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Rob Brant focused for home title defense

Brant will be making the first defense of his secondary middleweight title tonight on ESPN.

Ryota Murata v Rob Brant Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

WBA ‘world’ champion Rob Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) is set to defend his middleweight strap against Khasan Baysangurov (17-0, 7 KOs) tonight on ESPN, but although he’ll be fighting in front of his home fans in Minnesota, he’s not letting that distract him from the task at hand.

“It’s a motivation for me to bring this title fight home, but I can see it being a distraction if I was out doing meet-and-greets while I was in town,” he said. “But I really seclude myself prefight. After the fight, we’ll have a very good time.”

Brant, 28, is coming off a decision win over Ryota Murata last October to pick up the secondary title, and should he continue to look impressive he’s expected to be put into bigger fights at bigger venues. But for now Brant knows that holding a title puts him in the crosshairs, so now certainly isn’t the time to rest on his laurels.

“I feel the need to work a lot harder now that I have this title,” Brant said. “Once you get something so big, you don’t want to lose it or have anyone take it away. Becoming a champion is only the beginning. I’ve already been boxing longer than I have left in the sport, so for me this title is more motivation to work hard. I want to be active, fight three times a year. This is what I decided to do with my life, so this is what I’m gonna do.”

BLH will be here with live coverage of tonight’s ESPN card, so join us in the round-by-round thread if you want some company for the tripleheader which also includes Joshua Greer (19-1-1, 11 KOs) vs. Giovanni Escaner (19-3, 12 KOs) and Mikaela Mayer (9-0, 4 KOs) vs. Yareli Larios (13-1-1, 3 KOs).