Conor Benn to battle Chris Algieri on December 11

Rising Welterweight star Conor Benn will face former World Champion Chris Algieri at the top of a huge night of boxing at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool on Saturday December 11, live worldwide on DAZN.

‘The Destroyer’ (19-0, 12 KOs) maintained his perfect record with a shutout points win over Mexico’s Adrian Granados on the Lara vs. Warrington 2 bill in September after he was given a deafening welcome by over 20,000 Leeds fans, and the Essex native is looking to end a huge year in style as he pushes towards more titles.

New York’s Algieri (25-3, 9 KOs), a former WBO Super-Lightweight World Champion, represents a big step-up in class for 25-year-old Benn having shared the ring with some of the biggest names in the sport including modern legend Manny Pacquiao, former unified Super-Lightweight ruler Amir Khan and unified Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr.

“To headline in a city like Liverpool you need to be in the ring against a world class operator,” said Benn. “Chris has done it all, a former World Champion and exactly the opponent I need to gain experience from.

“We expect Algieri to bring his best, but I want him deep in the trenches with me, I want to use this opportunity to display my skills and ability against a quality fighter to prepare me and take another step closer to a World Title. A former World Champ vs. a very, very hungry contender, I can’t wait for December 11.”

“This has a big fight feel to it and I’m thrilled to be back on this type of stage,” said Algieri. “The UK has brilliant fans and I’m looking forward to performing in front of those legendary crowds.

“December 11 with be a masterclass with me utilising my deep bag of skills and experience. Benn is hungry and tough but this is a huge step up in class for him. I’m coming to show that it’s not his time yet. I still got the goods and the world will see it once again come fight night.”

“Chris Algieri represents Conor Benn’s toughest test yet”, said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. ‘We believe Conor will be a superstar of the sport and we are incredibly excited to see him finish his breakout year in style, live and exclusive worldwide on DAZN.”

Full card details will be announced next week.

Joshua signs career-long promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing

Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua has signed a new career-long promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. 
 
The IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO ruler puts his crowns on the line against former Undisputed Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London this Saturday September 25.
 
‘AJ’ turned professional with Matchroom Boxing in October 2013 after memorably capturing gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Super-Heavyweight category and becoming an instant star in the UK. 
 
Quickly establishing himself as one of the most devastating punchers in the Heavyweight division with a series of brutal KO’s, Joshua picked up the vacant Commonwealth crown with another huge stoppage win over Gary Cornish in Greenwich. 
 
The O2 became a home fortress for Joshua and his next assignment came against old amateur foe Dillian Whyte in December 2015. The pair were involved in a heated build-up before AJ made it 15 KOs in a row against ‘The Body Snatcher’, claiming the prestigious British Title in the process. 
 
Joshua climbed the ranks until he was in a position to fight for his first World Title in April 2016 against IBF titleholder Charles Martin, who he quickly destroyed inside five minutes before making short work of American opponents Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina in his first two title defences.
 
Joshua’s breakthrough victory came when he produced the performance of a lifetime to claim the WBA Title against modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in an unforgettable battle in front of a post war record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
 
He went on to sell-out the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales twice, defending his belts against the tough Cameroonian Carlos Takam in October 2017 before unifying the division by taking Joseph Parker’s WBO belt in March 2018.
 
Joshua defended his World Titles with a devastating knockout of dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in September 2018 in what was the Olympic Champion’s fourth straight stadium fight in front of over 80,000 fans. 
 
In his quest for global domination, the British sensation signed to defend his World Titles against Brooklyn’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1 2019, but the Brooklyn native failed a series of drug tests leaving Joshua’s team searching for a replacement opponent for his big American debut.
 
Joshua’s quest to become the Undisputed Heavyweight king was temporarily halted in its tracks as late stand in opponent Andy Ruiz Jr floored him four times on route to a monumental seventh round stoppage win that shocked the world. 
 
