Golovkin-Derevyanchenko to Meet at MSG for Vacant IBF World Middleweight Title

Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko will clash for the vacant IBF World Middleweight title on Saturday October 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN, in a fight brought to you by GGG Promotions and Matchroom Boxing USA in association with DiBella Entertainment.

Former unified Middleweight king Golovkin (39-1-1 35 KOs) is aiming to regain the IBF crown he held for three years before being stripped of the title following the first of his two epic battles with Mexican rival Canelo Alvarez.

GGG boxes at the Manhattan mecca of boxing for the seventh time in his career as he looks to return to the summit of the 160lbs division, and ominously for Derevyanchenko, the Kazakh star has finished all six of his opponents at MSG inside the distance, with Canadian top-ten contender Steve Rolls succumbing to Golovkin in four rounds on his DAZN debut in June.

Derevyanchenko (13-1 10 KOs) challenges for the IBF belt for the second time in his career having pushed Daniel Jacobs to the limit for the vacant belt at the Hulu Theater at MSG in October, being edged out via split decision in a back and forth scrap where many gave the Brooklyn-based Ukrainian the victory. The 33 year old got back to winning ways and moved into #1 position in the IBF with a points win over Jack Culcay in Minnesota in April, and now faces fellow Olympian Golovkin in a mouth-watering battle in the Big Apple.

“Everyone knows that I consider Madison Square Garden as my home away from home and there is nothing better than fighting there again. It is old school,” said Golovkin. “On October 5, it’s going to be a good fight. Every time I enter the ring I try to give my fans the fight they want to see, the show they deserve. This will be such a fight. We will bring back Big Drama Show to the ring of The Garden and to DAZN. Don’t miss it. You will see everything you love in the sport of boxing. See you in New York.”

“I’m very excited that my team has secured another opportunity for me to fight for the Middleweight championship of the world,” said Derevyanchenko. “I have a great deal of respect for ‘GGG’ and looking forward to proving in the ring that I will be up to challenge and fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming a World champion.

“Those in attendance at Madison Square Garden and watching on DAZN will see an outstanding battle on Saturday October 5 — I can’t wait to enter the ring.”

“They call it the Big Drama Show and that’s exactly what the fans will enjoy at MSG on October 5, live on DAZN,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Gennadiy has a chance to regain his World Middleweight crown and Sergiy will bring the fire – the styles should gel brilliantly for a brutal battle. We look forward to a fantastic event with a stacked card at the iconic Mecca of boxing.”

“I’m very proud to provide Sergiy Derevyanchenko another opportunity to become the Middleweight champion of the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Sergiy came very close to fulfilling his dream last year and I truly believe that his time is now against GGG, one of the best Middleweights of this era. Saturday, October 5, will be a very special night for boxing at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN, when GGG will be tested to his limits by a true threat in the Middleweight division.”

“We’re happy to have Gennadiy back in the ring looking to reclaim a piece of the middleweight championship,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America. “October 5 is just the beginning of fight season on DAZN, which promises to be the best year-end schedule in the sport.”

Tickets go on sale at noon ET on Friday with full details on prices to be released on Thursday.

Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]

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Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin Confirmed for September 14 at T-Mobile Arena

The Las Vegas Strip’s most electrifying act is returning for a repeat engagement. Less than three months since his second-round destruction of Tom Schwarz at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Tyson Fury, a.k.a. “The Gypsy King,” will defend his lineal heavyweight championship versus the undefeated Otto Wallin Saturday, Sept. 14 at T-Mobile Arena.

This will be the fifth defense of the lineal crown for Fury, who upset future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to claim heavyweight supremacy.

Fury-Wallin will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States, the leading multi-sport streaming service. BT Sport will have the broadcast rights in the UK.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Salita Promotions, tickets for Fury vs. Wallin start at $105 and go on sale Friday, Aug. 16.

Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com, or charge by phone at 888-929-7849.

“I’m delighted that Tyson is boxing in Las Vegas again after his previous success,” Frank Warren said.

“It is another undefeated boxer he is facing and a contest where a victory will set up the Deontay Wilder rematch. Otto Wallin knows this is his big chance, and Tyson will not be underestimating him.”

“I am pleased to be back in Las Vegas. I loved my time there in my last fight and am going to put on a show again,” Fury said.

“Otto Wallin is a world-ranked fighter and is tall, something we want with the Deontay Wilder rematch around the corner. He is also a southpaw, which will bring its own obstacles, but I will be fully focused to get this job done because the rematch needs to happen.”

