Todd DuBoef On Janibek: “I Think He’s Going To Have To Do It The Golovkin Way”

By James Slater - 10/10/2023 - Comments

For a while now, some people have been comparing current WBO middleweight champ Janibek Alimkhanuly with the great Gennady Golovkin. Aside from the obvious, in Alimkhanuly being from Kazakhstan as is GGG, the two men have a fighting style and approach that could be looked at as quite similar. Certainly, aggression was key in Golovkin’s game, as it is in Alimkhanuly’s game.

And, as has been suggested by Top Rank’s Todd DuBoef, it seems Alimkhanuly will have to wipe out all the competition at 160 pounds if he’s to gain stardom – the way Triple-G had to do it. Fans will remember how a number of elite fighters would not go near Golovkin when he was at his best, preferring to wait until GGG had aged some and had slowed down some. No-one is saying anybody is ducking Alimkhanuly, at least not in this article, but as DuBoef points out, the current middleweight division is “not a real robust division.”

Speaking with Sky Sports, the Top Rank president said he feels Alimkhanuly will have to “do it the Golovkin way” if he’s to achieve stardom and the big paydays.

“I think he’s going to have to do it the Golovkin way – the Triple-G way,” DuBoef said. “He’s in a division which has a lot of non-high profile fighters – the high profile guys in the division have gone up in weight, so we don’t have a real robust division. That’s why he’s going for the unification. I think people make the connection with Triple-G because of where he’s from. But I think the thing that you look at is that there’s a high skill level there. You can see the IQ, you can see the natural ability. When Triple-G came in, the first time I saw him, he fought in the semi-finals for us in New York, and he had the speed, the power and that presence. So, I think this is going to be an interesting moment from him [Alimkhanuly] – he’s going to have to get the stars that we all think he has, bite down and just fight everybody in front of him.”

30 year old Alimkhanuly, 14-0(9) will face the unbeaten Vincenzo Gualtieri next, this on Saturday night, with the southpaw defending his WBO belt and going for the German’s IBF title. It could prove to be an interesting fight. Gualtieri, 21-0-1(7) is not a big name and he won the vacant IBF belt with a win over Esquiva Falcao in July. Saturday’s fight will be the biggest, potentially toughest fight yet for the 30 year old from Wuppertal.

But how good is Alimkhanuly? How good, or great, can he become? It is of course high praise to compare any fighter to GGG, but there are some parallels here as have been pointed out. WBO champion since November of last year, Alimkhanuly will be making his second defence on Saturday. Can he go on to unify the belts the way GGG did, and will Alimkhanuly then get the big fights the way Golovkin finally did?