After tasting defeat for the first time in his professional career, Joshua jumped into an immediate rematch with Ruiz Jr on neutral ground to reclaim his position at the number one Heavyweight on the planet. 

Ruiz and Joshua met again in a colossal ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in the historical town of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, with the Watford man putting on a brilliant display of boxing to widely outpoint the Mexican to become a two-time Heavyweight World Champion.
 
Joshua returned home to take on his IBF Mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena, Wembley a year later in December 2020 after their June meeting at the home of Tottenham Hotspur was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In the first fight attended by a British crowd since the global pandemic began, Joshua dominated and then floored Pulev to score a brutal ninth-round knockout. The Bulgarian was down on three occasions, twice in the final round, before ‘AJ’ ended the fight with a vicious right hand. 
 
“We’ve built some great foundations over the years and I appreciate Matchroom – the company, the team, the family business,” said Joshua. “That’s kind of what drew me towards you guys as well, the integrity that the Hearns have when it comes to boxing and business. 
 
“I’ve felt comfortable during my years as a boxer and I always felt that the business outside of sport is harder than the actual fighting due to the history and some of the problems that some fighters have had. So, to be with Matchroom Sport has been a blessing for myself, my family and my team. 
 
“Outside of that, what Matchroom Sport have done is created an environment for boxing fans. The shows that we have managed to put on have been phenomenal. When I walk out to fight, I look around and I’m like, ‘mate, this is unbelievable’. 
 
“From where we began, to the middle of the journey, the foundations we have created are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. In my humble opinion, what better place to be than Matchroom Boxing? I have heard that my signature was hot property. I’m happy where I am. A handshake is good enough for me, but the signature solidifies it and I’m happy where my signature is. 
 
“Thank you to Eddie Hearn, Barry Hearn and the family, Frank Smith and all of the Matchroom staff, as well as Freddie Cunningham and the team at 258MGT.”

Potvetkin-Whyte 2, other fights announced by Matchroom Boxing for the early part of 2021

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom announced details of their upcoming UK schedule on Friday following the British Boxing Board of Control’s confirmation earlier this week that Boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction will resume in the middle of February. All of the action will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories, with Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.
 
Matchroom’s 2021 schedule launches with a bang on Saturday February 13 as Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs) faces Mexico’s Mauricio Lara (21-2, 14 KOs) as he waits for a huge fight later in the year, Manchester Super-Featherweight contender Zelfa Barrett (24-1, 15 KOs) defends his IBF Intercontinental Title against Spain’s former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Kiko Martinez (41-9-2, 29 KOs) in the chief support bout, Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (23-2, 13 KOs) clashes with unbeaten Doncaster man Reece Mould (13-0, 6 KOs) for the vacant British Featherweight Title, fast-rising Sheffield Super-Lightweight talent Dalton Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) takes on Rotherham’s Lee Appleyard (16-5-1, 5 KOs) and Leeds Featherweight Hopey Price (3-0, 1 KO) looks to build on his win over Jonny Phillips at Fight Camp last summer. 
 
Russia’s European Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (26-3-1, 14 KOs) makes his long-awaited Title defence against Josh Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs) at the top of the bill the following week on Saturday February 20, undefeated Welterweights Florian Marku (7-0-1, 5 KOs) and Rylan Charlton (6-0-1, 3 KOs) meet in what promises to be an explosive ten-round battle, Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (13-1, 10 KOs) returns against Spain’s Jorge Fortea (21-2-1, 7 KOs) following his win over Adam Harper at Fight Camp, Amy Timlin (4-0-1) and Carly Skelly (3-0-1) rematch for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title after their split draw on the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora undercard last October and explosive Romford Heavyweight Johnny Fisher makes his highly anticipated professional debut. 
 