“Tyson Fury electrified Las Vegas last time he fought, and he is set to do it again against a tough kid in Otto Wallin,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Tyson knows what’s at stake, and I expect him to have another masterful performance. He is the best heavyweight in the world and is only beginning to show everyone what he’s capable of.”

“This is the type of fight I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid and my father started showing me some boxing moves in our kitchen,” Wallin said.

“I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. and I’m very happy it’s starting to pay off. I want to thank my team and my supporters for making this happen.

“I know I’m an underdog in this fight, but I’m ready for this opportunity and I’m going to grab it with both hands. Anybody can get beat and especially in the heavyweight division. I like the fact that I have everything to gain and Tyson has everything to lose.”

“Otto Wallin is an example of what happens when you combine dreams and hard work,” said Dmitriy Salita, Wallin’s promoter.

“He grew up in a small town in Sweden, worked hard and dreamed big! He plans to follow in the footsteps of countryman Ingemar Johansson and score the big win against lineal world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.  It will be an exciting fight from the opening bell, which I believe will end in a historic upset in Las Vegas.”

Fury (28-0-1 20 KOs) is in the midst of one of sport’s most remarkable comebacks, a Hollywood script turned reality that has seen him battle back from substance abuse and mental health issues to reclaim his spot atop the sport. After nearly three years out of the ring following the Klitschko triumph, Fury returned in June of last year and won a pair of fights before his controversial draw versus WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Six months after the Wilder fight, he made short work of Schwarz (24-0 at the time) and will once again fight an undefeated challenger.

Wallin (20-0, 1 NC, 13 KOs), from Sundsvall, Sweden, is looking to become the second Swedish heavyweight champion, as Ingemar Johansson held the crown from 1959-1960. Wallin, 28, made his United States debut in April, a no-contest against Nick Kisner after Kisner suffered a cut due to an accidental headbutt in the opening round. A six-year pro, Wallin defeated Adrian Granat (15-1 at the time) by 12-round unanimous decision in April 2018 to capture the European Union heavyweight crown.

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Billy Joe Saunders Signs With Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing

Undefeated WBO Super-Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, with his next fight to be announced next week.

Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) became a two-weight World Champion with a shutout points win over Shefat Isufi in Stevenage earlier this year, outclassing his Serbian opponent over 12 rounds to land the WBO 168lbs title.

The Hatfield southpaw’s first World title came against Irish fight legend Andy Lee at Manchester Arena in December 2015 when he floored the former Champion twice in the third round on route to a majority decision to claim the WBO Middleweight crown.

Successful defences followed against Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr and, most notably, a career-best performance against David Lemieux on away soil in Canada where the 29-year-old star dismantled former IBF ruler Lemieux over 12 masterful rounds.

A former Southern Area, Commonwealth, British, WBO International and European Champion at Middleweight, Saunders is confident that his move to Matchroom Boxing will secure megafighs with new stablemates Callum Smith and Demetrius Andrade, as well as DAZN fighters Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

“This move is going to benefit me massively,” said Saunders. “Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing can put me right out on the branch for those big fights. I’m on Golovkin and Canelo’s turf. I’ve made this move to make them fights because I’m sick of hearing their bullsh*t excuses. Those fights make financial sense and they make sense because we’re on the same network. 
“I will go where the big fights are and I can fluctuate between Middle and Super-Middle. If the big fights are at Middleweight then I’ll have them at Middle. If they’re at Super-Middleweight then I’ll have them at Super. I’m a World Champion at Super-Middle so if anyone wants to come and try to win a belt then I’ve got one of the most recognised belts out there and I’m open to big offers. 
“I’m going to bring a lot of excitement to Sky Sports and DAZN. I’m a good talker but I can also walk the walk. Matchroom are going to give me more publicity and more exposure for these big fights and that’s what I need. Once people see me and they see what I’m about they’ll want to see me in those big fights.

“I can’t wait to be involved in those big nights that I’ve seen Matchroom put on over the years. If that means fighting at 168lbs or 8lbs lighter then that’s no problem. I’m ready to go and I’m hoping to be out at the end of October or early November.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Welcome to the big league Billy Joe! This is a huge signing for us and the perfect place for Billy to be. Everyone in boxing knows how good Billy is and now he is going to get the chance to prove it against the elite.

