Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev Los Angeles press conference quotes

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 18, 2019): Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico and Russian warrior Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) hosted a press conference today at Union Station in Los Angeles, Calif. to formally announce their 12-round fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title. The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live on DAZN.


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Below is what today’s participants had to say at the presser.

CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion:

“I’m very grateful to all the fans as always. I’m very motivated here, it’s an honor for me to share the ring with a fighter like Kovalev who I met in 2012. Now we’re about to make history. I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my professional career. I will give the best I have in the ring and that day we can yell “Viva Mexico.”

SERGEY KOVALEV, Current WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion and Three-Time Light Heavyweight World Champion:

“I’m very happy to be here back in Los Angeles. Thanks to God and thanks to Canelo and his team for making this opportunity to get this fight. I think this is a big test for me in my boxing career because this is one of the best fighters in the world in boxing right now. I’m happy and I am excited. Thank you very much for the support.”

EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:

“Thank you to Golden Boy and DAZN – this was a very difficult fight to make happen but the fight is now here. Only the big fighters and those that leave a footprint become these type of fighters. We know Kovalev well and we know the challenge that we are facing. He’s a great fighter that leaves everything in the ring and in one punch, he could end the fight. And we know it’s going to be a great challenge. We want Saul to be a champion in four weight classes,.”

JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:

“I’m nostalgic and cannot help but remember the beginnings of all this. To look back and see everything-all the victories that Saul has given myself and my son, and the future victories, makes me happy. The Reynosos have been with Saul for over 15 years-ever since he was a child. We trust that he will gain victory here.”

BUDDY MCGIRT, Trainer of Sergey Kovalev:

“Both these guys are true champions. Canelo, I’ve always admired you. Your trainers did a great job with you. I gotta admit that. I really take my hat off to you for having the balls for taking a step up and not having a catch weight and stepping up to the challenge. Sergey, I
love you to death, I respect you for accepting the challenge. In all honestly, the only losers on November 2 are the people who don’t want the fight or come to the fight.”

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/ Golden Boy

EGIS KLIMAS, Manager of Sergey Kovalev:

“I don’t think this fight needs to be introduced. When you hear the names Canelo Alvarez, Krusher Kovalev, it says all that’s going to happen on November 2. I don’t need to talk about Sergey – everybody knows who he is in boxing, and regarding Canelo, they know what they mean when they say – grandes kajones.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy:

“Canelo hopes to become the fourth Mexican to win a world title in four divisions, with the only other ones being Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Arce. One big difference is that Canelo is at a higher weight class. And this opens the possibility for many more matchups, and bigger opponents with strong punching and star power. When talking with Canelo about his career goals, he said he wanted to make history, and fight the best. This is why we had to be very strategic and thoughtful in planning out his next fight and while it may have taken a bit longer than we wanted, we know that it was worth the wait. Canelo has been preparing for this moment and we know that on Nov. 2 he’ll write a new chapter in boxing history by becoming the second Mexican ever to win a world title in the 175-pound division (Light Heavyweight). Together with DAZN, we’re committed to making boxing more accessible and affordable by giving fans the best fights – without the price tag of pay-per-view. Historic fights are a hallmark of this company and Golden Boy continues to deliver the biggest fights of the year. November 2 will be no exception, and we expect a great performance by our champion, Canelo Alvarez, as he becomes the new WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion.”

“I’m happy to announce that with a major bout like this one, the fans deserve the best undercard possible. Our next big major star in the making, Ryan Garcia, will be fighting in Las Vegas. He’s fighting Duno-it’s a fight the fans wanted and it’s going to be a tough fight.”

BERNARD HOPKINS, Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Business Partner:

“I know a little bit about history. And for Canelo to take a big leap from 160 to 175, to dare to be great, to make history, anyone that’s not educated in boxing history, wouldn’t know what I’m talking about right now. But just in case you want to learn because it’s never too late, it’s very historic to be in the position of Canelo. And to bite off challenges and challenge himself and dare to be great to make history. As Oscar said, not only Mexican history, but also boxing history. There’s very few fighters who have accomplished 160 to 175 and been successful. As you know, you’re standing and hearing from one right now. I have a personal feeling about making history because I’ve been there and done that and now it’s Canelo’s time. I understand what it’s like to be in there with the Krusher. He earned that and I respect that and I respect that to this day. Enjoy this historic fight and watch Canelo Alvarez – who I call the Evil Knievel in boxing – who’s taken on the best so far and is now taking on the best at light heavyweight.”

