Matchroom is going all-in on the big men for their August 12th show at the O2. Before Anthony Joshua trades hands with Dillian Whyte in the main event, Filip Hrgovic takes on fellow unbeaten Demsey McKean and Johnny Fisher meets Harry Armstrong.
Hrgovic’s (15-0, 12 KO) last couple of years could charitably be described as tumultuous. He got called up for an IBF final eliminator early last year, only to spend the next month chasing an opponent as fighter after fighter declined. No. 13 Zhilei Zhang wound up saying yes, and after a brief delay due to the death of Hrgovic’s father, the pair squared off on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard.
Hrgovic was very fortunate to escape with a decision win after hitting the deck early, but that fortune wouldn’t hold. He promptly fell back into his Sisyphean ways thanks to Andy Ruiz Jr, who pulled out of an ordered purse bid at the last minute.
Interestingly, McKean (22-0, 14 KO) was among those who turned Hrgovic down and opened the door for Zhang. He’s spent several years supposedly negotiating with major fighters and then smashing cans instead, a trend that continued with Tyson Fury a couple months back. Looks like he’s finally cashing out.
“The Heavyweight Champions cannot avoid me any longer and once I have defeated Demsey McKean on August 12, they will have no other option but to face me. I have waited patiently and bided my time but the game is up, ‘El Animal’ is coming for you and is ready to take the belts back to Croatia.
“McKean will be a tough and strong opponent, but he has never faced anyone as powerful and skilful as me.
“August 12, at The O2 in London, is the night the Heavyweight division starts to change.”
“This is what it’s all about, the big fights,” said McKean. “I’ve been grinding a big portion of my life for a fight like this. I’m one win away from fighting Usyk for four World Titles. This is my World Title fight.”
Not sure if McKean thinks Usyk is undisputed or if he thinks the IBO title counts.
Fisher (9-0, 8 KO) is a local favorite and still clearly in the developmental stage at 24 years old. Armstrong (5-1-1, 0 KO), who was briefly slated to fight Frazer Clarke after “Big Fraze” ditched the Fabio Wardley fight, is about his usual level of opponent