“He holds a World title at 168 but can also make 160 comfortably and when you look at the fighters we work with across our platforms, this was an obvious link up. Fighters need to be motivated with regular dates and solid deliverable plans – now Billy finally has that you will see him shine on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said, “I’m absolutely delighted that Billy Joe Saunders has been announced as Eddie Hearn’s latest signing for Matchroom Boxing.

“Billy Joe is a huge talent, with mouthwatering fights available at Middleweight and Super-Middleweight, including Canelo, GGG, Demetrius Andrade, Danny Jacobs and that big domestic clash with Callum Smith.

“We’re very excited to have him on Sky Sports and look forward to seeing Billy Joe involved in some massive fights in the near future.”

Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]

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Daniel Dubois: “The big boys aren’t too far away!”

Daniel Dubois is promising ‘another devastating performance’ when he takes to the ring at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday September 27 with the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title on the line.

Tickets went on sale today (Fri Aug 9) for the clash between Dubois and unbeaten Ebenezer Tetteh, subject to the Ghanaian winning a warm-up this weekend with WBO world flyweight champion Nicola Adams also featuring on the bill, live on BT Sport.

Dubois enters into his 13th professional fight against Tetteh – competing for his seventh title — and comes into the fight off the back of his spectacular demolition of domestic rival Nathan Gorman last time out when he claimed the British title

Defeating Gorman, Dubois believes, has increased his stock ahead of his next title assignment and his slightly longer-term aim of breaking into the elite band of heavyweights.

“It is like getting back to the drawing board now with this next fight and getting ready for this next date and seeing what’s what,” considered the 21-year-old.

“The last fight boosted my profile and a lot of people tuned in. It was special in that regard, with a lot of people watching with their own opinions on who would win. It builds exposure for me and grows my profile, so I’m glad I got that one done.

“The best is still yet to come and I’ve a whole lot more to give.

“I’m not too far away from the big boys and breaking into that league. I am very focused right now, determined to push on and not let anything hold me back.

“Whoever I’ve got to beat, I will beat,” explained Dubois by way of a mission statement before adding his thoughts on forthcoming opponent Tetteh, who holds a record of 19-0 with 16 of the wins coming via KO.

“It is going to be interesting and I am confident I will come out with the victory. I am at the stage where I am only getting better and in this fight I might show something a little different that boxing fans haven’t seen before.

“This is the fight business and we are in the fighting game, so when the guy has got two gloves on and is swinging with all his might, I think there is enough danger in that already.

“It is obviously a prestigious title on the line so I have got to approach it seriously because he will be trying his best. I’ve got to make myself ready.

“It is going to be buzzing again and I am sure it is going to be an amazing night of boxing. I am looking forward to putting on a show at the Royal Albert Hall.

“It is going to be another devastating performance from me.”

Beside’s Dubois and a world title clash involving Adams the show will also feature WBO European super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp, middleweight banger Denzel Bentley, heavyweight Jonathan Palata, lightweight Mohammad Bilal Ali and precocious bantamweight talent Dennis McCann.

Exciting prospects Lewis Edmundson, Eithan James and Sam Noakes all make their professional debuts

Tickets for the September 27 bill at the Royal Albert Hall are available to purchase from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.royalalberthall.com. Prices £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 Ringside.

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]

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EXCLUSIVE – Kieran Gething: “Ready to Step Up…”

Kieran Gething has endured the highs and lows of tempestuous career.

From capturing the Welsh title in only his fifth amateur fight, to a disastrous 0-1-1 start to life as a professional, the Pontypool-based puncher has experienced a lot in a short space of time.

Now 9-2-1 (2 KO’s) and the holder of the Welsh super lightweight title, things are looking up for Gething.

Speaking exclusively to Boxing Social, the 25-year-old tells how he was introduced by younger brother Connor to the local boxing gym in Pontypool, South Wales. It is a journey familiar to the Gething family.

“Boxing has always been in my family about four or five generations. My dad was probably the better one in my family and most recognised for boxing. Naturally, I was always going to follow him, but I never really had any interest until I was 12.

“My brother wanted to go to the gym. He had a bit of trouble down there with some travelling boys, so I went along to the next session thinking I would be the big brother and look after him – when really I couldn’t have done anything!

“[But] I went anyway. Although he [Connor] eventually stopped going, I carried on. He is doing fantastic as a coach now anyway.”

Gething would quickly decide to compete as an amateur, enjoying instant success in picking up the Welsh national title in his fifth outing at just thirteen years old.

