WBO middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly (13-0, 9 KOs) came on strong in the championship rounds to retain his title with a 12 round unanimous decision over #9 Denzel Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas.
Bentley was hurt in the 12th round, but somehow made it through the round without getting stopped by the southpaw Janibek.
The scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110.
Janibek was one-paced, throwing mostly single punches, making it harder than should have been.
The lack of variation from Janibek allowed Benzel to adjust and come on in the middle rounds. To Janibek’s credit, he finished strong, getting the better of Benzel in the championship rounds.
In a display of punching power, lightweight knockout artist Raymond Muratalla (16-0, 13 KOs) massacred Miguel Contreras (12-2-1, 6 KOs), stopping him in the sixth round.
The referee stepped in and halted the fight to protect Contreras from taking any more punishment. The bout was halted at 2:23 of the sixth.
Lightweight Emiliano Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs) showed off his power tonight with a devasting one-punch second round knockout of Julio Martinez (1-1).
Vargas, 18, landed a left to the body, followed by a left hook to the jaw of the 19-year-old Martinez, knocking him down hard on the canvas. The bout was halted right away by referee Allen Huggins. The contest was halted at 0:47 of the second.
Vargas is the son of former junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas. Emiliano has the power to go far, but he needs to work on his defense.
Undefeated super middleweight Javier Martinez (8-0, 2 KOs) kept his perfect record intact with a six round unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Delgado (7-5, 5 KOs). The judges had it 60-54, 59-55, and 59-55.
In an impressive display of power, unbeaten super bantamweight Floyd “Cash Flow” Diaz (8-0, 3 KOs) blasted out Edgar Joe Cortes (9-7-1, 1 KO) in the fourth round. Diaz connected with a sweeping right hand that bowled Cortes over.
When Cortes got back to his feet, the bout was stopped by the referee. He looked a little shaky and likely would have been finished off by ‘Cash Flow’ Diaz immediately. The time of the stoppage was at 1:14.
Unbeaten lightweight prospect Charlie Sheehy (5-0, 4 KOs) obliterated Markus Bowes (2-1, 2 KOs) by a first round knockout in a scheduled four-round bout. Sheehy landed a nice show that put Bowes down.
When the action resumed after Bowes had gotten back up, Sheehy nailed him with a storm of shots that resulted in the referee stopping the fight. The official time of the referee pulling the plug was at 1:37.
Lightweight Karlos Balderas (14-1, 12 KOs) defeated Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs) by an eighth round knockout. The contest was halted at 1:02 with Sanchez still on his feet.
The gargantuan heavyweight prospect Antonio Mireles (6-0, 6 KOs) poleaxed Eric Perry (5-1-1, 5 KOs) with a huge right hand that put him down for the count. The bout was halted at 2:26 of round one.
Preview: Except for a shock loss to Felix Cash last year, Bentley has looked exceptional during his five-year professional career. He’ll be coming into tonight’s fight with a three-match winning streak, ready to pull off the upset against Top Rank’s young star, Janibek.
- Seniesa Estrada vs. Jazmin Gala Villarino
- Raymond Muratalla vs. Miguel Contreras
- Emiliano Fernando Vargas vs. Julio Cesar Martinez
- Javier Martinez vs. Marco Delgado
- Floyd Diaz vs. Edgar Joe Cortes
- Charlie Sheehy vs. Markus Bowes
- Karlos Balderas vs. Esteban Sanchez
- Antonio Mireles vs. Eric Perry
“If I do sense any sign of weakness, he’s gone, and if not, we go the distance,” said Denzel Bentley to Secondsout about tonight’s fight against WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly.
“I think I’m getting a lot more now that the fight is coming up, but at first, when it was rumored and announced, I was getting a lot of stick, like, ‘He’s taking a step too far,'” said Bentley when asked if he’s getting a lot of support from his British boxing fans for his title shot against Janibek.
“Like I said, I’m fighting a guy that hasn’t really been proven, but he’s a good fighter,” Bentley said about Janibek still not having proven himself against quality opposition during his 12-fight professional career.
“Now I’m getting a lot of support, and people are backing me and saying, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s bring it back home to the UK.’ That’s nice, but at the same time, it doesn’t make a difference if I’m getting stick or abuse. I’m still taking this fight, and I’m still going to try and win.
“It doesn’t make sense. You’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime at a world title shot. For Paul Butler, that’s a unified world title fight. What are you going to say, ‘No,’ and run the other way? Then he gets stick for that. ‘He’s not a real fighter.
“This is what we do; we fight. We sign up for this. We want to fight the best, and we want to be the best. How can you knock someone down for trying to be the best at what you do?
“It doesn’t make any sense. Just because you pulled out, you feel you’re not ready,” said Bentley.
Challenger Denzel Bentley hopes to overturn the applecart by defeating the favorite WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly tonight in their main event on Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+.
Bentley (17-1-1, 14 KOs) will get his chance tonight against the unbeaten Janibek (12-0, 8 KOs) in their event at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT at the Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.