High Risk, High Reward: Sheeraz Targets Middleweight Champion Janibek Alimkhanuly

Queensberry Promotions is ready to throw the unbeaten #1 WBO Hamzah Sheeraz in the deep end, matching him against IBF/WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly next.

If the move pays off, Sheeraz will take over as the King of the 160-lb division, potentially opening the doors for lucrative fights against Tim Tszyu [154], Terence Crawford, and perhaps even Canelo Alvarez.

On the flip side, if Sheeraz is blown out of the water by Janibek and exposed, boxing fans will view him as just another example of a hype job, who was carefully maneuvered to make him look better than he is.

Potential for Superstardom…Or a Crushing Fall

It’s a big step up in class for the 24-year-old Sheeraz (19-0, 15 KOs) to go from fighting domestic-level opposition to taking on what many boxing fans view as the King of the 160-lb division, Janibek (15-0, 10 KOs).

Sheeraz has the punching power and size to win this fight against Janibek. Looking at Sheeraz, he more resembles a super middleweight than a 160-lb fighter, and his huge size for the division benefits him immensely.

If Sheeraz was forced to swim with the sharks in the 168-lb class, he might come undone against talents like David Benavidez, David Morrell Jr., and Canelo Alvarez.

The Ticking Clock

It makes sense for Sheeraz to be moved fast because he’s dominating his opposition too easily with the Hors D’oeuvres his promoters have been feeding him. Still, more importantly, he needs to act quickly if he’s to have a chance of catching Canelo before he hangs up his gloves.

If Sheeraz can defeat IBF/WBO middleweight champion Janibek, the victory would validate him as the best at 160 and potentially catapult him into a massive money spinner against Canelo in a year or two if things play out well.

Sheeraz can’t afford to take his time if he wants to make the most amount of money in his career, and it’s not like he’s gaining anything by continuing to feed off the lower-level opposition that his promoters have been putting him in with.

Queensberry might as well make this move, as the 6’3″ Sheeraz has been in the pro ranks almost as long as the 30-year-old Janibek and has been more active, albeit against weaker opposition.

As an example, Sheerez is coming off a first-round knockout win over Liam Williams, who had lost two out of his previous four fights coming into his clash with him.