Though an incredible achievement for one so inexperienced, Gething spoke of the difficulties in being thrust into tough match-ups on the back of his success.

“I had 55 amateur fights and won about 35.” he remembers.

“But winning the Welsh title in my fifth fight, I had to box at quite a high standard almost straight away. Because I won it so early, I only really fought higher quality guys from then on. If you are Welsh champion, then you are Welsh champion and facing tougher guys with more fights: so that made it difficult to match me at the start.”

As he continued to develop and hone his skills in the unpaid ranks, Gething took the opportunity to travel Europe in search of further success. 

He spoke with pride at being named captain of the Welsh amateur team, before describing his 2015 Welsh senior title as the “pinnacle” of his amateur career – following in the footsteps of his late father, Gary, who claimed six titles between 1973-1982. 

“As I got older, it became easier because the competition becomes so much wider.

“I won five titles in total: three ABA’s and two boys club titles. I got a silver medal in the British boys clubs, and I got a silver medal in the International tournament as a senior for Wales. I captained Wales for 2 years in the amateurs, which was a really proud time for me. I got to travel over Europe and be a big part of the team.

“The pinnacle of my amateur was winning the senior title in 2015, because my father had done it. I wanted to follow my dad in winning that, so it was a good feeling.”

After a disappointing loss in the semi-finals of the Welsh Championship, Gething admitted to growing tired of the amateur set-up. Ambitious – and impatient – he would soon set his sights on turning over into the professional ranks.

“I wasn’t able to commit fully to the amateur programme the way it was set up.” said Gething.

“I lost in the semi-finals of the Welsh Championships when I really shouldn’t have. I boxed really well and didn’t get the decision, and I felt really fed up by that time. I was young, ambitious and I didn’t realise that I had as much time as I did. If I had my time over, I probably would have stayed amateur for another two years – but I’m in a good position now so I don’t really regret it.”

The difficulty in going from a successful amateur career to life as a professional is not lost on Gething. Though he believed he had the right attributes for a smooth transition, three years into life in the paid ranks, Gething still sees a further twelve months of learning on the job.

“I was always told that I had a professional style. In other words, I come forward and don’t mind getting into a fight!” he laughed.

“[But] when you actually turn pro, and you’re ten fights in, you realise that there are a lot of subtle differences. I think my transition is only just starting. I’m still picking little things up.

“Maybe when I get another twelve months in I will feel like I have really transitioned into being a professional. I’ve only done two full years. This is my third year, and I think I have done quite a bit in that time – but there’s more to come.”

As important as any technical aspect of professional boxing is choice of representation. Management remains something of a minefield in combat sports, and Gething admits his initial choices may have impacted on his early career.

After passing between a number of ill-fitting teams – whom he believes did not have his best interests at heart – Gething would sign with managerial powerhouse MTK Global. It is a move that he credits with taking his career to the next level.

“At the start of my career I was managed by a guy called Paul Boyce, who was just coming to the end of his time in boxing and he thought he could have one last hurrah with me – but it just didn’t happen for him. Then I went to Jamie Arthur, and things didn’t work out with him because of false promises.

“Then I made the move to MTK Global. I signed with them after I fought for the Welsh title [a points reverse to Tony Dixon in October 2010] – and because I signed with MTK after I had already negotiated that fight, I’m technically unbeaten since I signed with them!

“It’s a great time to be with them [MTK]. The deal they have with ESPN, the iFL TV coverage – it’s fantastic. The time, effort and promotion they put into you makes you feel like you are a big deal. Being part of a team like MTK will really help take my career to the next level.”

Though he trains with a small team in his home town of Pontypool, South Wales, Gething believes he is afforded the same high-class training that can be found in much larger stables. Brother Connor, now a leading trainer in Wales in his own right, presides over his training alongside head trainer Lyndon James.

“Lyndon [James] is a great trainer. He only trains me and an MMA fighter called Mason Jones who fights on Cage Warriors. He [Jones] is an ex-professional boxer as well. Lyndon always wants to keep his stable small so he can give people enough attention. He’s a really good coach.

“My brother does some pad work with me, as well and Lyndon’s brother. They are with the Welsh national team, so I’m getting high quality training all over, which is the key.”

Gething would be welcomed into the unforgiving world of the professional ranks in November of 2016, when a draw against Kevin McAuley left him deflated – both mentally and financially.

“I took the fight [against McAuley] on two weeks notice. I was fit and although Lyndon couldn’t work my corner, I was still determined to get in there.

