Vincenzo Gualtieri talked a good game but Janibek Alimkhanuly didn’t believe him for a single second. His braggadocious threats and violent promises, ultimately, were all spurious.
This past Saturday night, at the Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas, Gualtieri had the opportunity to prove that his words had a bit of substance behind them. Yet, no matter how well he fought in his previous outing when he scored the upset victory over Esquiva Falcao, Gualtieri (21-1-1, 10 KOs) fought like a man who simply didn’t want to get hit.
His reluctant style of attack, however, didn’t win him any new fans. Not from those who threw down their hard-earned money to watch him fight, and certainly not from the three judges sitting ringside.
Alimkhanuly (15-0, 10 KOs) dominated his man, winning every second of every round until he eventually got rid of him in the sixth. To those who were watching from a distance, Gualtieri’s approach was somewhat surprising. To Alimkhanuly, nevertheless, he saw it coming a mile away.
“We knew from the beginning that he was not going to fight back,” said Alimkhanuly during the post-fight interview. “We knew about that.”
It was flummoxing to watch. Gualtieri has always been willing to bite down on his mouthpiece and take risks. That, in part, allowed the German to go on a title run, albeit a transient one.
At 30, and on the middleweight unification stage, Gualtieri stuck his chin in the air and attempted to goad Alimkhanuly. It was all about wasted movement and energy. Only once has the now unified champ gone 12 hard rounds. So, with his gas tank at least an open mystery, Alimkhanuly is convinced that Gualtieri wanted to test him in that department.
“He was waiting because he was thinking I was going to get tired but I didn’t get tired.”