STOCKTON Calif. (May 13, 2023) — The king of the middleweight division only needed two rounds to defend his crown.
Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KOs) defended his WBO world title with a second-round stoppage against Canadian contender Steven Butler (32-4-1, 26 KOs) Saturday night at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.
Alimkhanuly spent the first round collecting data on his opponent, stalking him around the ring and noticing how Butler would overcommit when throwing punches.
The 30-year-old southpaw capitalized on this by landing a counter left uppercut that badly wobbled Butler in the following round. Alimkhanuly then only needed two or three more shots to send him to the canvas.
A vicious assault continued as Alimkhanuly landed power shot after power shot, dropping Butler for a second time. Referee Jack Reiss allowed Butler to continue, but his legs demonstrated that he was out on his feet.
Butler was given one final chance, but the native of Zhilandy, Kazakhstan landed another flurry that sent him down for a third and final time at 2:35 of the second round.
Alimkhanuly said, “Championsl. Boxing superstars! Where are you? I am waiting. Let’s fight. I am the most avoided boxer. I am the middleweight king. Let’s go. Let’s fight. I am ready for anybody. Anytime. Anywhere.”
Jason Moloney Captures WBO Title
The third time was a charm tonight for Jason “Mayhem” Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs) as he captured the vacant WBO bantamweight world title with a majority decision win against Filipino puncher Vincent Astrolabio (18-4, 13 KOs).
Moloney boxed intelligently to prevent Astrolabio’s ever-present power from hurting him. Astrolabio had some success in cutting the distance in the early rounds, but by the middle rounds, the 32-year-old native of Melbourne, Australia, began easily controlling the fight with constant footwork and jabs.
Despite a seemingly clear Moloney win, one judge scored the fight 114-114. That score was overruled by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 for Moloney, who will return home as champion.
Moloney said, “I thought I won it going away, but all that matters is the victory. And now I have this belt for the rest of my life.
“I broke my hand in the third or fourth round. It hurt every time I threw it. But I knew this was my last chance to make my dream come true.
“This is half the job done for Team Moloney. Next week, [twin brother] Andrew will join me as champion of the world.”
Lightweights: Stockton’s King, Gabriel Flores Jr. (22-2, 8 KOs), knocked out Derrick Murray (17-9-1, 6 KOs) in the opening round of their scheduled eight-round battle. Flores hadn’t fought in his hometown since 2019 and was shaking off nearly 10 months of ring rust, but it only took one counter left hook to knock Murray out cold. Time of stoppage: :27.
Featherweights: Former world title challenger Ruben “Drac” Villa IV (20-1, 7 KOs) made a successful Top Rank debut with a fifth-round TKO against Maickol Lopez Villagrana (16-5, 8 KOs). Villa sent Villagrana to the canvas with a left hand in the fourth. The punishment continued in the following round where several unanswered shots forced referee Gerard White to end the bout at 1:55.
Middleweights: In a battle of undefeated prospects, Javier Martinez (8-0-1, 2 KOs) and Joeshon James (7-0-1, 4 KOs) fought to a split draw after eight toe-to-toe rounds of action. James had more success on the outside, but Martinez was able to keep the fight at close range for large periods of time, making it easier to land left hands through his opponent’s guard. Scores: 79-73 James, 77-75 Martinez and 76-76.
Junior Lightweights: Amado Fernando Vargas (7-0, 2 KOs) returned to the ring with a four-round unanimous decision win against Bernardo Manzano (2-5). Vargas scored a knockdown in the first round and dominated the rest of the bout with a sustained attack to the body. Scores: 40-35 3x.
Welterweights: Atlanta-born standout Brian Norman Jr. (24-0, 19 KOs) defeated the rugged Jesus Perez (24-5, 18 KOs) via unanimous decision after eight rounds of action. Scores: 77-75 2x & 78-74.