Love can’t wait to headline show in Cleveland

Montana Love fulfills a dream on Saturday night – headlining for the first time in his hometown of Cleveland as he faces Steve Spark for the WBA Intercontinental Super-Lightweight title at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday night (November 12)(DAZN).

Love (18-0-1 9 KOs) tops the bill in the sports mad Ohio city and on his second appearance at the home of NBA giants, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Love meets Australian Spark (15-2 14 KOs) in a pivotal clash in the 140lb division, with ranking positions and World title shots at the front of the hometown man’s mind.

“The city is showing me love and getting behind me,” said Love. “It’s a proud city and we look after each other and back. It’s a dream come true, being able to headline in the biggest arena in my home. Cleveland means everything to me. We don’t have much, but we stick together and get the job done.

“The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is an electric place, we’ve had a lot of great athletes come through the city in that building, and now I am one of them. I am living my dream, I went through the trials and tribulations to get here, and what I had to deal with is a big part of what makes me hungry now.

“I promised my mother that I would take this 100 per cent seriously. The last thing she remembers of me is going to prison and being in and out of jail, so now I am trying to right my wrongs.

“I feel like I am made for this moment. I am coming off being co-main on a Canelo card; fighting in front of a packed house in Las Vegas and I’ve fought at home in front of a big crowd before, so there’s no pressure, I’m going to embrace it.

“Steve is a tough guy; he’ll bring the fight and it’ll make for a real spectacle. I want to win this in spectacular fashion, go for the KO – but we just want to look beautiful and put on a great show.”

Love and Spark clash on a stacked card in Cleveland, with the co-main bout featuring a Matchroom debut for Richardson Hitchins also at Super-Lightweight, where the Brooklyn talent faces Yomar Alamo for the IBF North American title.

Raymond Ford continues to catch the eye in his rise in the Featherweight division and defends his WBA Continental Americas title against Sakaria Lukas and Christian Tapia takes on Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice for the WBA Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title.

Love’s older brother and Olympian Raynell Williams continues his return to boxing against fellow Ohioan Ryizeemmion Ford, Khalil Coe faces unbeaten Bradley Olmeda, Nikoloz Sekhniashvili meets Ohio’s David Rodriguez and Brazilian Olympic silver medalist and former amateur World champion Beatriz Ferreira steps through the ropes for the first time in the paid ranks against fellow Brazilian Taynna Cardoso.

Ford: ‘I feel I am the best prospect in all of boxing’

Raymond Ford believes he’s the best prospect in boxing, and he wants to underline that with another stand-out performance as he steps up against Aaron Perez over eight rounds at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN.

Ford (8-0 4 KOs) had a great finish to 2020 with impressive stoppage wins in Florida and San Antonio adding to the buzz around the Camden, NJ talent, and now in his second eight round fight, he takes on the unbeaten Perez (10-0 6 KOs).

Ford has ambitious plans for the rest of 2021 if he can see off the challenge of the 23 year old from New Mexico, and the 21 year old is in no doubt that he is the rising star that everyone should be watching.

“I feel I am the best prospect in all of boxing, not just at Matchroom, I’m talking everywhere,” said Ford. “I feel like I could be a contender by the end of the year, but I want to fight five more times after this fight and then going into 2022 I want to challenge myself and get a shot at the World title.

“This is what I have been waiting for, it’s time to show who I really am. I don’t want to be just beating guys that I am supposed to beat, he’s a young, unbeaten prospect, the same as me, and I feel that this is the perfect start to show who I am.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the pros, whether I would be moving fast or moving slow, I was just going along with it. I’ve recently been looking to make the decisions to move fast a few fights ago.

“Even with COVID I fought three times last year and the first card wasn’t until August, so Eddie Hearn is moving me along great, and they are starting to test me now. I wasn’t supposed to be back until April so being back in March is great for me.”

Ford faces Perez on a huge night of action in Dallas, with a mouth-watering triple-header of World title action at the top of the bill.

Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3 28 KOs) and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-2 41 KOs) meet in a mouthwatering rematch that’s over eight years in the making, with the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Flyweight titles on the line.

There’s another case of repeat or revenge as Jessica McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) defends the undisputed World Welterweight title against Cecilia Brækhus (36-1 9 KOs) and there’s a Matchroom debut on the card for Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0 9 KOs) as he defends his WBA and Ring Magazine World Light-Flyweight titles against Axel Vega (14-3-1 8 KOs), and it’s a huge night for a clutch of rising talents on the bill.

Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (7-0 6 KOs) is looking to build on his own stellar 2020 performances where he won all three of his fights via stoppage in Miami, Mexico City and Dallas, and ‘Ammo’ will look to continue that streak in his first eight round bout against the experienced ‘Momma’s Boy’ Denis Douglin (22-7 14 KOs) who has shared the ring World champions George Groves, Anthony Dirrel, David Benavidez and Jermell Charlo.

Souleymane Cissokho (11-0 7 KOs) is back in action for the first time since September 2019 and the unbeaten Frenchman tangles with Daniel Echeverria (21-10 18 KOs) over eight rounds.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing