Zhanibek Alimkhanuly has earned a well deserved reputation as one of the most successful members of the Astana Arlans Franchise, and the 22-year-old is the reigning AIBA World Championships Middleweight (75 kg) gold medalist.

Alimkhanuly also won the gold medal at the Asian Championships in 2013, and has achieved victory in both of his WSB matches this season. A sensational first round stoppage over Puerto Rico’s Jeffrey Flaz Guillén was followed by a points win against Argentina’s Christian Zarate.

The decorated star began boxing aged nine with the full support of his family at a gym close to his childhood home. He prefers to fight at mid-range, where his fast hands and power shots can be used to their full effect. Hard work, clear goals and self confidence are attributes he believes any successful boxer should have and utilise, while his boxing heroes include Beijing 2008 Olympic Games bronze medalist Kanat Islam.

With ample experience in high pressure situations, Alimkhanuly is composed ahead of the Finals with Cuba, who he believes are a strong team, but not stronger than Astana Arlans.