“Because it was short notice, I only took a bus load of people with me. I ended up not getting paid for the fight because I didn’t sell enough tickets – only enough to cover the opponents wage. I was so disappointed with the draw. I watched it back and I definitely thought I won the fight – but I look back at it as a good learning experience.”

After losing another short notice bout to debutant Aaron Sutton (now 9-0) in his next outing, Gething grew frustrated with his less-than-ideal start to life as a professional.

However, six wins in fifteen months would follow, including points wins over recognised journeymen in William Warburton and Jordan Grannum, as well as a successful rematch with McAuley in Pontypool. Now 6-1-1, Gething would challenge for his first title as a professional, meeting Chris Sanigar-managed Tony Dixon for the Welsh title in October 2018 in Newport.

“I had just come off a win in August when I was offered the [Tony] Dixon fight at six weeks notice.

“I didn’t box to the best of my ability – and there was still only a point in it. In fact, the only reason he won that fight is because he caught me on a spin out and dropped me in the fourth round. It was probably the best 1-2 he is ever gonna throw in his life!

“Looking back, I can see my mind was tired because I had just been out [a fourth round TKO of Jorge Moreno] and I should have waited to rest and recover a bit. I’m not making excuses for losing the fight, because there is no way I should have lost to Tony Dixon.”

“I was disappointed in that I couldn’t prove how far ahead I think I am than him, but I learned a hell of a lot from the fight and I’m a better fighter for it. I said straight after I would go on to achieve more. I knew I would. He [Dixon] hasn’t fought since but I have won a title, defended it and had a fight in between. It looks like I’m gonna fight for another title before he even puts the gloves on again.”

The fight against Dixon would be named as the British Boxing Board of Control ‘Welsh Area Fight of the Year 2018’.

Now pride of place in the trophy cabinet, Gething admits the recognition appreciation of the fight “took some of the sting out” of the defeat.

“Nothing makes me happier than being appreciated by my peers. It’s not like attention seeking, but you do have to have that kind of sociopathic attitude when you are a fighter. You aren’t going to achieve very much while thinking about everyone else before yourself in this game – so it was nice.

“Winning ‘Fight of the Year’ did take some of the sting out of it. It means a hell of a lot to me to be nominated for awards by the board because I have a lot of respect for what the board stands for”.

Gething would quickly bounce back from defeat, moving down to super lightweight in his next outing to pick up the Welsh title with a dominant ten round decision win over Henry James in Newport in February of this year.

“It was a huge relief!” Gething said.

“Especially after the loss to Dixon. I feel like I deserved my chance, and now I’ve got that title, I will hopefully fill the trophy cabinet with more belts in the future!”

A routine six round decision win over Damian Esquisabel would follow a month later, before a boxing smartly en route to a successful first defence of his Welsh title against Craig Woodruff in June.

Buoyed by the confidence gained in collecting – and defending – his first title, Gething has now set his sights set on more titles in 2019. Having so far boxed as heavy as super middleweight in his fledgling career, Gething spoke of his willingness to move back up to 147lbs in order to secure a potential bout British welterweight champion Chris Jenkins, as well as a possible rematch with Dixon in the future.

“I am making the wait easy at the moment, but it is an ambition of mine to move back up to welterweight and possibly avenge that loss against Dixon.” stated Gething.

“If someone like Chris Jenkins has still got the [British] welterweight title, then it would be great to have an all Welsh battle for that!

“[But] my immediate target, and a dream of mine, would be to become the fifth Welsh British champion. At the moment, there are four and that’s the most there has ever been, so I would like to be the fifth!”

Backed by the might of MTK Global, Gething believes a number of opportunities will become available in 2019 as he seeks out more championship gold, and earmarked the vacant Celtic super lightweight title as a realistic target in the upcoming months.

“By the middle of next year I would like to have won a major title.” he said, resolutely.

“There is talk of me fighting someone in the top 15 for the Celtic title, so with a bit of luck one of these fights will come off.

“A British, maybe a Commonwealth title by the end of the year? That would be amazing for me. I think I’m ready to take that step up within one or two more fights.”

Interview by: Emmily Simcock

Follow Emmily on Twitter at: @emmily_jane

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Josh Warrington to Face Sofiane Takoucht on October 12th in Leeds

Josh Warrington will make the third defence of his IBF world featherweight title against France’s Sofiane Takoucht at First Direct Arena, Leeds on Saturday October 12, live on BT Sport.

