Posted by Sean Crose on 11/13/2022
Janibek Alimkhanuly, undefeated WBO Middleweight champion, took his title to the line Saturday night at Palms Casino Resort in Vegas. The 12-0 Alimkhanuly was looking to impress, as he had indicated other champions weren’t eager to get in the ring with him. If the Kazakh native was to have a chance at a big fight, he would have had to overcome Denzel Bentley (17-1-1). The Alimkhanuly-Bentley fight was scheduled for 12 championship rounds.

Alimkhanuly was behind his southpaw jab during the first. Bentley tried to maintain range and flick a jab of his own in the second, but wasn’t able to find much success. Alimkhanuly was looking for a way of taking out his opponent. The third saw the Kazakh warrior starting to land on the challenger. Bentley’s problem was simple – if he wished to be more active he would make himself open to the hard hitting Alimkhanuly’s shots.
It was worth asking if Bentley would make it to the final round. While he wasn’t being badly hurt, he was most certainly taking a few heavy shots without sending anything back in return. In the fifth, Bentley was able land some nice punches. Alimkhanuly offered a lot more looks in the sixth, while still looking for sports to attack his jab. While Bentley attempted to use effective aggression, the awkward Alimkhanuly was successful in landing in the seventh.
The eighth round was difficult to judge as each man had his moments during what was continuing to fast-paced bout. “We gotta back this guy up,” veteran trainer Buddy McGirt said to Alimkhanuly in between rounds. It was not clear why Alimkhanuly did not do body work in the ninth round. Bentley was a consummate shot-taker in the tenth. Alimkhanuly took aim at Bentley in the penultimate round. Bentley, however, was still competitive at the end.
Alimkhanuly won the final round in the 12th and final round. Bentley stayed on his feet, but he didn’t do enough to win the round, although he certainly tried. Tired and exhausted, Bentley spent his final round trying to avoid his man and then bravely confronted Alimkhanuly. Bentley’s face, however, was showing signs of a terrible beating. It is not necessary to say that Alimkhanuly was awarded unanimous decision victory by the ringside judge.

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