Top Rank and MTK Global’s exclusive multi-year licensing agreement kicks off Friday, April 5 with a special card from Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Five bouts are scheduled to stream live and exclusively beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN.
In the 12-round main event, Nigerian power puncher Aliu Bamidele “Lucky Boy” Lasisi (12-0, 8 KOs) will fight Ricardo Blandon (10-1, 6 KOs) for the vacant WBC International super flyweight belt. The co-feature will see Irishman David Oliver Joyce (9-0, 7 KOs) battle Stephen Tiffney (10-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European featherweight strap.
Lasisi’s last bout was a dominant unanimous decision over Mchanja Yohana in December. Blandon, who hails from Managua, Nicaragua, has won three straight bouts by knockout and will be making his first ring appearance outside of his home country.
Joyce, who represented Ireland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl last October at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tiffney has won two straight since a decision loss to Lewis Paulin (10-0 at the time).
In other action:
Up-and-coming super middleweight Mateo Tapia (9-0, 5 KOs) will face Gaganpreet Sharma (8-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
Shakhobidin Zoirov, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics for his native Uzbekistan, will make his professional debut against Anthony Holt (5-4-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round featherweight contest.
Lightweight prospect Majid Al-Naqbi will make his professional debut versus Vladimir Lytkin (0-2) in a four-rounder.
Despite being tipped as a superstar in the making, ruthless Kazakh Sultan Zaurbek is keeping a level head as he prepares for Friday’s assignment in Dubai – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
The Shymkent super-featherweight has blasted to 5-0-KO3 and has already thrilled Sky Sports viewers but is determined to retain his identity amid the hype.
As he prepares to fight in front of a packed house, Zaurbek said: “I’m very happy to receive praise from big promoters but I won’t let it change me as a person.
“No matter how much attention I get, I will stay humble and appreciate every opportunity that comes my way. I came here as Sultan and I’ll carry on being Sultan.
“My goal this year is simply to earn a chance at a title by the end of the year. I want to have a shot and that’s what I’m preparing and training for this year.
“I’m very thankful for my team and I appreciate all the help and guidance they give me. I also want to thank my friend in London who helps me communicate. We all have a great understanding even though there are language barriers at times.
“I want to thank my team for all their help and I’m now waiting to put on a great show in Dubai. The win is ours!”
Along with 22-year-old Zaurbek, other MTK Global stars including Davey Oliver Joyce and Stephen Tiffney, who do battle for the WBO European featherweight title, Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov, Australia’s huge-hitting youngster Mateo Tapia and many more will be vying for limelight.
In addition, several products of the local Round 10 Boxing Club such as WBC International title-hunting Aliu Bamidele Lasisi and Filipino Larry Abarra will look to delight local fans.
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