Warrington (29-0, 6 KOs) will be returning to the venue he has lit up throughout his career and where he defeated then mandatory challenger Kid Galahad in June.

The big world title fight will be backed up with a magnificent undercard featuring some of the finest young talent in British boxing – all in title action.

Zelfa Barrett (22-1, 13KOs) will make the first defence of his Commonwealth super-featherweight crown against exciting Scot Jordan McCorry (18-6-4, 4KOs).

Leeds idol Jack Bateson, Barrett’s stablemate Lyndon Arthur and Troy Williamson will all challenge for their first professional championships on the bill.

Bateson (10-0, 3KOs) who sold £60,000 worth of ticket when he boxed on the Warrington-Galahad bill challenges Preston’s Michael Ramabeletsa (17-17, 8KOs) who will be making the first defence of his English super-bantamweight belt.

Manchester’s KO King, Arthur (15-0, 12KOs) who is being talked of as a future Anthony Yarde opponent faces Ghanian Emmanuel Anim (14-2-1, 12KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth light-heavyweight title, in a battle of the big hitters.

In the fifth championship clash Darlington’s Williamson (11-0-1, 8KOs) takes a step up in class when he meets Rotherham’s Nav Mansouri (20-2-2, 6KOs) for the vacant WBO Intercontinental super-welterweight belt.

Warrington’s challenger Takoucht (35-3-1, 13 KOs) is a former European champion and ranked fourth in the latest IBF rankings.

Warrington, 28, said: “From what I’ve seen, Takoucht is tough and got his IBF ranking through hard work.

“This is a massive opportunity for him. I have to stay focused and not take my eye off the ball because I am after the biggest fights in the division.”

Promoter Frank Warren explained: “We wanted to make the Oscar Valdez unification fight for Josh, but he is giving up the WBO title and moving up in weight.

“I know how much Josh wants the WBA champion, Leo Santa Cruz but he doesn’t seem keen right now.

“If you look at the IBF Ratings number one and two are vacant, and Takoucht was pretty much the next available contender.”

Warrington won his world title in an upset points win against defending champion Lee Selby in May 2018 when 25,000 fans packed into Elland Road to support him.

Last December he defied the bookies odds again when he thrashed two-weight world champion Carl Frampton on points in his maiden defence. He followed that up with the Galahad victory.

Warrington turned professional in October 2009 and before winning a world championship he captured English, British, Commonwealth, European and WBC International titles.

Takoucht is on a eight fight winning streak and won the IBF International title to earn his place among the world’s top featherweights.

Southpaw Takoucht, 33, said: “When the call came to travel to Leeds and challenge Josh I said, ‘yes’ straight away. It’s a chance to beat the best featherweight in the world.

“He beat Lee Selby when nobody thought he could win and then a great fighter, Carl Frampton. It was close against Kid Galahad, but he found a way to win.

“I am sure he will look at me and think I am easier than his last three opponents, but I won’t let this opportunity go. Get ready for a shock.”

Besides the FIVE title fights, also boxing on the show will be Willy Hutchinson (9-0, 6KOs), Mark Heffron (23-1, 17KOs), Shakiel Thompson (4-0, 3KOs), Shabaz Masoud (5-0, 1KO), John Joyce, 1-0).

Exciting prospects, bantamweight Muhammad Ali and Henry Wharton trained York super-welterweight George Davey make their professional debuts.

Tickets for the October 12 show go on sale from 2pm today (Weds August 7) and are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and Firstdirectarena.com. Prices: £40, £50, £75, £100, £150, £200, £350 – Inner Ring Hospitality.

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Haney-Abdullaev in WBC Lightweight Final Eliminator – Sept 13th at MSG

Devin Haney can take a giant leap towards World title glory when he faces fellow unbeaten star Zaur Abdullaev in a final eliminator for the WBC World Lightweight title on Friday September 13 at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Haney (22-0 14 KO’s) made an electrifying debut with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN in May, destroying Antonio Moran with a KO of the year contender in the seventh round of their clash in Maryland. The 20 year old fights in the Big Apple for the first time in his career and the Las Vegas native, ranked #2 with the WBC, hits Manhattan for his biggest fight yet in association with DHP Promotions and Titov Boxing.

