Zhanibek Alimkhanuly to make pro debut on Saturday
On Saturday, Zhanibek Alimkhanuly will make his pro debut, when he meets Milton Nunez (33-16-1, 29 knockouts). The bout is scheduled for six rounds and takes place at the Almaty Arena in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Much is expected of the 23-year-old, who enters the pros after losing at the quarterfinal stage of the Rio Olympics, this year. His crowning moment came at the 2013 World Championships when he won gold.
He is particularly excited to be fighting at home in front of his own fans.
“To fight in my hometown and to fight in my country makes me very proud,” Alimkhanuly told RingTV.com through Nelson Lopez Jr. “I’m happy that I have my pro debut at home.
“My opponent is an experienced guy; he’s had a lot of fights. I am doing my best in training. I will be stepping in at a good level. It will give me more experience for the future.”
Interesting, while this fight will be contested as a professional bout, Alimkhanuly intends to switch codes again next month and fight at the National Championships as an amateur.
Like his countryman Gennady Golovkin, his goal is to win all the belts, in as many weight classes as possible.
However, he’s not particularly influenced by “GGG,” preferring to focus on his own career and not be dazzled by his famous compatriot’s lofty status in the sport.
“He’s not so much of an much influence on me,” he explained. “Every fighter has their own style of boxing. Every fighter is different. I can be better than him. We don’t care about Golovkin. He’s made his own way in boxing and I will make mine. I’m happy he’s my countryman.”
Lopez Jr. will co-train/manage Alimkhanuly while his father will also his co-train/promote his son under the Raynelo Management group. They will also be aided by Nurgazy Ismagambetov, who’s representing Raynelo Management and Nelsons Promotion in Kazakhstan.
Nelson Lopez Sr. has worked with several noteworthy fighters from the past including the Ibragimov brothers (Sultan and Timor), former WBC cruiserweight beltholder Grigory Drozd, the man Floyd Mayweather Jr. says gave him his toughest fight, Emmanuel Augustus, two-division titlist and 1992 Olympic gold medallist Joel Casamayor and former two-time IBF 108-pound titlist Mauricio Pastrana. Currently, they work with WBA No. 4 ranked 154-pounder Kanat Islam, who headlines the Almaty show as well as WBC bantamweight women’s champion Fatuma Zarika.
The Florida-based former fighter-turned-trainer is understandably keen to see how his fighter performs against the vastly experience Colombian, believing, in due course, that Alimkhanuly will enjoy his share of headlines.
“Zhanibek has the physical ability to be one of the best in the business,” Lopez Jr. said. “All the advantages: Speed, power, movement. He’s southpaw and hungry to fight.
“With time, he will evolve into the perfect professional boxer. He needs what we call in the U,S., “fine tuning,” like a new guitar, a piano, a violin and, once he is tuned, everyone in the boxing game will hear his name, ‘Zhanibek’, boxers, promoters, sanctioning bodies and all the media. The young prospect Zhanibek will be feared in his division as he rises in the rankings.
“Also, he will develop a plan of action to gain control in the ring, whether in retreat on defense or attack in offense.
“We expect great things from Zhanibek but first let’s not overlook the fighter he faces Milton Nunez. Let’s focus on a spectacular Oct 29th. And keep our plans moving forward.”
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