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MTK Global sets dates for Guerfi-McGregor, McKenna-Turarov, Donnie Nietes return

MTK are headed to Dubai for a trio of cards over the next three months.

Lee McGregor v Kash Farooq - British Bantamweight Title Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

MTK Global have announced a trio of dates in Dubai over the next three months, featuring some of their notable fighters in action on Feb. 6, Mar. 12, and Apr. 3.

All three cards will stream live on ESPN+.

The Feb. 6 event will be headlined by the again-rescheduled European bantamweight title fight between Karim Guerfi and Lee McGregor. Guerfi (29-4, 9 KO) and McGregor (9-0, 7 KO) have been on a collision course for a bit now, and hopefully they’ll finally get the fight done and dusted. The 24-year-old McGregor is an in-house favorite at MTK, who hope to push him to the world stage sooner than later. Guerfi, 33, is a very good fighter at the European level, but that’s his ceiling.

The February card will also see Sean McComb (11-0, 5 KO) take on Gavin Gwynne (12-2, 2 KO) for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title.

On Mar. 12, Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6 KO) will look to bounce back from his loss to Ohara Davies on Sept. 30 as he takes on Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17 KO) in a 140-pound main event. The 30-year-old Turarov turned pro in 2019 and has basically accomplished nothing despite his record and length of time in the sport. He didn’t fight at all in 2018, fought twice in 2019, and then sat out all of 2020. McKenna, also 30, is a regional-level fighter, but a step up for Turarov.

The March show will also feature Lewis Crocker vs Deniz Ilbay at welterweight, and Gary Cully vs Viktor Kotochigov at lightweight.

Apr. 3 will feature a return for Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KO), the 38-year-old Filipino who has won world titles at 105, 108, 112, and 115 pounds. He last fought on New Year’s Eve in 2018, winning a disputed decision in Macau over Kazuto Ioka. Nietes doesn’t have an opponent yet.

Another Filipino, Albert Pagara (33-1, 23 KO), will also be in action. The 26-year-old junior featherweight will also face an opponent to be named.

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