Some fights, some match-ups, when they are announced quite simply leave a fight fan knowing what they can expect. One such fight is the WBC-ordered final eliminator between bridgerweight contenders Alen Babic and Ryad Merhy. Babic, who spoke with ID Boxing, said he is extremely excited about the fight, one he is sure will be a thrilling affair, to take place by the end of February.
Croatia’s Babic, managed by Dillian Whyte, says it has for some time been his goal to win the WBC bridgerweight title, this after initially campaigning as a heavyweight (and giving us some raw, excitement-filled slugfests in doing so). Now, “The Savage” is one final hurdle away from getting his chance. Babic says he has plenty of respect for Merhy, a fighter who “is not running.”
29 year old Merhy of Belgium, has campaigned as a cruiserweight and, as Babic says, he is pretty much the same size as himself. Currently 31-1(26), Merhy’s sole defeat came in a failed interim WBA title challenge, this when he fought Arsen Goulamirian in March of 2018, Merhy being stopped in the 11th round. Since then, Merhy has won seven on the spin, all but one by stoppage.
The fight with Goulamirian aside, there are not too many obvious names on Merhy’s record – his wins over Max Alexander and Nick Kisner being noteworthy – and most of Merhy’s fights have taken place at home in Belgium. But Merhy did win the interim WBA cruiser belt in October of 2019, this when he stopped Imre Szello. Merhy made one defence before moving up to bridgerweight.
It will be interesting to see where the Babic-Merhy fights takes place, and how fighting away from home might affect Merhy (it seems unlikely the fight will take place in Belgium). But we pretty much know what we will get when this one goes down, with fans almost guaranteed an exciting slugfest for as long as the fight lasts. 32 year old Babic, unbeaten at 11-0(10) only knows one way to fight and it seems Merhy is the same way.
There is not much chance of this one going the distance, let’s put it that way. Babic has enjoyed a cult following for some time now, and his supporters really do hope he can become a world champion. Merhy is the last man standing in the way of Babic’s shot.