Alexander Povetkin’s (36-2-1, 25 KOs) blockbuster Heavyweight rematch with Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) lands on Saturday March 6, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland, with details of the chief support bout to be announced shortly, Bermondsey’s Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) meets Liverpool’s James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title, Ipswich Heavyweight talent Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) steps-up again against USA’s former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 19 KOs), Manchester Super-Featherweight Campbell Hatton – son of British fight legend Ricky Hatton – makes his professional debut and Wembley Super-Featherweight Youssef Khoumari ( 11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Birmingham’s Kane Baker (14-7).
 
Hackney Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) attempts to become Britain’s next World Champion in just his sixteenth fight when he clashes with Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO crown on Saturday March 20, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron (13-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of her WBC Super-Lightweight Word Title against Puerto Rico’s Melissa Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs), Bournemouth’s Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Chris Billam-Smith (11-1, 10 KOs) takes on Chelsea’s English Champion Deion Jumah (13-0, 7 KOs) for the vacant British Title, Somali-British prospect Ramla Ali (1-0) steps through the ropes for a second time as a pro and Birmingham’s former Team GB standout Solomon Dacres makes his professional debut. 
 
On Saturday April 10 rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Title against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) following his career-best performance last time out against Sebastian Formella. ‘The Destroyer’ dominated Germany’s Formella over ten rounds, impressively outfighting and outboxing the former IBO World Champion to remain undefeated in the red hot 147lbs division. Vargas has shared the ring with current WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr, two-weight World Champion Danny Garcia and former Unified Super-Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan.

Also on the card, Aldridge’s Rachel Ball (7-1) and Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) rematch with the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title on the line, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBO Middleweight World Title after her emphatic win over Hannah Rankin in October, Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Felix Cash (13-0, 9 KOs) fights for the first time since his win over Jason Welborn and Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) returns after his masterclass win over Angel Aviles. 

Andrade on 160-pound division: ‘Fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me’

Demetrius Andrade has signed a four-fight extension to his contract with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defends his WBO World Middleweight crown for the third time against Luke Keeler in Miami on January 30 live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

‘Boo Boo’ landed the vacant title in Boston in October 2018 with a win over teak-tough African Walter Kautondokwa and followed that win by stopping Artur Akavov in the final round of his first defense in New York in January 2019.

The Rhode Island ace went home for his second defense and thrilled his hometown fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence in June by putting Maciej Sulecki on the deck in the opening round en-route to a shut-out win over the Pole.

Irishman Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) travels to Miami in a bid to shock the world in his first World title fight, but Andrade wants to hold onto his title in style before attacking the big guns and fellow World rulers at 160-pound.

“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Andrade. “We have had a great 18 months and we’ve got plans to have an even bigger 2020 and 2021.

“I’ve matured in the ring as I’ve been more active and sometimes I think, if these guys had fought me before they might have had a better chance against me, but now they are giving me the time to sign with Eddie and DAZN, get active and fight four times, sharpen the tools and get the ring rust off. So, when it comes their time, it’s going to be hell for them!

“As long as I am building my legacy, performing the way I need to perform and people are loving my style and the things I am doing, I am not worried about anything else as the fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me.”

The two-weight World ruler was one of the first fighters to team up with promoter Eddie Hearn in July 2018 as he expanded the Matchroom Boxing empire to America with a billion-dollar deal with DAZN, and Hearn expects the Rhode Island ace to have a big year in 2020.

“I am thrilled to have signed an extension to Demetrius’ deal with Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Hearn. “Demetrius is one of the best 160-pound fighters in the world and now is the time to deliver him the fights against the other elite Middleweights in the division, live on DAZN.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Mikey Garcia: ‘I look forward to working with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN’

Mikey Garcia has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Former four-weight World king Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) will return to action on February 29, exclusively live on DAZN, as the California favorite looks to regain his World champion status and continue his glittering career at the elite level.