KATHY DUVA, CEO of Main Events:

“I want to give special thanks to Sergey Kovalev and Canelo Alvarez – as a lifelong boxing fan, not just as a promoter. Unfortunately, sometime around the turn of the last century, boxing began to lose its way. Instead of building a legacy, avoiding unnecessary risk became the goal and to this day, some fighters are praised for it. Competitions suffer because of that. When we first met, Sergey was so adamant that he wanted to test his skills against the very best. He wanted to find out how good he really was. Canelo, you may have bit off more than you can chew, but that’s okay. Great fighters are not afraid to challenge themselves. And win or lose, history will reward you for taking a risk. Congratulations Ryan, you will not be the only spectacular young fighter on the card that night, because also sharing that ring is another intelligent, well-spoken, absolutely fantastic young fighter – his name is Evan Holyfield. And he is the son of the great
Evander Holyfield. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to work with Evander’s son after all these years. You’re all going to see him and meet him, and I think you will all be thrilled.”

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/ Golden Boy

RYAN GARCIA, Lightweight Contender:

“I want to thank the fans for coming out because it’s a weekday, you guys didn’t need to come here. Thank you guys for coming. I’m excited. The co-main event on the biggest card of the year. I’m so honored. It’s a big night. I get to fight the guy I wanted to fight most, Romero Duno. They all said I was scared and I was worried about him and now I have the chance to get my respect and show everyone I’m a real fighter. Everybody stay tuned. It’s going to be a big fight. Thank you to everybody for believing in me and thank you to Golden Boy for getting the job done. Let’s make history.”

JOSEPH MARKOWSKI, Executive Vice President, DAZN North America:

“In one year’s time, I believe we’ve managed to assemble the best schedule in the history of boxing. Let’s just look where we are: Canelo vs. Kovalev – boxing’s biggest star jumping up two weight classes; Ruiz vs. Joshua II – the rematch of the biggest heavyweight upset in
some year; KSI vs. Logan Paul, bringing millions of new fans to the sport of boxing; GGG, back in title contention from MSG; the list goes on for DAZN. To our subscribers, you’re in for a tremendous end to 2019 and tremendous year to come.”

Canelo vs. Kovalev is a 12-round fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title presented by Golden Boy, Main Events and Krusher Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and Brand-New Grapefruit Crush, Knockout Flavor. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.



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Canelo Alvarez sees fight vs. Sergey Kovalev as his chance to match Mexican legends

There wasn’t the usual trash talking between opponents. There wasn’t any bravado or overconfidence from either side of the podium.

Instead, there was a mutual respect between one of boxing’s brightest stars in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and one of its most consistent in Sergey Kovalev. Make no mistake, though: Alvarez was on that stage with a clear goal in mind, one that would put him in rare company.

After moving up from the 160-pound weight class to 175, Alvarez has a chance to become just the fourth Mexican boxer to hold titles in four different weight classes, should he defeat Kovalev and take the WBO light heavyweight title from the 36-year-old Russian.

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Alvarez said he had the chance to meet Kovalev in 2012, when Kovalev was needing just four to six rounds in the ring before knocking out his opponents, “and now we’re about to share the ring and make history here.”

“I’m very motivated here,” Alvarez said Wednesday through an interpreter at a press conference to promote his fight vs. Kovalev on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas. “I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my profession. I’m aware it’s going to be a really difficult fight. And that day I’m going to put all my strength and effort into the ring, and that day we can yell, ‘Viva Mexico!’”

– – #CaneloKovalev

— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) September 19, 2019

Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Juan Manuel Marquez are the only Mexican fighters to have pulled off the feat Alvarez is hoping to accomplish. Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, also held titles in four different weight classes.

MORE: Ryan Garcia-Romero Duno to be co-main event on Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev card

To this point, the 29-year-old Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) has held the unified WBA, WBC, Ring magazine and lineal middleweight titles since 2018, the WBA super middleweight title since 2018 and the IBF middleweight title between May and August 2018. His lone loss came against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The fight will pit one of the most exciting body punchers in Alvarez against the heavy-handed Kovalev. Nicknamed “The Krusher,” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) has fought at 175 pounds his entire career while Alvarez will be making his professional debut at the weight class. Alvarez, meanwhile, has claimed major world titles at 154, 160 and 168 pounds in the past.

