Janibek Alimkhanuly and Danny Dignum weren’t separated by much height or weight Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.
The odds on their 12-round middleweight title fight Saturday night suggest, though, that Alimkhanuly is superior to Dignum in every other way. Kazakhstan’s Alimkhanuly, who weighed in at 160 pounds, is at least an 11-1 favorite over Dignum, who stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at 159 pounds.
Alimkhanuly, 29, and Dignum, 30, will fight for the WBO interim 160-pound championship in the main event of ESPN’s tripleheader from Resorts World Las Vegas.
The left-handed Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KOs) was the mandatory challenger for Demetrius Andrade’s championship, but Providence’s Andrade moved up to the super middleweight division for a bout with Wales’ Zach Parker. Their 12-round fight for the WBO’s interim 168-pound championship was scheduled for Saturday, but it was postponed due to Andrade’s shoulder injury.
Mexico’s Jaime Munguia and Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao, both of whom were ranked ahead of England’s Dignum (14-0-1, 8 KOs), also turned down the opportunity to fight Alimkhanuly for the WBO interim middleweight title. Dignum, also a southpaw, quickly accepted when this championship chance was presented to him.