Abdullaev (11-0 7 KO’s) is ranked #3 with the WBC having landed the Silver Lightweight strap in just his ninth pro outing in April 2018, and the highly rated and dangerous Russian registered his 11th pro win and seventh inside the distance in February, stopping Humberto Martinez in Ekaterinburg, and now fights outside his homeland for the first time in his career.

The WBC crown will be in the hands of either Vasiliy Lomachenko or Luke Campbell MBE when the clash at The O2 in London on August 31, with Haney and Abdullaev keenly observing that clash from their training camps become locking horns on September 13.

“It always feels good when I get the official date,” said Haney. “I stay in the gym because I’m a dog and I love to fight. I want the world to see me rise to my competition. The better they are the better I am. I’m fighting an undefeated fighter at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

“New York fans are some of the most loyal fans in sports and I’m looking forward to really putting on a show for them. Abdullaev likes to apply pressure and I expect nothing less on September 13. I’ve seen him fight and he’s a hungry fighter, there’s no doubt he is my toughest opponent to date. This fight is one step away from a World title fight so we both have a lot on the line. 

“Abdullaev doesn’t have a big name, but he’s ranked #3 for a reason, and I’m not ducking him or anyone else that stands in my way. I’m blessed to have tremendous support from DAZN and Eddie Hearn. With this partnership I have an opportunity to fight the best in the world. I encourage everyone in NYC to buy their tickets or get the DAZN App and watch my growth into the next superstar in boxing. This fight is going to be lit!”

“I’m delighted that the fight is happening,” said Abdullaev. “I was panicking when I saw some posts from Haney on social media that nobody wants to fight him at 135lbs, and he might have to move up in weight. I kept biting my nails and really wanted to get engaged but been told to stay patient. Allah the gracious has delivered this fight and now its reality.

“I am a bit disappointed that the fight won’t be at Haney’s Las Vegas back yard as it would have been great to dethrone him in front of his home crowed, but New York is a great boxing city. I’m not silly and I do understand that I’m coming as an underdog but on September 13, I’m coming to crash the hype against all odds.”

WBA and IBF World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman leads a stacked undercard in a mouth-watering chief-support bout as he takes on lethal WBA mandatory challenger Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Roman (27-2-1 10 KOs) unified his WBA crown with the IBF strap of Irishman TJ Doheny in a fight of the year contender at home in Los Angeles in April, a fifth World title win on the bounce a fourth inside 14 months for the 29 year old.

Roman’s fifth defense of his WBA crown pits him against dangerous Uzbek talent Akhmadaliev (6-0 5 KOs) – the highly decorated amateur has looked fearsome in ending five of his six pro outings to date inside the distance, with the 25 year old’s last win coming on the same LA bill as Roman’s dust-up with Doheny. Roman vs. Akhmadaliev is brought to you in association with Thompson Boxing and World of Boxing.

“Anyone that knows me understands that I’m a real fighter,” said Roman. “I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me. Akhmadaliev is hungry, but so am I. It wasn’t that long ago [2017] when I challenged for the WBA title so we’re not going to give it up. I’m here to fight and defend the WBA belt once more. I have two belts [WBA and IBF], but I want more. My goal is to get all of them so by no means am I overlooking Akhmadaliev. He has that amateur pedigree, can punch with power and likes to come forward. The second you underestimate someone, that’s when bad things happen. I’ll be ready for whatever he brings.

“As a unified champion, I understand that I have a target on my back. That’s why I’ve been in the gym, staying sharp like I always do. There’s no time to relax and look back at what I’ve done because my work isn’t finished.”

“Danny is among the most committed and disciplined World champions out there,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He relishes challenges and at this point in his career, he only wants the toughest and biggest fights. Akhmadaliev is a young and dangerous opponent, but Danny has all the tools to continue his reign as the best talent in the division. We’re confident that he’ll deliver another excellent performance and retain his WBA title for the fifth time.

“I am very glad that Daniel Roman took this fight,” said Akhmadaliev. “I know that we are both warriors and this will be a real war! Don’t miss this fight!”

“We have been waiting for this fight for some time,” said Vadim Kornilov from World of Boxing. “I believe with the will, character, and power of both of these guys, this fight will be a fight of the year candidate.”

There’s more World title action on the bill as record-breaking seven-weight World champion Amanda Serrano challenges WBO World Featherweight champion Heather Hardy in an all-Brooklyn affair, brought to you by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Serrano (36-1-1 27 KOs) conquered her seventh weight class at the Hulu Theater in title in January when the Puerto Rican destroyed Eva Voraberger inside the opening round to claim the vacant WBO Super-Flyweight title.

