other belt-holder, is now relegated to fighting just twice-a-year from here on out, combined with his relative lack of fights, can he ever truly fully evolve as a professional prizefighter? Not everybody is meant to be Vasiliy Lomachenko.

In many respects, 'Qazak Style' is a victim of the current business. Non-title bouts are a thing of the past, and nowadays a boxers activity is more or less determined by the availability of television slots. Alimkhanuly may want to fight in say, January, but he will have to wait for the rest of his Top Rank stablemates to fulfill their dates on ESPN for him to get his shot again.

The modern boxing business has created a generation of part-time fighters, who outside of a select few become nothing more than pieces of hour-long programming twice a year. They are over-trained and under-fought. 

Picture for the Qazak QuandaryMikey Williams for Top Rank 

To tell you how much this game has changed, it took McGirt nearly 40 fights eventually win his first world title in 1988, as he stopped Frankie Warren in 12 rounds to win the IBF 140-pound belt. After losing it to Meldrick Taylor later that year, he embarked on a 1989 campaign that saw him box eight times. (Yeah, look it up.)

Back then, fighters were sharp and fully formed. Now, they are dulled blades and incomplete. 

Regardless, the ambitious Alimkhanuly is ready, willing and able to face anyone in the division, whether he's truly ready or not.

“I am ready for any champion, for unifications. I am ready. Let’s fight.



Seniesa Estrada made her Top Rank debut on this card at the Palm in Las Vegas with a fast-paced 10 round decision over the tough Jazmin Gala Villarino. For Estrada it was her first outing in nearly a year.

Picture for the Qazak QuandaryMikey Williams for Top Rank

“It’s been an emotional week for me because it’s been 328 days since I’ve been in the ring," said Estrada. "And I just want to tell all girls and all women in sports to always believe in yourself and always believe in what you can do and always go after what you want. I might’ve been slowed down, but I can’t be stopped. This is what I was born to do. This is the talent God has given me, and this is my destiny and you cannot stop destiny.”

Seniesa 'Superbad 'Estrada Returns from 328 day Layoff to Beat Villarino, Retain Title | HIGHLIGHTS


There's a lot of talk over just who is the best female fighter in the world. Estrada for my money is the most consistently entertaining and fun to watch. As the great Larry Merchant would say, when she fights, ''stuff happens''. Now 'Super Bad', who retained her WBA minimumweight title, has to make up for some lost time

Jerry 'JC' Casarez, who advises Ms. Estrada says that the plan is for her to perform up to four times in 2023.



The most bizarre finish of the weekend took place at the Rocket Mortage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, in what ended up being a rather dubious homecoming for Montana Love. Love was decked early by Steve Spark, and it was clear he was in for a tough night at the office. 

Picture for the Qazak QuandaryMatchroom Sports

In the sixth, he proceeded to flip him out of the ring, and was summarily disqualified. 

Montana Love Gets DISQUALIFIED in Crazy Ending


Yeah, this truly was the mistake by the lake.



Is Tank Davis-Ryan Garcia actually going to take place in January?....Emiliano Vargas scored a highlight reel KO in his initial outing with Top Rank...Raymond Muratalla is ready for some live bodies at 135....What an ending to the Alex Pereira-Israel Adesanya fight in UFC281. And no, I don't think that was a quick stoppage, at all...Did Miami find it's quarterback of the future in Jacurri Brown?....How 'bout that Vikings-Bills game, huh?...I can be reached at


About Author
the Qazak Quandary
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.