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WBO orders Demetrius Andrade to defend against Janibek Alimkhanuly next

Image: WBO orders Demetrius Andrade to defend against Janibek Alimkhanuly next

By Jim Calfa: Demetrius Andrade has been ordered by the World Boxing Organization to defend his WBO middleweight title against interim 160-lb champion Janibek Alimkhanuly in his next fight.

The unbeaten former two-division world champion Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) and Janibek (12-0, 8 KOs) have 30 days to negotiate a deal before the WBO conducts a purse bid.

It’s not known if the 34-year-old Andrade will agree to take the fight with Janibek, though, because it’s a high-risk, low-reward type of contest for the Rhode Island native.

It’s not surprising that Andrade isn’t excited about the prospect of getting in the ring with Janibek because it promises to be a grueling fight.

Like many fighters, Andrade has hoped for a big fight against Canelo Alvarez or Gennadiy Golovkin, but he’s been ignored by both. Canelo even booted Demetrius from his post-fight press conference last year, telling him that he was a “terrible fighter,” despite the Mexican star having recently fought Avni Yildirim.

Andrade is in the same boat as Janibek, with him too much risk for the popular fighters to want to face him. Even WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo has shown no interest in fighting Andrade, and that tells you something because he’s fought lesser fighters since winning his 160-lb title in 2018, essentially.

If Demetrius does choose to vacate his WBO 160-lb title, he can always look to fight for the IBF, WBA, or WBO belts.

The main problem with Andrade giving up his WBO strap is that it could take a long time before he’s made a mandatory challenger to one of the other three belts because those champions will never willingly defend against him in a voluntary defense.

IBF/WBA champion Gennadiy Golovkin might retire after he faces Canelo Alvarez in their trilogy fight in September. If Golovkin doesn’t hang up his gloves, he will not choose Andrade for his next fight.

The Top Rank-promoted Janibek won his interim WBO 160-lb title on May 21st, knocking out Danny Dignum in the second round in a total massacre in Las Vegas.

The 29-year-old southpaw Janibek’s other two notable wins came against these fighters: Hassan ‘NDam and Rob Brant.

Janibek is from Kazahstan and competed in the 2016 Olympics for his country. He’s got an excellent left hand and a dangerous puncher. We don’t know how good he is yet because he hasn’t fought good enough opposition to learn how he’ll do against upper-tier guys like Andrade, Golovkin, Jermall, or Canelo.

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