Garcia, who turned 32 today (December 15) will step back into the ring early in 2020 for the first time since moving up two-weights in March to face Welterweight ruler Errol Spence in a bid to win World honors at a fifth weight, and Garcia is on the hunt for more World title clashes and big name showdowns to add further scalps to a stellar resume that boasts wins over the likes of Adrien Broner, Roman Martinez and Orlando Salido – and Garcia believes that the best is yet to come.

“I am happy to announce my return to the ring for February 29,” said Garcia. “I am eager to make my return and grow my legacy. I look forward to working with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN, and I want to thank all my fans for the continued support. Fight details will be announced soon and I can’t wait to be back in the ring.”

“I’ve been talking to Mikey for over a year now and I’m so happy to welcome him to the team,” said Eddie Hearn. “Mikey is a standout star and I’m looking forward to working with him on big fights moving forward.

“He will return to the ring on February 29 and we will be announcing the opponent and venue shortly. The talent within Matchroom Boxing and on DAZN is unprecedented – we look forward to an epic 2020!”

“Mikey Garcia joining the DAZN roster will allow us to deliver even greater value to our subscribers as our Fight Season schedule begins to take shape for 2020,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America. “We’re a data-led business and so we’re naturally drawn to the fact that Mikey has consistently delivered numbers – whether it’s been television audience, pay-per-view buys or ticket sales. We look forward to welcoming his fans to DAZN on Leap Year Day.”

Andrade to Canelo: ‘Forget the WBC sh**; whatever that ‘Franchise’ belt is; let’s unify this division’

Demetrius Andrade produced a dominant performance in shutting out Maciej Sulecki to defend his WBO World Middleweight title for the second time against Maciej Sulecki at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Andrade boxed in his hometown of Providence for the first time and made an instant impact in front of a 7,136 crowd, putting Sulecki down inside the opening minute with a left hook, raising a raucous crowd to their feet.

The champion rained heavy artillery on to the challenger throughout while showing his full arsenal of skills, with his supremacy reflected in the scorecards as all three judges gave him the fight 120-107 and the 31 year old reiterated his desire to lock horns with Mexican ace Canelo Alvarez next.

“Providence, Rhode Island, that’s what I am talking about, baby,” said Andrade. “Sulecki was a great fighter. A top ten guy, he came after it all night and let me utilize my tools. I gave people another great 12 rounds of boxing. I used my jab. Sulecki is no pushover. He ain’t no Steve Rolls, ain’t no Rocky Fielding. So Canelo, where your cajones at? Let’s get it.

“Forget the WBC sh**; whatever that ‘Franchise’ belt is; Let’s go, Canelo. Let’s unify this division. Let’s have one champion. It’s right here. Let’s do it. No more running, no more games, let’s put it all on the line and see who is the best. Mano y Mano. Viva Mexico!

“I am the best out here. He stepped up to the plate. Sulecki was a tough guy. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. He came to fight though, and I did what I had to do, and that looks pretty. Tall, black, handsome. Alto, Moreno, guapo. Your boy. It’s me again. See you in September!

“No excuses in there. I kind of felt something going on with my body during training camp so I utilized what I can and did what I did. I looked good doing it. My legs were bothering me for a while after a few rounds. My dad told me to take it easy and told me to give them what they came here to see, and that’s the sweet science of boxing.

“If you want to say you’re a legend and you’re the top guy, then you need to come this way. There’s no other way. I don’t want to fight the bottom guys. Sulecki is a top 10 guy; there are no more. I keep beating them; I keep beating them, I just keep beating them. I didn’t look past Sulecki; I just knew I was going to beat him.”

Photo/courtesy: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Heavyweight Joseph Parker signs with Matchroom Boxing

Matchroom Boxing have signed a three-fight promotional deal with Heavyweight star Joseph Parker.

Parker will fight for the first time with Matchroom Boxing USA on June 29 in Providence, Rhode Island on the undercard of the Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Middleweight world title defense against Poland’s Maciej Sulecki, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Team Parker also announce today that David Higgins has been appointed to Joseph Parker’s management team.

