Tuesday, December 06, 2022  |



WBO orders Janibek Alimkhanuly to defend middleweight title against Jaime Munguia

Alimkhanuly destroyed Danny Dignum. Photo by Mikey Williams/ Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is again attempting to finalize a fight between Janibek Alimkhanuly and Jaime Munguia.

The Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body ordered Alimkhanuly to defend his WBO world middleweight title against Munguia, it was announced Sunday. 

“Please be advised that the WBO World Championship Committee orders the parties herein to commence the negotiations for the above-referenced bout between Jaime Munguia and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly,” stated a letter by Luis Batista Salas, Esq., who is the Chairman of the WBO Championship Committee. 

Munguia is the mandatory challenger to Alimkhanuly’s title.

The representatives of Alimkhanuly and the 26-year-old Munguia will have 15 days to negotiate a deal. If a deal between the two sides is not finalized, the WBO will call for a purse bid. The minimum bid will be $200,000.

The announcement comes one day after Munguia (41-0, 33 knockouts), who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, dropped Argentina’s Gonzalo Coria three times en route to a third round knockout victory in Guadalajara. Munguia is currently co-promoted by Golden Boy and Zanfer Boxing.

Should a fight be finalized between Alimkhanuly and Munguia, it would pit two middleweights ranked amongst the top 10 in The Ring rankings. Munguia and Alimkhanuly are ranked No. 4 and 5, respectively.

The Munguia win over Coria comes one week after Alimkhanuly won a hard-fought unanimous decision over England’s Denzel Bentley. The Kazakhstan-born Alimkhanuly (13-0, 8 KOs), who is promoted by Top Rank and managed by Egis Klimas, was making the first defense of the WBO after the sanctioning body stripped Demetrius Andrade for refusing to defend the title against Alimkhanuly. 

Back in February, the WBO ordered Alimkhanuly and Munguia to square off for the interim world title belt. Munguia did not enter into negotiations with Alimkhanuly as a rumored fight against WBC world middleweight Jermall Charlo was in the works. The fight between Charlo and Munguia never materialized, reportedly over the issue with DAZN wanting to also stream the fight. 

Alimkhanuly would end up fighting Danny Dignum, also from England, whom he stopped in the second round. With the win, the 29-year-old Alimkhanuly won the interim WBO world title belt and was elevated to full titleholder several weeks later. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]