Shawn Porter: “Janibek Alimkhanuly didn’t look like the boogeyman” against Denzel Bentley

By Jeff Sorby - 11/16/2022 - Comments

Shawn Porter was one of many who wasn’t impressed with WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly’s performance in successfully defending his title against #9 Denzel Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs) last Saturday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Porter points out that Janibek (13-0, 9 KOs) was supposed to knockout Bentley, as the British fighter had been stopped in three rounds by Felix Cash a year ago. Instead, Janibek kept Bentley in the fight by throwing single shots and not following the blueprint that Cash had created by unloading on him with combinations.

The southpaw Janibek is a good puncher, but he lacked the power to get Bentley out with the single shots that he was throwing. If Janibek possessed the power of his fellow countryman Gennadiy Golovkin, he could have gotten away with throwing single shots and still knocked Bentley out.

The scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110.

If you turned down the ESPN commentatory, the fight wasn’t as competitive as Tim Bradley was making it out to be. Janibek was landing a heck of shots in every round of the fight, and Bentley mostly just taking shots.

Bradley was going overboard with the praise of Bentley. When you turned the sound down, it was pretty one-sided in favor of Janibek. Even in the 12th, Bradley was praising Bentley nonstop as he was getting worked over and was on the verge of being knocked out.

Bentley did fight well in the middle rounds, but Janibek ran away with the fight from the 10th round on. You got to give Bentley credit for taking awful punishment because he took a beating, but he didn’t come close to winning the fight.

Moving forward, if Janibek can’t make adjustments in his game by throwing combinations, he’s probably not going to hold onto his WBO title for long.

He doesn’t have the power to beat some of the contenders, like Jaime Munguia, with single punches, and his stamina is poor. He was sweating badly after three rounds, looking exhausted.

If Top Rank wants to do a rematch with Bentley, they can, but I don’t think the outcome will be any different.

Bentley isn’t good enough to defeat Janibek, nor is he good enough to beat guys like Chris Eubank Jr, Munguia, Carlos Adames, Jermall Charlo, Felix Cash, Esquiva Falcao, Gennadiy Golovkin or Erislandy Lara. Some of those guys would have beaten Janibek if they’d been in there with him last Saturday.

Unless Janibek can start throwing combinations, he will need to be protected by his promoters at Top Rank because he’s too limited to beat good opposition with his one-dimensional single-shot offense.

“Janibek, round by round, we were waiting for the stoppage, and because if it’s not don’t of the names, you should be stopped,” said Shawn Porter to the Porter Way podcast about WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly going the distance to defeat Denzel Bentley last Saturday night.

“It’s because Bentley was stopped in the third by Felix Cash. A devastating knockout too,” said Nestor Gibbs about Janibek failing to knock out a guy that he should have been able to stop in Bentley if he’d had the sense to throw combinations the way Cash did, but he failed to do so.

“Janibek comes to America, and he’s promoting Kazakh style, and then his promoter and the machine of ESPN is pushing ‘boogeyman.’ [Demetrius] Andrade didn’t take the fight [with Janibek].

“Andrade wanted bigger fish to fry. As a fighter, I’m assuming he had bigger fish to fry. The fans were looking at him like, ‘Bro, you’re ducking Janibek.

“Then he moves up to fight Zach Parker, and that falls apart with the purse bid. He walks away from the 300,000 because his share of that would have been too small.

“Now, he’s beltless. So Janibek got elevated, and since then and before, he couldn’t get a fight. Jaime [Munguia] didn’t want to fight him. So, he’s got this boogeyman tag. Those titles help sell.”

“He didn’t really [look like a boogeyman,” said Porter. “Bentley is unorthodox; he’s herky-jerky. He doesn’t know which punch he’s going to throw first kind of guy.

“Bentley was able to with his rhythm or technique or lack thereof; he’s able to offset thing things that Janibek does well because of the awkwardness, settling up that straight left.

“Like I told Carson, ‘Janibek needs to put a double jab together. He needs to feint this guy; he needs to throw a hook off the jab.’ He’s not mixing things up.

YouTube video

“Carson’s argument last night was, ‘How can he be the boogeyman if he can’t get this guy out of there? How can he be the boogeyman if he can’t hit this guy flush?’

“My argument was, ‘This guy [Bentley] is very awkward,’ but at the same time, I don’t see Janibek using much more than a jab or a one-two, putting that together, not much more than that.

“If you consider yourself the boogeyman, you have to have so much in your repertoire that everybody says that you’re a legitimate boogeyman.

“Errol Spence Jr has so much in his repertoire that even before he got the belt and everybody was calling him the boogeyman, even now, he’s completely solidified himself as a champion, but you could still say he’s a boogeyman,” said Porter.

“I would say the perfect definition is Gennadiy Golovkin because Gennadiy is a professional at getting these types of guys out of there,” said Gibbs.

“Steve Rolls, Lemieux, who went on to be a world champion, but that C, B level. Curtis Stevens. If you won a title, but you ain’t get it, then he’s going to get you out of there.

“I’m sure he would have gotten Bentley out of there. I’m sure that’s what he lacks. A little bit of power, but he’s still young, or last least in his career. This opponent, it did come out of left field for me.

“I didn’t understand why they didn’t find someone a little bit more marketable for American television. Bentley is only known domestically in the UK. He’s never really had a U.S television fight.

“I didn’t get why they put him on, and now I’m sure it backfired because they were not expecting him to go the full distance. I’m sure they wanted Janibek to continue looking like a boogeyman,” said Gibbs.

“The funny thing is at the end of this fight, Bentley turned it on. He had moments in the fight where he was able to fight off Janibek, where he looked like he was getting a little light on his feet, and things like that. I think it was entertaining because of Bentley,” said Porter.

“I think it was entertaining because you didn’t know what was going to happen. You didn’t know if he was going to fall. A lot of the punches that he swung and missed with, they looked like some haymakers that were ready to do some damage.

“I really think that fight last night was really entertaining and suspenseful because of Bentley, not because in part because of Janibek,” said Porter.