Janibek Alimkhanuly’s Championship Appetite: “I Need Two More Titles”

By Jamie Eskdale - 02/20/2024 - Comments

IBF/WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly has taken to social media to tell his fans, “I need two more titles.” Can Janibek (15-0, 10 KOs) get the opportunity to fight for the WBA and WBC titles to become undisputed champion at 160?

Janibek isn’t enough of a household name for the promoters for the other two champions at middleweight to be interested in matching their fighters against him. Business-wise, it doesn’t make sense.

Rival Champs & Risk Avoidance 101

Top Rank currently promotes him, and it’s unclear whether they would set up a fight between him and WBA champion Erislandy Lara or WBC champ Jermall Charlo.

The 30-year-old Janibek competes on a different network and has a different promoter than the two champions, Charlo and Lara.

A unification between him and those fighters wouldn’t bring numbers if it were a dual network clash, considering it wouldn’t be a big enough fight to attract interest from casual boxing fans.

Top Rank likely wouldn’t be eager to share Janibek’s fight with Amazon Prime and have to split the audience for his unification match.

Janibek’s promoter, Bob Arum, probably won’t be excited about the idea of his fight being shown on Amazon Prime, even though the result could be him becoming a bigger name if he wins those fights to become the undisputed champion.

Fans: Stuck with Boxing Breadsticks

– Mandatory Challenges: Janibek needing to defend his IBF & WBO titles could impede his progress towards a unification

– Fan Pressure: People will need to demand unification fights at 160 to increase pressure on the promoters to want to make those fights. There’s no demand from fans to see Janibek take on WBC champion Jermall Charlo or WBA belt-holder Erislandy Lara.

Not enough boxing fans know of Janibek for there to be any pressure put on the promoters to demand unification clashes at 168. Part of the problem is that Janibek hasn’t been fighting enough to create a huge fan base the way we saw it with Gennadiy Golovkin years ago.

Fighting once or twice a year isn’t enough when you have a low social media presence like Janibek. To get well-known quickly, he will need to fight five or six times a year, which is impossible, given that Top Rank doesn’t have enough dates on ESPN to be that active.