Less than a month from fight night, Matchroom Boxing has officially unveiled the undercard for their August 20th Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 show in Jeddah.
Leading the lineup are a pair of final eliminators, one at heavyweight and one at light heavyweight. The former sees Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KO) once again attempt to face Zhang Zhilei (24-0-1, 19 KO) for IBF mandatory status; the pair were set to meet on May’s Canelo-Bivol show, but Hrgovic withdrew due to the death of his father, leaving “Big Bang” to smash Scott Alexander on short notice.
The latter pits Callum Smith (28-1, 20 KO) against European champ Mathieu Bauderlique (21-1, 12 KO). Matchroom won the purse bid earlier this month after the WBC ordered it, and it’s a solid test for “Mundo,” whose only bout at 175 saw him crush the experienced but limited Lenin Castillo.
“The last time I was in Jeddah I was crowned the best super middleweight in the world, so I have fond memories of the place,” said Smith.
“The whole experience was great, and the fans really got behind me, so I’m really looking forward to returning next month. I won’t come away this time as a world champion, but this is a tough fight on a great card and one which should set up a challenge at the number 1 in the light heavyweight division.”
Earlier, Ramla Ali (6-0, 1 KO) “becomes the first female boxer to feature in an official international event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” when she meets Crystal Garcia Nova (10-2, 10 KO). As you’d probably guessed, all of Nova’s wins came over opponents with losing records, as did one of her losses.
Other fights of note include Andrew Tabiti (19-1, 15 KO) against former kickboxing great Tyrone Spong (14-0, 13 KO) and Badou Jack’s (26-6-3, 16 KO) previously revealed bout with Richard RIvera (21-0, 16 KO).