The bout marks the beginning of the second phase of Parker’s career – and the start of the road to becoming the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.

“My six-year promotional contract with Duco Events ended on March 26,” said Parker. “It was a wonderfully successful partnership – so much so that David Higgins will always be part of my team, advocating in my best interests in a management capacity.

“Since my contract with Duco ended I have been a free agent, with my team and I spending several months assessing how to best achieve my goal of not only becoming a World Champion again, but unifying all of the belts to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.”

Parker said he and his management team conducted a robust process that included seeking offers from boxing’s most prominent promoters.

“Ultimately we decided that the best option was to partner with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. We believe the three-fight deal that we are announcing today will be the start of a long and successful partnership.”

Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn said he had no doubt Parker could once again become Heavyweight Champion of the world.

“If Joseph Parker performs the way we all know he can over these next three fights then he will have a strong case for some huge fights,” Hearn said. “Parker is a young man with a great mix of experience and ambition, and this is a really exciting signing for Matchroom.

“And, I must say, I am also looking forward to sparring again with my old mate David Higgins as we haggle over the terms of each deal for Joseph. David unquestionably has Joseph’s best interests at heart and he is a tough negotiator, so there are going to be some interesting discussions ahead.”

Higgins said: “This is absolutely the right decision for Joseph and Team Parker, which I have supported every step of the way. I’m pleased that I can now work with Joseph’s existing management team to help carefully guide the remainder of his career.”

Higgins confirmed the creation of a new company, Sports Advisory and Management Limited, with his business partner Rachael Carroll, a former international pole vaulter.

The company will manage and advise a stable of talented athletes, he said.

The fight will be streamed on DAZN in the US and available on Sky Sports UK. Negotiations are underway for live broadcast rights in New Zealand.

ENDS

Haney: ‘I’m ready to rule the sport’

Devin Haney is ready to step-up his goal of dominating the sport as he prepares to face Antonio Moran in his DAZN debut in the US at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Saturday May 25, also live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Haney (21-0 13 KOs) is straight into action at the top of the bill having penned a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA – and the unbeaten Lightweight sensation is planning to put on a devastating display to underline his World title credentials.

‘The Dream’ will have his hands full against Moran (24-3 17 KOs) who was edged out by former World ruler Jose Pedraza in June and returned to winning ways in December with a second round KO in Mexico – but Haney will not let his journey be derailed before he’s hit the heights he believes his talent can take him.

“There’s nothing to stop me from getting to number one, it’s just time,” said Haney. “Timing is everything and my time is going to come. I am only 20 years old, the other Lightweights out there better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster so the top guys need to fight me now.

“Boxing is something that I love so it doesn’t feel like a job to me, but the job is not done, I want to be a multi-weight champion and I want to rule the sport as a pound-for-pound star. When I am the face of boxing down the line, who knows what will happen, but right now those big goals are keeping me motivated.

“Getting the fights I want has been a challenge, a lot of guys have turned me down, saying there’s no point or not making enough money, so that’s been a real challenge. It’s me versus me, when I am in the gym I am so far ahead of a lot of guys that it’s me challenging myself, pushing myself, seeing how far I can go rather than seeing how far I can outrun another guy – how fast can I push myself?

“The landscape is very interesting right now. A World title is very important to me, over money and anything else, being World champion is the ultimate goal. To be a World ruler at 20 would be history, the youngest in the game. My ring IQ at my age is crazy, I’m able to adapt and adjust, I’ve been in there with so many great fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and I’m able to adjust.

“When I first met Eddie and the Matchroom Boxing team it felt like the perfect fit. Me and my team spoke with Eddie about what we wanted and we were able to make it fit. Eddie recognizes me as a promoter, they are willing to work with me and build my brand and company at the same time.