“This is a really big test for me in my boxing career. This is one of the best fighters in the world right now,” Kovalev said.

Story by Edward Sutelan



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Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev official for November 2 in Las Vegas

The worst kept secret in boxing is out.

Sergey Kovalev will defend his WBO light heavyweight title against middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Nov. 2.

Alvarez, The Ring and WBA titleholder at 160 pounds, made the announcement via his official Instagram account:

“I’m happy to announce I’ll be moving up 2 categories to face one of the most powerful adversaries in this division. November 2nd at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas will be one of the biggest challenges in my career. Let’s make history together and become 4x World Champion.”

If successful, Alvarez will take a major swipe at history. Sugar Ray Robinson came close to accomplishing the feat in 1952, but searing heat, combined with a larger opponent, got the better of the pound-for-pound legend.

“The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned, and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing,” said Alvarez in a press release. “That’s also why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years. Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”

The only Mexican to ever claim a light heavyweight title is the late Julio Gonzalez, who defeated Dariusz Michalczewski in October 2003 for the very belt that will be on the line in Las Vegas.

Kovalev, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at 175 pounds, is coming off an 11th-round stoppage of mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde last month. The hard-hitting Russian, who has competed in the light heavyweight division since turning professional a decade ago, will be taking part in his 17th world title bout.

“In order to be the best you have to beat the best,” Kovalev said. “I have always tried to fight the toughest opponents in my division, but many have ducked me throughout my career. Canelo wanted to fight me; to step up to higher weight and challenge for my belt. I will be ready on November 2nd. Thank you, Main Events, Kathy Duva, Egis Klimas, DAZN and Canelo for making this fight happen.”


Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing



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Anthony Joshua’s trainer admits he knew heavyweight was concussed in Andy Ruiz Jr. fight

Anthony Joshua’s trainer, Rob McCracken, says he knew the former heavyweight champion was concussed during his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June.

“I know him better than all these experts who virtually don’t know him or have met him once or twice so I knew he was concussed and I’m trying to get him through a few more rounds, one round at a time, and see where he’s at,” McCracken told the BBC. “‘Can he recover? Can he get back into this?’

MORE: Watch Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 plus more than 100 fight nights a year on DAZN​

“But he was glazy-eyed from when he got caught with that initial shot in Round 3 and he carried that with him up until the end. It’s a nightmare situation, pro boxing is deadly and you’re in the corner with a heavyweight not responding as he should.”

After being knocked down in the third round, Joshua could be heard on the DAZN broadcast saying, “What round is it?” and “Why am I feeling like this?”

Joshua was ultimately stopped by Ruiz in the seventh round via TKO, losing the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the process.

Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog in the fight and became the first Mexican heavyweight champion in what has come to be known as one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

To add to an already tough situation, Joshua was also reportedly knocked out leading up to the fight with Ruiz, according to multiple reports.

He very well could have already been dealing with concussion-like symptoms even before he stepped in the ring with Ruiz which would further call into question everything surrounding this fight.

It is unclear what kind of ramifications this could have for McCracken, if any.

Joshua is set to face Ruiz in a rematch Dec. 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Story by Thomas Lott



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Press Release: Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor press conference quotes

Eddie Hearn:

Good afternoon everyone, thank you for being here today for a very special press conference ahead of our huge show on October 26 at The O2 Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN.

What a card, what a main event and what a group of fighters we have here today. The Unification match up, the Ali Trophy, The World Boxing Super Series Final between Regis Prograis the WBC Diamond, WBA World Champion and Josh Taylor the IBF World 140lb champion. It’s an absolutely brilliant fight, I was lucky enough to be there in Glasgow when Josh Taylor won the World title against Baranchyk in the Semi-Finals and I am delighted to be working alongside Kalle Sauerland and the WBSS to bring this to Sky Sports Box Office on a huge card.

