Zhanibek Alimkhanuly vs Steven Butler Preview May 13th, 2023
Unbeaten southpaw Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan defends his WBO Middleweight Title for the second time when he meets Steven Butler of Canada this Saturday, May 13th. The 12-rounder from Stockton, California can be seen live in America on ESPN and ESPN+ while fans in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports Action. Alimkhanuly stopped Danny Dignum in the second round last in May to win the interim title and then beat Denzel Bentley by unanimous decision in November in his first defence. Butler last fought in December when he beat Joshua Conley via a 10-round unanimous decision.
Alimkhanuly vs Butler Betting Odds
- Steven Butler +1200
- Zhanibek Alimkhanuly -3300
The 30-year-old Alimkhanuly, who now fights out of Oxnard, California, enters the ring with a perfect record of 13-0 with 8 Ko’s and has boxed 79 rounds since making his pro debut in 2016. Prior to that he enjoyed a fine amateur career as he represented Kazakhstan at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he was beaten in the quarterfinals. He also won a gold medal at the 2013 World Championships where he beat Anthony Fowler and Jason Quigley.
Alimkhanuly reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Championships, 2015 Asian Championships and 2010 World Youth Championships, won a gold medal at the 2013 Asian Championships and 2014 Asian Games and also fought in the 2015 World Series of Boxing for Astana Arlans. He stands just over 5-feet-11-inches tall with a 71.5-inch reach and has also won the WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global Middleweight Belts as a pro.
He’s a solid puncher with a good chin as he carries around a current knockout ratio of 61.5 per cent and had stopped his last six opponents before going the distance with Bentley in his last contest. Alimkhanuly also has wins over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Milton Nunez, Vaughn Alexander, Steve Martinez, Cristian Olivas, Stuart McLellan and Rob Brant. He’s an excellent prospect with speed, power and fine boxing skills and appears to be entering the prime of his career at the moment.
As for Butler, the native of Montreal, Quebec is 27 years old and owns a mark of 32-3-1 with 26 Ko’s. He turned pro back in 2013 and has boxed 153 rounds since his debut. He also has better-than-average power with a current knockout ratio of 72.2 per cent but doesn’t have the greatest chin in the division. He was stopped by Brandon Cook in the seventh round in 2017 for his first pro loss and lost his NABA and IBF North American Super Welterweight Titles.
He then suffered two straight stoppage defeats in 2019 and 2021. The first came at the hands of Ryota Murata in the fifth round in December, 2019 in a shot at the WBA Middleweight Title. He didn’t fight again until January, 2021 and was halted again in the fifth round, this time by Jose de Jesus Macias in a shot at the vacant NABA, NABF, and WBC Francophone Middleweight Belts. Butler’s lone draw was an eight-round majority affair with Jaime Herrera in June, 2015 in a shot at the vacant NABF Junior Super Welterweight Title.
However, he did manage to win the vacant IBF Youth Super Welterweight Title in 2016 when he stopped Sladan Janjanin in the third round. He captured the vacant IBO International Super Welterweight Crown when he stopped Jaime Herrera in a rematch in the 10th round in March, 2018. He stopped Jordan Balmir in the third round to take the vacant WBC Francophone Middleweight Title a few months later then then added the vacant WBC International Middleweight Belt with a 10-round split decision over Vitali Kopylenko in May, 2019.
Butler is the same height as the champion and possesses a 75-inch reach, which gives him a 3.5-inch advantage in that department. He enjoyed a good amateur career with a reported record of 50-5 and won a Canadian amateur title in 2013. He’s fought just three tomes outside of Canada as he beat Kopylenko in Las Vegas, but lost to Murata in Japan and to Macias in Mexico. He also has wins over Carson Jones, Jesus Gutierrez, Janks Trotter, Ferdinand Pilz, Teemu Tuominen and Silverio Ortiz.
Alimkhanuly hasn’t been a pro for long but has plenty of amateur experience and appears to be a solid boxer in all areas. Butler has power but a suspect chin. He has a reach advantage but isn’t on the same level as Alimkhanuly at this point of their careers. I’m expecting Alimkhanuly to leave the ring with his undefeated record intact with another victory.
Play Alimkhanuly -3300 @ BetOnline.ag
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