By: Hans Themistode
Although a rather large crowd at the Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, was left behind after Janibek Alimkhanuly’s second-half win over Danny Dignum, Alimkhanuly predicted an explosive win from the moment both signed on the dotted line.
Initially confused by Demetrius Andrade’s sudden withdrawal, current WBO middleweight champion Alimkhanuly, somewhat reluctantly, accepted to face Danny Dignum for the interim WBO crown.
While Dignum appeared poised for his big moment, Alimkhanuly refused to allow the 30-year-old to step on his way to championship glory.
From the sound of the doorbell, Alimkhanuly rushed forward, swinging his right arm, unafraid of the firepower Dignum possessed. A 1-2 phase in a row forced Dignum to give up. Another Alimkhanuly combination sent his man stagger to his feet, but a straight left-hand strike sent him to the floor in the weak seconds of the round.
Unable to end the show in the first season, Alimkhanuly continued where he had left off in the second. Dignum’s caution and anxiety set off a scope-seeking push. Despite trying to keep Alimkhanuly honest, the Kazakh native continued to take the lead.
With about two minutes left in time, Alimkhanuly made a flurry of shots at a defenseless Dignum. In one instance, Dignum managed to avoid the constant onslaught of his men by crouching low and returning to the center of the ring. However, as soon as Dignum crouched, Alimkhanuly landed perfectly, nearly sending him off the ring.
Referee Tony Weeks had seen enough, decided not to give Dignum number eight and instead, simply waved to the rest of them. Alimkhanuly ecstatically smashed his glove and stomped his feet in the ring, eating into a frenzied crowd.
Immediately after claiming his newly won provisional crown, Alimkhanuly didn’t simply name one world champion but instead kept his eye on the tournament as a whole.
“I’m in the ring right now and I want to say to every champion in this weight class, I’m here waiting for you,” Alimkhanuly said after his win. “I’m waiting.”