Janibek – his first name is spelled Zhanibek on his passport, but he prefers Janibek because it’s easier for American fans to pronounce and remember – is a two-year pro. A sensational prospect at 168 pounds, he had a tremendous amateur career before his debut.
He represented his home country at the 2016 Olympic Games and was the gold medalist at the 2013 World Championships, the 2013 Asian Championships, and several other prestigious international tournaments.
As a professional, he is a stablemate of three-division world champion and rising superstar Vasiliy Lomachenko, who was voted “2017 Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America, WBC light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk, welterweight contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas, super welterweight prospect Alexander Besputin, and super lightweight prospect Maxim Dadashev. All are managed by Egis Klimas, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Manager of the Year” in 2016 and 2017, and promoted by Top Rank.
Janibek’s first two pro fights were in Kazakhstan.
He made his United States debut on September 28 in Oakland, California, and won a six-round unanimous decision against Carlos Galvan.
He was back in the ring five weeks later – in his last fight on November 3 in El Paso, Texas, he stepped up to eight-round status for the first time and won an eight-round split decision against Vaughn Alexander. Most observers thought the decision should have been unanimous.
Standingeightcount.com reported [excerpts]: Kazakh Olympian and former world amateur champion Janibek Alimkhanuly picked up a really impressive win over Vaughn Alexander, given that it was only his fourth pro fight.
Vaughn, brother to Devon Alexander, is a solid pro who was once a blue-chip prospect in his own right before losing over a decade to jail time.
Alimkhanuly lit him up consistently in this fight, though. The split decision was bogus. [End Standingeightcount.com item]
In an earlier interview, Janibek said through an interpreter, “I signed with my manager, Egis Klimas, and moved to California on May 23rd, 2018. It’s very important that our whole team lives in one place. My manager lives here and all of his other fighters live here. California is the best place – the weather is great, there’s no winter – and you can train nonstop. And, of course, there’s always a lot of good sparring here.
“I can describe my style in a couple of words – Kazakhstan style. I can go forward and I can go back – like different styles in one.
“I just want people to remember my first name – Janibek – so it will be easier for them.
“I want to become a champion as soon as possible. I want to show the world who’s the best.”