You have only got to look at the names, I feel a bit bad that these guys are on a bottom table if there was such a thing. Three-weight World Champion Rick Burns, former World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby, Conor Benn, Yves Ngabu, Lawrence Okolie brilliant European Cruiserweight match-up as well and of course Derek Chisora against Joseph Parker. The two came head-to-head in Los Angeles last week, we’ll be bringing you exclusive content of that. Parker is now in camp, he’s underway.

Kalle Sauerland:

It’s great to be in London, it’s great to be putting this fantastic Ali Trophy final on and we have to thank Matchroom and Sky Sports Box Office for providing this great platform at The O2 in London. The atmosphere there is incredible and is fitting for this super final. This is it, the Champions League of boxing, the Super-Lightweight final. As a fan this is my peak, this is the one that when we set it out this was the golden final. The ticket to the Ali Trophy and it is a dream to have both guys, two undefeated and very young fighters with huge personalities. Two fighters who will come forward, both slick in different ways and both amazing to work with. It’s not often you see the best going against the best, this is one of the fights of the year and is an amazing card from top to bottom.


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Lawrence Okolie:

I’m happy to be here, shoutout to Josh Taylor. This is going to be the third Champion I have boxed. I have beaten the British Champion, beaten the Commonwealth Champion and I am looking forward to beating the European Champion next. I’ve seen a lot of interviews with him and I like the way he speaks, he speaks very confidently. I’m just looking forward to going through training camp and then going to work.

It is going to be a very exciting fight, he has got a style which is opposite to mine. He is a come-forward fighter who also knows how to box with good counter-punching. There is going to be a lot of things to deal with on the night but I will deal with them all comfortably and go on from there. The most important thing is to make weight in seven weeks and we can go from there.

Lee Selby:

The O2 has been great to me and I have boxed there more than any other venue. I won the Lonsdale belt there, won and defended my World title and now I am back there on October 26. I’ve got a tough opponent in front of me, Ricky Burns is a former three-weight World Champion and to be a World Champion and defend it once you have got to be a great fighter, to do it twice you have got to be brilliant and to do it at three different weights, you’re elite. I have got the upmost respect for Ricky Burns and we shared the ring back in 2014. He got me in for sparring in preparation for his fight with Crawford and from what I can remember it was great sparring, up and down. After each session, everyone in the gym would give us a standing ovation so if the sparring is anything to go by then we are in for a treat.

A few years back when I was British Champion making Featherweight was a real struggle and I remember you asking me Eddie, “how do you make the weight?”. The sacrifices and some of the stuff I had to do to make the weight you wouldn’t believe. Losing the World title was very upsetting but it was a weight lifted off my shoulders, I can fight at a more comfortable weight and I’m in the gym and feeling good.

Photo by Mark Robinson

Ricky Burns:

I’ve finally got a fight over the line, it has been a frustrating year for myself. We have had a couple of fights being spoke about but they fell through. My last fight was in November last year but we have pulled it out the bag with this one. I know that I am in for a tough fight, as Lee said, we sparred before and he came up to help me when I was boxing Crawford and I can always remember when we were sparring I said to him he “you’re so big for a Featherweight, how do you do it?”. It was competitive sparring and like I said, on the night the best man will win. I just feel like I am going out there to do a job, training has been going well so far and I can’t wait for October 26.

David Haye:

We know what Parker brings to the table, he is well established. More importantly he holds that all important win over Andy Ruiz Jr who is arguably the number one Heavyweight on the planet after the crazy stoppage victory he got over AJ in New York which I was ringside for. For me, Derek getting that win against Parker means more than just a win. It really catapults him up there to the top players in the division and he has shown time and time again that he can come again. Last time out against Artur Szpilka his training camp hadn’t gone well, sparring was a struggle but he managed to get it together in the last two sparring sessions. Fortunately the universe works in strange ways and I was in the Hayemaker gym round the corner today watching Derek Sparring for the first time since that fight in his first real war sparring and he is back. He is in a better place now seven weeks out than he was on fight night last time out. The fact he hasn’t had long out the gym and is back working hard means he is a great spot and he is going to build on what we brought to Artur Szpilka at the O2, an arena where he has a great history. Parker is in shape and is going to come to win this fight and I think it is going to be an absolute barnstormer.

