ZHANIBEK Alimkhanuly has taken aim at two rivals who he says are avoiding him.
The Kazakh defends his world middleweight title this Saturday against Canada’s Steven Butler in California. Thirteen fights unbeaten the 30-year-old has barely put a foot wrong so far but craves the big fights that so far have eluded him.
In his last quartet of fights Alimkhanuly has faced a mix of experience, inexperience, and credible efforts. Butler, who has lost to Brandon Cook, Ryota Murata and Jose de Jesus Macias, is unlikely to upset the odds but the champion has praised his challenger for stepping up.
“I give all the credit to Steven Butler for accepting this fight. In a division full of ducks, Butler is a true warrior. I know he will come to fight, and we will give the fans a great show.”
Alimkhanuly spoke following a training session as part of his final preparations for his 14th fight. Then came his attack on two individuals who are in need of a marquee fight themselves.
“Demetrius Andrade gave up his title to avoid fighting me. He ran eight pounds up the scale. He is the ultimate duck. Jaime Munguia turned down a shot at the title to fight weaker opposition. They are the two ducks, but I am the champion now.
“I called out the division’s other champions, and they didn’t answer. Butler answered the call. I am fighting Saturday to prove a point. I will knock out Butler in devastating fashion.”
“The middleweight division runs through me now. I am here to stay. While the other champions continue not to fight, I will challenge the best and knock out everyone in my path.”