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Demetrius Andrade vacates WBO 160-lb belt, Janibek Alimkhanuly upgraded to full champion

Image: Demetrius Andrade vacates WBO 160-lb belt, Janibek Alimkhanuly upgraded to full champion

By Robert Segal: Demetrius Andrade (31-0, 19 KOs) has reportedly vacated his WBO middleweight title, and interim champion Janibek Alimkhanuly has been moved up to the new champ.

Andrade, 34, will be moving up to 168 to take on Zach Parker to get in a position to challenge WBO super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.

It doesn’t come as a complete surprise that the American Andrade has chosen to vacate his WBO 160-lb belt, as he never seemed excited about the prospect of fighting the unbeaten 2016 Olympian Janibek (12-0, 8 KOs) from the get-go, as that would have been a very grueling fight at this stage of his 14-year professional career.

Andrade hasn’t been involved in a tough fight since his 12 round split decision win over Jack Culcay in 2017.

Obviously, being upgraded to full WBO 160-lb champion isn’t the ideal way for the 29-year-old Kazahstan native Janibek to become a champ, but I’m sure he’s not going to turn it down.

With that said, Janibek will likely have the same problems that Andrade had in trying to get big fights in the weight class. IBF/WBA middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin will likely retire if he loses his September 17th trilogy fight against Canelo.

Even if Golovkin doesn’t hang up his gloves, it’s difficult to imagine him agreeing to face the heavy-handed up-and-comer Janibek in a unification fight at 160.

As for WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, he’s playing it safe, taking easy fights against soft opposition for guaranteed paydays on Showtime.

The last thing the 14-year pro Jermall wants is a grueling fight against a dangerous puncher like Janibek at this late stage of his career. Jermall is in the same boat as Andrade at this point.

The ONLY risky fight that the 32-year-old Charlo wants is a lucrative clash against Canelo Alvarez, in which it won’t matter if he loses. Jermall will make so much money fighting Canelo, he can cry his way to the bank after losing.

Janibek is NOT going to get the opportunity to fight Charlo because he’s playing it safe, waiting & hoping to get that Canelo cash-out fight, which might not ever happen.

If Canelo loses to the aging 40-year-old Golovkin in September or if he’s beaten by WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in their rematch next year, he’s not going to want to fight Jermall and potentially lose to him as well.

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