“A lot of other promoters didn’t recognize me as a promoter, they just wanted to give me money and buy me out. Matchroom Boxing see me as a top fighter that they want to get behind, I would be important elsewhere, but Eddie made it clear that they are going to push me and get behind me.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Devin Haney signs with Matchroom Boxing

Matchroom Boxing USA and Eddie Hearn are delighted to announce the signing of Lightweight star Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney.

Haney (21-0 13 KOs) has raced to the top of the Lightweight rankings and is on the cusp of fighting for his first World title ahead of turning 21 in November.

‘The Dream’ has rattled off 21 wins since turning pro in Mexico in 2015 at 16 years of age following a stellar amateur career that saw him crowned junior amateur champion seven times and plunder 130 wins.

The Las Vegas-based talent now sits at number three in the WBC rankings where the Lightweight title is now vacant, five in the WBA, eight in the WBO and ten in the IBF – and Haney will look to make a big statement on his debut with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN when he takes on Antonio Moran (24-3 17 KOs) at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on May 25.

“I’m excited about my multi-million dollar partnership with Matchroom Boxing.  All this hard work is finally paying off. This is a huge chapter in my career. I have a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, Eddie Hearn is the perfect guy for me to go in business with.

“While Matchroom will provide the infrastructure, together we will select the best opponents to showcase my talents in the sexiest cities in the world.  I’m the future of the sport, and without a doubt in my mind… I’m going to continue to set the boxing world on fire.  Matchroom and DAZN now have another superstar… ME!”

“Antonio Moran is a tough fighter with a lot of experience.  He has been in the ring with good opposition.  He fought Jose Pedraza to a decision last year, so I know he comes to fight.  I expect nothing less from him on May 25.  I’ve been in the gym working hard.  Everyone knows that I stay ready and May 25 can’t come soon enough.  On fight night the world will see I’m ready for anyone.”

“Devin Haney is a superstar – no two ways about it,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “At just 20 years old he has already racked up 21 victories, untouched as a pro and has become one of the most talked about fighters in America.

“The big fights are right in front of him, he is ready for anyone and we look forward to a wonderful partnership together. DAZN has another exceptional talent on their platform and we look forward to his Matchroom and DAZN debut on the huge Usyk vs. Takam card May 25 at MGM National Harbor.”

Haney’s clash with Moran is part of a huge night of action in Maryland as Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk moves up to Heavyweight after dominating the Cruiserweight division, and takes on former World title challenger Carlos Takam.  In addition, rising Heavyweight Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic takes on Gregory Corbin in his US debut, and WBA World Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill looks to unify the division against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez.

Murat Gassiev signs with Matchroom Boxing, moves to heavyweight

Murat Gassiev has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, Ural Boxing Promotion and Warriors Boxing – and will move up to Heavyweight in June as he prepares to fight on DAZN.

The 25 year old is moving up from Cruiserweight where he landed the IBF World title in June 2016 after beating Denis Lebedev in Moscow, defending it with a third round KO of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in New Jersey in December 2017 in the quarter-final of the World Boxing Super Series and then adding the WBA crown with a dramatic final round stoppage of Yunier Dorticos in February 2018.

That victory led Gassiev to a final with Usyk in a grand unification battle in Moscow which the Ukrainian won over the distance, and Gassiev has mirrored moves made by his last opponent, Oleksandr Usyk, in teaming up promotionally with Matchroom Boxing USA and with streaming giant DAZN as his US broadcast platform.

“I am very happy to announce the beginning of cooperation between my promoters, URAL and Warriors with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN,” said Gassiev. “I am confident that this cooperation will bring great results. I want to make all my fans around the world happy and realize my full potential in the exciting Heavyweight division.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Murat to the team,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Having unified the division at Cruiserweight, I feel Murat is a very exciting addition to the Heavyweight division and what a fantastic time to join it. We have lots of fights ready made for him and I can’t wait to see him fighting at Heavyweight very soon.”