Janibek Demolishes Gualtieri, Eyes More Titles – But Are They Out of Reach?

By Amy A Kaplan - 10/15/2023 - Comments

Janibek-Gualtieri and Keyshawn Davis-Nahir Albright will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT

Janibek Alimkhanuly, the reigning WBO world champ, is putting on his gloves to trade leather with undefeated IBF champ Vincenzo Gualtieri. The bell rings for this unification slugfest on Saturday, October 14, at the Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas.

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U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis is squaring up against Philly’s very own rising star, Nahir Albright in the co main event.

Top Rank has joined forces with AGON Sports & Events to bring this high-stakes action to your screen. They’ll air the event live on multiple ESPN platforms, with the broadcast clock set to start ticking at 10:30 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets go live on Wednesday, September 6, at 2 p.m. CST, and you can score your spot in the arena for as low as $35 via ETix.

Bob Arum, the big gun at Top Rank, didn’t mince words when he said, “Janibek’s the diamond in the rough of the middleweight division. His clash with Gualtieri isn’t just a bout; it’s a statement. And let’s not forget Keyshawn Davis. This young gun is diving deep into the talent pool by taking on Albright. We couldn’t ask for a better card to inaugurate the Fort Bend Epicenter.”

Hailing from the distant lands of Zhilandy, Kazakhstan, Janibek (14-0, 9 KOs), an Olympian who doesn’t mess around, stormed through to the top of his division faster than a gossip spreads in a small town. With the world champion title snug in his pocket since 2022, he’s defended it twice, schooling Denzel Bentley last November and sending Steven Butler packing in the second round last May.
The Kazakh warrior told us, “This fight is a stepping stone to becoming the undisputed king of the middleweight division. I respect Gualtieri for stepping into the ring with me—something a few other champs hesitated to do. I intend to fly back to Kazakhstan as a unified champion.”

Now, meet Vincenzo Gualtieri, the man who’s been professionally dodging defeat since October 2015. This Italian stallion galloped to a 15-0 record before a draw against the then-unbeaten Thomas Piccirillo. Not one to be discouraged, he snatched the vacant IBF middleweight world title with a win over the tough Brazilian, Esquiva Falcao. Gualtieri, boasting an equally impressive record of 21-0-1 with 7 KOs, voiced his game plan, saying, “Look, Janibek’s skillset is legit, not too different from Falcao. But, just like Falcao, he’s gonna taste defeat. My team and my ironclad resolve will be the X factors here.”

The co-main event features Keyshawn Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), a U.S. Olympic silver medalist with more shine than a new penny, stepping up against Philly’s own Nahir Albright (16-2, 7 KOs). Davis, fresh off a victory over Francesco Patera, aims to continue his winning streak, while Albright rides high on an unexpected win over Karlos Balderas. Davis didn’t hold back either. “I plan to school Albright in Texas,” he said. “After I’m done with him, there’ll be no doubt who’s the next big thing in the lightweight division.”

And what about Nahir Albright? He’s a comeback kid with a record of 16-2 and 7 KOs. “Keyshawn is just another bump on my road to greatness,” he said. “I’ve beaten an Olympian before, and I’ll do it again. The boxing world will know I can hang with the best.”

Don’t dare blink during the undercard, as U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (6-0, 6 KOs) seeks his third lightning-fast victory of the year against Tyrrell Anthony Herndon (21-4, 14 KOs) in a six-round heavyweight scrap. With two first-round KOs this year, Torrez is hungrier than a wolf in a butcher’s shop!

Undercard fights kick off exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:55 p.m. ET/2:55 p.m. PT, so be sure to clear your schedule, folks!

With Timothy Bradley Jr., Mark Kriegel, and Bernardo Osuna calling the shots from the commentator’s table, you’ll feel every punch, dodge, and knockout!

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Start Time

On Saturday, October 14, the boxing world will turn its attention to a significant fight, with the clock ticking down to 2 a.m. UK / 9 p.m. ET as the starting time. While all eyes will be glued to the screen for the main event, the action is estimated to rev up around 4 a.m. UK / 11 p.m. ET. But, hey, this is boxing – timing can always shift based on how the earlier fights unfold.

Wondering Where to Watch?

For the folks in the U.S., it is live on ESPN+  Across the pond? Sky Sports has got the Brits covered.

Setting the Stage:

All this excitement is coming to you from the cozy confines of the Fort Bend Community Center in Rosenberg, Texas.

Zhanibek Alimkhanuly

  • From: Kazakhstan
  • Born: April 1, 1993
  • Stands Tall At: 5′ 11.5″
  • Wingspan: 71.5″
  • Boxing Résumé: 20 fights, boasting a 16-4 record, with 7 of those being knockouts.

Vincenzo Gualtieri

  • Hails from: Germany
  • Birthday Bells Ring On: January 4, 1993
  • Height: 5′ 10.5″ (just an inch shy, buddy!)
  • Reach: Still a mystery, folks.
  • His Story in the Ring: 22 fights, an impressive 21-1 record, and yes, 7 knockouts too.

The fight card

  • Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Vincenzo Gualtieri; Dueling for the WBO and IBF world middleweight titles – that’s one heck of a main event.
  • Keyshawn Davis squaring off with Nahir Albright in the Lightweight division.
  • Richard Torrez Jr. taking on Tyrrell Anthony Herndon in the Heavyweight division – hope the ring can handle it!
  • Giovanni Marquez facing Donte Strayhorn in the Super lightweight division.
  • Duke Ragan and Jose Perez clashing in the Featherweight division.
  • Guido Vianello stepping in against Curtis Harper, another Heavyweight noise.
  • Kelvin Davis locking gloves with Narciso Carmona in the Super lightweight division.
  • Humberto Galindo challenging Oscar Bravo in the Lightweight division.
  • Alan Garcia meeting Nelson Hampton, Super lightweight.
  • Last but not least, Jakhongir Zokirov vs. Guillermo Del Rio making some Heavyweight noise.

Last Updated on 10/15/2023