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Janibek Alimkhanuly 159.2 vs. Steven Butler 159.6 – Official ESPN Weigh In Results

Image: Janibek Alimkhanuly 159.2 vs. Steven Butler 159.6 - Official ESPN Weigh In Results

By Jim Calfa: WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly and #6 ranked challenger Steven Butler weighed in successfully on Friday for tonight’s 12-round fight.

Janibek-Butler event will be shown live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ The event begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

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Weights: Janibek Alimkhanuly 159.2 lbs. –  Steven Butler 159.6 lbs

Interestingly, the stare down after both guys had weighed in, the 27-year-old Butler (32-3-1, 26 KOs) briefly faced the smirking southpaw Janibek (13-0, 8 KOs) and then walked away.

Janibek was left standing there, and he seemed to enjoy this little victory as if the action from Butler was a sign that he was conceding defeat.

It’s more likely the case of a pre-planned move on Butler’s part because he’s not the type to walk away from an opponent during a face-off due to his fear.

On Thursday, Janibek & Butler had a prolonged staredown that seemed to go on forever. Perhaps after that episode, Butler might have felt it was pointless to be involved in another staredown with Janibek. It was wiser to walk away and start rehydrating.

Undercard weights:

Jason Moloney 117.8 lbs vs. Vincent Astrolabio 117.2 lbs
Gabriel Flores Jr. 134.4 lbs vs. Derrick Murray 134.4 lbs
Javier Martinez 161.2 lbs vs. Joeshon James 161.2 lbs
Ruben Villa 126.4 lbs vs. Maickol Lopez Villagrana 126.6 lbs
Amado Fernando Vargas 129.4 lbs vs. Bernardo Manzano 129.6 lbs
Brian Norman Jr. 148 lbs vs. Jesus Perez 147 lbs

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The 2016 Olympian Janibek’s stock has dropped since his title defense against Denzel Bentley last November. He tried for an early knockout of the British fighter Bentley (18-2-1, 15 KOs) but failed to succeed.

Bentley seemed to figure out Janibek and was able to land a lot of power shots that had the Kazakstan fighter looking frustrated. Janibek was using a lot of feints that weren’t working on Bentley, as he figured him out early and wasn’t fooled by these tricks.

He always seemed to know when Janibek would throw his left, which is the only weapon in his arsenal. His right hand is weak, and his jab is pawing, which Bentley had no problems blocking.

Butler is an inside fighter who tends to maul his opponents and punish them with clubbing shots, many of which hit them on the back of the head.

If Butler can force Janibek to fight him on the inside all night, he’s got a chance of winning. Janibek doesn’t fight on the inside; when he does, his power is nonexistent because he can’t get leverage on his left-hand shots.

Janibek has better hand speed than Butler, but it may not help him if the contest is fought at close quarters. Again, Butler is a mauler and will be in his element if he can force Janibek to brawl him on the inside all night.

Butler has won his last four fights since losing to Jose de Jesus Macias and Ryota Murata in consecutive fights. His opposition has been lackluster, but then again, so has Janibek’s.

In Janibek’s last five fights, he’s beaten Bentley, Danny Dignum, Hassan Ndam, Rob Brant, and Gonzalo Coria.

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