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Janibek finishes strong against Bentley, McGirt critiques performance

Image: Janibek finishes strong against Bentley, McGirt critiques performance

By Jack Tiernan: WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly (13-0, 9 KOs) turned up the heat in the championship rounds to defeat the tough-as-nails challenger Denzel Bentley (17-2-1, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

With Bentley coming on in the later rounds, Janibek utilized power and pressure to seal the victory.

Going into the championship rounds, Janibek’s trainer Buddy McGirt told him that he couldn’t box Bentley, that he needed to back him up with pressure.

Janibek responded to the instructions from McGirt by taking the fight to Bentley, landing many hard left hands to the body and the head to seal his victory. In the twelfth round, Janibek hurt Bentley with a powerful left hand to the head that shook him.

McGirt says the fight was a good learning experience for Janibek because he found out that he needs to use combination punching to win fights like this against guys that he can’t knock out with one shot.

Janibek mistakenly spent too much time attempting to score a one-punch KO and failed to throw combinations, which would have made the fight easier for him. If Janibek had studied Bentley’s past defeat to Felix Cash last year, he would have noted that he was vulnerable to combinations. That’s what Cash used to knockout Bentley, and Janibek failed to follow the blueprint that he’d created.

At this point, it’s unclear whether the long-armed Janibek can throw combinations without gassing out because he doesn’t have a great engine and was tired much of the time from throwing just single shots.

If Janibek can’t throw combinations, he’s going to have a difficult time beating the better middleweight in the division like Jaime Munguia, Jermall Charlo, and Chris Eubank Jr.

There are other guys like Demetrius Andrade, David Morrell, Caleb Plant, and David Benavidez that would take advantage of Janibek’s inability to throw combinations and poor stamina by overwhelming him with punches

The judges’ scores:

  • 116-112
  • 116-112
  • 118-110

“We needed this; we needed a fight like this where we needed to make some adjustments against a guy [Bentley] that wasn’t going anywhere,” said Janibek’s trainer Buddy McGirt to Fighthype, reacting to Janibek Alimkhanuly’s harder-than-expected win over British domestic-level fighter Denzel Bentley last Saturday night.

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“I told Janibek yesterday, ‘This guy has everything to gain and nothing to lose.’ So those guys are the worst guys to fight because they’re going to put it on the line. The guy did a great job, but Janibek made those minor adjustments in the last few rounds and closed the show like a champ,” said McGirt.

Bentley took the best shots that Janibek threw and put hands on him in return. What we found out from this fight is that Janibek doesn’t react well to getting hit back and looks uncomfortable when he’s forced to take punishment. In other words, Janibek can dish it out, but he can’t take it well.

He thought he was going to get a quick knockout, and then when it didn’t happen, we had to make adjustments,” said McGirt. “In the middle of making adjustments, the guy [Bentleyl] started coming on. I said, ‘Listen, we can’t box this guy. We’ve got to back him up, keep him on his heels,’ and when he did that, he had control.

“It’s hard to say because he took a lot of body shots. This guy was tough. The mindset says, ‘yes,’ but the body says, ‘Let’s just get the round,’ said McGirt when asked if he thought Janibek could have scored a knockout in the 12th round after he hurt Bentley.

“In the first rounds, he [Bentley] was biting [at Janibek’s feints], and then he stopped and seen that Janibek was going for one punch, so he took advantage of that. But once Janibek stepped on the gas [beginning in round 10, he dominated the rest of the contest against Bentley].

“I said, ‘Let’s close the show like a champ,‘” said McGirt when asked what he said to Janibek in the later rounds to motivate him against Bentley to get the win. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘We’re ahead now. Let’s close the show like a champ,’ and then he went out there, like they say, ‘Nuts and guts.’

“I loved it; it was good,” said McGirt about the way that Janibek fought in the championship rounds. “It’s something that every fighter needs.

“If you get a knockout, knockout, knockout, knockout, knockout, and then you get in there with a guy that is at a high level, and you don’t knock him out, and you get past round eight, what are you going to do? I can’t help you. He has no reason to be tough on himself. He went to school,” McGirt said on Janibek’s performance.

Listen, I just hope that he takes this and up his game to the next level,” said McGirt about Bentley.

“You got to make a guy pay with more than one punch. No combinations [from Janibek], exactly. So, we all went to school today. Hopefully, people will say, ‘I’ll fight him now.’ But what they don’t understand is that when they fight him, he’ll rise to that occasion.

“I’m with my guy. I think he’s the best middleweight in the world,” said McGirt when asked how Janibek would do against WBC 160-lb champion Jermall Charlo.

“They’re both from Kazahstan. They don’t even spar with each other,” said McGirt when told that the fight to make is between Janibek and IBF/WBA middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin. “Let’s see, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

“He’ll probably give me a call in a week, and he’s been in deep waters for the first time. So, I’ll leave him be. I just want to see him go home. He hasn’t seen his family in four months,” said McGirt when asked about his thoughts on Janibek defending against Jaime Munguia.

“I just want him to go home, enjoy himself and come back next year and pick up where we left off. February or March,” said McGirt when asked when he would like to see Janibek back inside the ring.

“I’m an old school guy. I don’t believe in taking off too much [time].

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