Dave Coldwell will no longer be training Derek Chisora because of a logistical issue in the sense that Dave couldn’t come down to London and Derek wasn’t able to get up to Dave. We will make an announcement in the coming weeks who will be in the corner but if sparring is anything to go by you are in for an absolute treat and Joseph Parker would never have had the heat that is going to be brought to him on October 26.

Derek Chisora:

I’m bringing war, I’m not playing. This is my show. Boxing is thriving because of the Heavyweights. Mike Tyson said it when AJ knocked out Klitschko, the money is back in the division. I want more money if I’m not headlining the show!

Josh Taylor:

I’m really looking forward to fighting for the first time in London, headlining at The O2 and I am so excited for it, I can’t wait.

I am fully confident going in to this fight. I am bigger than him, stronger, quicker and punch just as hard – I can beat him in every department. If he comes and tries to walk me down then I believe that he will walk onto a shot and I will get him out of there, if not I can outbox him for the full 12 rounds. I am fully confident I can win this fight either way It goes so I am happy and excited to be here. I have always wanted to box on a big show in London and I’ve been to watch shows here in the past. I am so excited to be headlining and to be a part of a great night.

I believe myself and Regis are one and two in the division – we’re the two guys to beat. We will prove this on October 26 and I feel like this is my time to shine. I can’t see him beating me at all and I am super confident. However it goes you will see a Josh Taylor win, I can’t see anything other than a win for myself.

Photo by Mark Robinson

Regis Prograis:

I am so glad to be here and I am so excited for October 26. It has been a dream for me for a long time to come and fight in London, the fans over here are some of the best in the world. For me, there is no animosity towards anybody and most fighters don’t get this chance in a lifetime. You have got four things on the line, my title, his title, the Ali Trophy and the Ring Magazine belt. I had a late start but a lot of fighters have been fighting for 20 or 30 years and never have got this opportunity. For me to be here is the opportunity of a life-time and this is about personal legacy right now.

To be getting this chance in London, at The O2 – I can’t wait! This is number one and number two, two undefeated fighters in their prime, both champions – sometimes you have two champions but they’re not number one and number two but this time it’s two prime undefeated guys. This is a huge show and I am so excited to be a part of it. Everybody that I have fought was supposed to be an even, 50-50 fight but I dominated. He is taller and longer than me but the tale of the tape doesn’t matter to me. You can’t determine my hook by the tale of the tape or my boxing IQ. I don’t just want to repeat what he said but I really cannot see how he can beat me. I am not being cocky or arrogant but I just can’t see it. He’s been hurt in his last fight and he was dropped too. The past is the past and this is going to be me and him and I think he will bring his A game like I will – this is going to be one hell of a fight.

I am not going to predict what round I will win I am just going to go out there and do my thing. Just like I always say, I go out there and I have fun and I do my thing. If I hurt him or knock him out I don’t know but so far I have been dominating and that’s what I plan to do on October 26.



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Jaime Munguia: ‘Patrick Allotey is a good fighter, that’s why he’s challenging me for the title’

Hard-hitting Jaime Munguia will defend his WBO junior middleweight title against Patrick Allotey at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on Saturday.

The 12-round bout plus undercard action will be broadcast on DAZN from 9:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

Munguia, who is ranked No. 4 by The Ring at 154 pounds, expects a tough challenge from Allotey but it’s one that he’s looking forward to.

“He’s a good fighter, that’s why he’s challenging me for the title,” Munguia (33-0, 26 knockouts) told The Ring through Noe Alvarez from the Alto Boxing Club in Tijuana.

“He seems physically strong and has good boxing skills and combinations. I see him trying to exchange, so I will be ready for an opportunity.”

The 22-year-old Munguia, who hails from the border town of Tijuana, is excited at the prospect of fighting on Mexican Independence Day.

“It means a lot to me and I feel honored to have this opportunity,” Munguia said. “That motivation has made me train hard and smart so that I can give my fans a great performance.”


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Allotey (40-3, 30 KOs) turned professional in 2006. He won his first 30 pro fights before being derailed by Charles Manyuchi (TKO 8) and Patrick Teixeira (TKO 2). The 28-year-old bounced back with four wins before suffering another setback to Kanat Islam (UD 12). Since then, Allotey has won six fights in his native Ghana to earn a lofty ranking with the WBO.

