60 Seconds: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly says, “I have not yet had strong opponents and never will”

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Name: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly

Age: 30

Twitter: @qazaqstyle

Nationality: Kazakh

From: Zhilandy, Kazakhstan

Height:  182 cm

Stance: southpaw

Record: 14-0 (9)

Division: middleweight 

Next fight: ‘Qazak style’ is preparing to take on Germany’s IBF middleweight belt-holder, Vincenzo Gualtieri, in a ‘unification’ bout on October 14 in Rosenberg, TX.


When and why you started boxing:

I was six years old. Why? Because there was no other sport in our village. First day, I really liked this sport. I remember. I lost my first fight. I thought boxing was not for me. Then my father said that if a man started something, he must finish it. ‘You started boxing now you have to become a champion.’ Then, I had a goal.


Favourite all-time fighter:

Of course, Muhammad Ali. He was not only a good boxer he was a great person.


Best fight you have seen: 

For me the best fight is when you understand something. I saw Canelo-Golovkin III, I was there and I realised there that I can easily beat Canelo.


Personal career highlight: 

I think I haven’t reached my goal yet. I must collect all the titles in the middleweight division and must become the champion in four weight classes.


Toughest opponent you’ve faced: 

I have not yet had strong opponents and never will. Because when I’m in boxing no one can beat the Kazak style. Inshallah. It’s not a joke.


Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

The weakness is that I love boxing too much. And you should ask my opponents about my strengths!


Favourite meal/restaurant: 

I love horse meat, all Kazakhs love horse meat, but unfortunately there is no horse meat in US.


Best friends in boxing: 

My best friend is my brother Berik Sultan, he is always there. We came to America together with nothing. Now we are the champions. Without his support, without his courage, I would not have come to America. He is the best.


Which other athlete would you like to be: 

I want to be an athlete who makes a lot of donations. A lot means millions of dollars. I don’t want to be just the richest athlete in the world, I want and will be a very generous athlete. This is the most important thing. there are many people in the world who are starving. Some villages have no water. I do not like it.


What is the one thing you would change about professional boxing? 

If I could change something, I would make all the champions fight each other.


Have you ever been starstruck? If so, who was the star?  

No.


When was the last time you cried, and why?   

Kazakh men never speak about when they cry.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

My grandfather’s words, which I will never forget, were: “Whatever you do, don’t forget that God is always watching, it doesn’t matter to whom you do it, but more importantly for whom you do it and in front of whom.”


What is the worst rumour you have heard about yourself? 

I never pay attention to rumours. It’s quite natural after becoming a popular and famous person in the country. No one can change that. Criticism and rumour do not change an athlete and do not contribute to his development as an athlete. An athlete, a boxer, is perfected by sparring in the gym and daily training. Therefore, an athlete does not need to go on the internet and look at all the gossip to see what is being said about him. I believe that time lost on the internet should be spent in the gym.

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