ESPN+ & IFL TV BROADCAST STARTS 7:00PM GMT / 2:00PM EST / 11:0AM PT
Middleweight, 6 rounds
JORDAN REYNOLDS (165lbs) vs. ROBBIE CHAPMAN (167.5lbs)
Super-Featherweight, 6 rounds
MACE RUEGG (135.1lbs) vs. LEVI DUNN (136.2lbs)
Super-Welterweight, 6 rounds
CARL FAIL (156lbs) vs. JORDAN DUJON (158.8lbs)
Super-Featherweight, 6 rounds
ISAAC LOWE (128.3lbs) vs. ED HARRISON (127lbs)
Vacant WBO European lightweight title, 10 rounds
GARY CULLY (134.9lbs) vs. VIKTOR KOTOCHIGOV (134.5lbs)
WBO European welterweight title, 10 rounds
LEWIS CROCKER (146lbs) vs. DENIZ ILBAY (146lbs)
One of Europe’s top welterweights returns this Friday, March 12, as #MTKFightNight is back with Lewis “The Croc” Crocker making the first defense of his WBO European belt in a 10-rounder against German contender Deniz Ilbay at University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton, England.
In the co-feature, Irish fan-favorite Gary Cully will battle Kazakhstan’s Viktor Kotochigov in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
Crocker-Ilbay, Cully-Kotochigov and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) captured the WBO European belt last August with a dominating seventh-round stoppage over Louis Greene, a former British Southern Area champion. The Belfast native takes another step up against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs), who is 7-1 in his last eight bouts. He last fought in December 2019 and notched a first-round stoppage over Milos Janjanin.
Cully (11-0, 5 KOs), from Naas, Ireland, went 2-0 in 2020, including a first-round stoppage over Joe Fitzpatrick to capture the Irish lightweight title. He returned last August and survived a fifth-round knockdown to edge Craig Woodruff via decision. Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs), a former WBC International lightweight champion, seeks to rebound from last October’s upset loss to Maxi Hughes.
In other streaming action:
Former Commonwealth featherweight champion Isaac Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs) makes his first ring appearance since the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard and will face Ed Harrison (2-5) in a six-round junior lightweight bout. Lowe is ranked as a top-10 featherweight by two of the major sanctioning organizations.
Former British amateur star Jordan Reynolds will make his highly anticipated professional debut in a six-round middleweight bout versus the durable Robbie Chapman (6-6).
In an eight-round welterweight tilt, Bolton native Sahir Iqbal (8-0, 1 KO) will fight an opponent to be named.
The ESPN+ stream is scheduled to begin with the pro debut of Carl Fail, who will clash with the unbeaten Jordan Dujon (4-0) in a six-rounder at junior middleweight.
Deniz Ilbay: I have seen weaknesses in Lewis Crocker
Deniz Ilbay feels he has the perfect gameplan to defeat Lewis Crocker when they collide for the WBO European welterweight title on this Friday’s huge #MTKFightNight.
Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) challenges undefeated Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) for his title at the University of Bolton Stadium, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
The German has won numerous titles in his career and has also gone the distance with former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and he has identified areas in Crocker that he thinks he can exploit.
Ilbay said: “We looked at a few fights from Crocker and we picked out a few weaknesses that he has got. I’m not going to reveal them just yet, I will show them to everyone on March 12th.
“This is the toughest fight of his career so far, and I’m pretty positive that with a win here my entire team from First to Fight Management and Team Ilbay Boxing can make big things happen in 2021.
“There is a huge year ahead, but I have learned in my career to never look further than your upcoming fight, so I’m just focused on Lewis Crocker.”
Lewis Crocker: This is my toughest test to date
Lewis Crocker is relishing the tough challenge in front of him as he prepares to take on Deniz Ilbay on Friday’s huge #MTKFightNight.
Undefeated Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) puts his his WBO European welterweight title against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) at the University of Bolton Stadium, live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
It’s the first defence of the title that Crocker superbly won last August, and the Belfast man is excited to test his skills against a dangerous opponent.
Crocker said: “I’m delighted that I’m fighting again and it’s great to get back in the swing of things. Starting 2021 with a big fight is just what I wanted.
“Ilbay has won several titles and has been in there with world class opposition, so I’m expecting my toughest test to date. My mindset hasn’t changed whatsoever, I’m still as hungry as ever and I definitely don’t plan on losing my belt.
“Headlining another show back to back is quite special, and it’s all good experience for me and my progression throughout my career. Training has been great and all the boxes have been ticked.
“This Friday it’s just about going in there and putting on a good performance. The plan is to win this fight, and then add more titles to my resume and remain unbeaten.”
Elsewhere on the huge #MTKFightNight on Friday, Gary Cully squares off with Viktor Kotochigov for the vacant WBO European lightweight title, Isaac Lowe returns, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Robbie Chapman, Sahir Iqbal is back in action, Carl Fail enters the paid ranks for the first time against undefeated Jordan Dujon, and Mace Ruegg meets Johnson Tellez.
It kicks off a huge 7 days, as on March 19, a massive #MTKFightNight takes place, as Lee McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for his European bantamweight title, and Maxi Hughes meets Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.
The event on March 19 also sees Padraig McCrory face Germaine Brown in a clash of unbeaten super-middleweights, Shabaz Masoud goes up against Louis Norman, Jamie Robinson fights Billy Allington, Paul Ryan makes his professional debut against Kyle Hughes, and William Hamilton returns.