Former two-weight titleholder Jessie Vargas had been linked to a fight against Munguia, but the deal fell through and Allotey got the nod.

Although fans were irked not to see the young star face an older respected rival, Munguia doesn’t appear to have Vargas in his sights.

“Not at all,” he said. “I’m not interested in that fight at all.

“I thought I was going to fight him, then it was Allotey. I am focused on him now. I don’t control who I fight, that is up to my team.”

Last time out, Munguia was disappointing in a 12-round majority decision win over Dennis Hogan. In the aftermath, his brain trust replaced trainer Robert Alcazar with legendary four-weight world titleholder Erik Morales. Munguia hopes this team switch will allow him to return to his best.

“I learned and gained a lot of experience facing Hogan,” Munguia admitted. “For this fight I have been preparing with Erik Morales, along with Fernando Fernandez, and I’m continuing to learn and grow as fighter. More angles, more defense, along with qualities I’ve always had. I want to put on a great performance.”


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright



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Press Release: Aleksandr Usyk to make heavyweight debut against Tyrone Sprong on October 12

Aleksandr Usyk celebrates winning the WBSS cruiserweight final. (Photo by Valery Sharifulin - Getty Images)

Aleksandr Usyk will face Tyrone Spong on his Heavyweight debut at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on October 12, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Usyk (16-0 12 KOs) joins the big guns having dominated the Cruiserweight division, leaving the 200lbs scene as the undisputed champion after knocking out Tony Bellew in Manchester in November, his first fight in a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA.

That win for the Ukrainian 2012 Olympic king was a remarkable fourth in a row in hostile territory having won the first Cruiserweight installment of the World Boxing Super Series by beating Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis and Murat Gassiev in their backyards, unifying the division in two of those fights to lead to his clinical win in England.

Now the pound-for-pound master will look to translate his incredible success into glory at the Heavyweight division, but faces a stiff examination of those goals in the form of Spong (14-0 13 KOs).


The 33 year old Florida-based contender can make a huge statement in the Windy City and risks his #4 rating with the WBO to take on Usyk. The Surinamese-Dutchman was taken the distance for the first time in Suriname where he successfully defended his WBO and WBC Latino titles against Ytalo Perea in December, and comes into the bout on the back of a 13th KO win from 14 fights with a second round victory in Mexico on Saturday.

Spong joined the sweet science after leaving a stellar kickboxing career behind, winning 91 of his 100 bouts in a 13-year career littered with accolades and titles before officially retiring from kickboxing in April 2016 after his last bout in December 2014, turning pro in the boxing ring in March 2015.

Usyk’s status as the former long-reigning WBO king means he is the mandatory challenger for that title that Andy Ruiz Jr sensationally ripped from Anthony Joshua in New York in December along with the IBF and WBA straps, so the stakes are high for both Usyk and Spong ahead of the Ruiz Jr-Joshua rematch in December.

“I am very excited to make my Heavyweight debut in Chicago on October 12, live on DAZN,” said Usyk. “Spong is a fast and powerful Heavyweight who has had much success in the ring. I must come through this test to challenge for the World Heavyweight title I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

“After achieving most of my goals as a kick boxer and becoming one of the most decorated champions in the history of the sport, I wanted to test myself in the difficult and challenging sport of boxing. I have worked tirelessly during the last three years and now have the opportunity to prove my worth as a boxer against perhaps the best pound for pound, and most technically sound boxer in the World. Some may think the challenge may be too difficult, but I believe in myself, and look forward to being victorious on October 12.”

“Usyk’s Heavyweight debut is one of the most hotly anticipated boxing moments of 2019 and personally, I can’t wait to see it,” said Hearn. “Oleksandr is a phenomenon who dominated the Cruiserweight division becoming undisputed after just 15 fights. Now, as he prepares to challenge for the World Heavyweight title, he must first overcome Tyrone Spong in Chicago. Spong will be explosive and dangerous and we expect an electric heavyweight battle at the Wintrust Arena, live on DAZN.”

Tickets are on sale now for Usyk vs. Spong, with a stacked undercard to be released imminently. Tickets start at just $40 plus booking fees at:



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The post Press Release: Aleksandr Usyk to make heavyweight debut against Tyrone Sprong on October 12 appeared first on The Ring.