Serrano held the WBO Featherweight strap in 2016 before vacating it then her sister Cindy picked it up later that year. Hardy (22-0 4 KOs) was next in line to win the vacant title in October in a rematch against Shelley Vincent in the Hulu Theater. Hardy put boxing on hold to return to MMA in June with an outing at Bellator 222 at Madison Square Garden but returns to boxing to go head-to-head with her fellow Brooklynite.

“We found out in February that as a super-champion Amanda could call out any champion in any weight division and she would be the next defense — and she chose me. I didn’t get this far in the boxing game to not know how it works, they’re hyping up a big fight between her and Katie Taylor and this is the second of Amanda’s three-fight deal.

“It will be my first time competing as an underdog even as the current world champion but I’m excited as hell. Everyone knows I have the balls for it. I grew up with a tough mamma, trust me – nobody scares me.”

“I’m very excited to be back in the ring and excited to be fighting Heather Hardy,” said Serrano. “Heather is 22-0 for a reason, she always finds a way to win. We’ve sparred in the past and I’ve never had an easy day with her.

“So many of the other champions vacated their belts to avoid fighting me but Heather is a true world champion who will not give up her belt.

“We know each other well and I’m honored to fight her for her World title. It’s nothing personal, just business for two girls from Brooklyn in the ring.”

“On Friday, September 13, seven-division world champion Amanda ‘The Real Deal’ Serrano will attempt to wrest the WBO Featherweight title from undefeated champion Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy in what promises to be an explosive matchup,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Neither Hardy nor Serrano have ever been in a bad fight, both Brooklynites have passionate fan bases and are tremendous ambassadors for women’s boxing. This is a must-win fight for both boxers and will steal the show.”

The Heavyweight landscape remains a hot one and there’s a great 50-50 clash on the card as Michael Hunter challenges Sergey Kuzmin for the WBA Intercontinental title. Hunter (17-1 12 KOs) holds the International strap with the WBA having KO’d Alexander Ustinov in Monte Carlo in November and defended that with a second round KO of Fabio Maldonado in Maryland in May. The 31 year old is rapidly rising in the rankings and can take a huge leap towards World title action with a win but faces a crunch challenge in the form of Kuzmin (15-0 11 KOs).

The unbeaten Russian puts the strap he won at Wembley Stadium in London in September against David Price and first saw off LaRon Mitchell and then Joey Dawejko in successful Stateside defenses. With Kuzmin ranked #5 and Hunter #8 with the WBA, the victor in New York will be knocking on the door for a title shot, raising the stakes in this pick’em match-up, in association with World of Boxing.

“I’m excited to be fighting Sergey,” said Hunter. “I know that this is not going to be an easy fight, but I am definitely up for the challenge and I want to show people that I am the best in the division.”

“I have worked very hard for this opportunity,” said Kuzmin. “I am here to win this fight and go after the World title. It doesn’t matter to me whether this fight is in the USA or in Russia, I am very confident in my victory. I know my opponent very well, he’s a good boxer, but only one of us is going to be victorious.”

“This is a fight between two top ten prospects, both hold regional titles,” said Vadim Kornilov of World of Boxing. “This fight will hopefully be an eliminator for the World championship mandatory.”

“This is a brilliant show and a big chance for Devin to take NYC by storm,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Abdullaev is a dangerous undefeated fighter but Devin is ready for all comers and wants to win this fight and then go straight into the Lomachenko vs. Campbell winner. It’s crazy to believe he is just 20 years of age – I think it’s fair to say he is the most exciting young fighter in the world right now.

“Roman vs. Akhmadaliev is an absolute war, Danny refused to vacate the belt and like a true champion will face a young fearless, hard hitting mandatory challenger who is taking a giant leap after just six fights.

“The Heavyweight division is red hot and Hunter v Kuzmin maybe one of the match ups of the year – do not blink on this one! We probably could have filled this venue with Serrano vs. Hardy alone, it’s an amazing fight for NYC with the winner set for a defining Katie Taylor fight next. Do not miss this show!”

“We are excited to kick off our busy fall line-up with the return of blue-chip prospect Devin Haney on DAZN,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America. “Matchroom has put together a stacked card for New York fight fans and those watching around the world on DAZN. We are preparing to close out our first year in boxing with a bang and it all starts September 13 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.”
An announcement on ticket prices and on-sale dates will be made later this week.

Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]

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