Boxing at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai: ESPN+ live stream at 12:30 p.m. ET
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.
Stephen Tiffney can’t see any way Davey Oliver Joyce will get the better of him in their WBO European title clash on Friday’s historic ‘The Fight – DXB Uncovered’ at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
Featherweight star Tiffney (10-1) will act as the first real test for Joyce in his professional career, and he thinks he will have too much to offer his opponent.
Tiffney said: “I think we’re similar in the way we fight. I’ve trained hard and I know he has too, but I can’t see anything other than a Stephen Tiffney win.
“I’m very confident, and I’m sure he will be confident coming into the fight as well. I think that will bring out the best in both of us. It will definitely be good for the people watching.
“This is my first fight outside of Scotland, but it’s just a boxing ring at the end of the day, so it doesn’t matter to me where it is as it’s only us two getting into the ring.
“With it being for the WBO European title as well, it will be good to get the win and beak into the top 15 rankings in the WBO. I’m just taking it one fight at a time though, and the really big fights can come after this.”
Huge-hitting Mateo Tapia is preparing to serve up a showcase of his talent on Friday’s historic ‘The Fight – DXB Uncovered’ at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
The 20-year-old (9-0-KO5), who is Mexican born but now fights out of Australia, is attracting plenty of attention having already secured a State title via knockout and faces another significant step up in India’s Gaganpreet Sharma (8-1-KO4).
Tapia said: “I’ve been working on being a bit smarter in the ring. Last time, I came out too tense for each round and I had to switch my game plan and box slick. I’ll be patient on the night in Dubai.
“It’s inspiring to be fighting in Dubai. I’ll try and put on a show for an overseas crowd and such a huge audience worldwide. To be travelling at such a young age doing what you love inspires me to be the best I can be.
“The MTK Global deal with Top Rank and ESPN+ is so big. There are a lot of Mexican boxing fans and that’s a hot spot. To be an MTK Global fighter on those shows, a lot of Mexican fans will be tuning in. It’ll be a great experience and good exposure for me.
“It’s just amazing to have this opportunity. Words can’t describe it – I’m so blown away.”
Joining ‘El Tijuanero’ on a spectacularly international card are MTK Global team-mates Davey Oliver Joyce and Stephen Tiffney, who face off for the WBO European title, Kazakh sensation Sultan Zaurbek, ‘Arabian Warrior’ Zuhayr Al-Qahtani plus local heroes such as Aliu Bamidele Lasisi, who bids for the WBC International super-flyweight crown.
Zuhayr Al-Qahtani feels like he is on the verge of another huge homecoming as he prepares to compete on Friday’s historic ‘The Fight – DXB Uncovered’ at Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
Unbeaten Al-Qahtani (5-0) has close ties with Dubai due to family he has in the region, and he’s thrilled to have the chance to fight there on what is set to be a very special night.
Al-Qahtani said: “Part of my family are from Dubai, so for me to box there feels like another homecoming. I’ve got a large fan base in the Middle East and a lot of my supporters are coming to the fight which is really good.
“I’m very excited. I haven’t boxed since I fought in Saudi Arabia in September so I’m really eager to get back in the ring. This feels like a dream come true and I’m ready to go and make an impact.
“The entire experience of fighting in Saudi Arabia will help me massively for this fight. I was a bit nervous in Saudi Arabia because it was a big card in my home country, but now I’ve dealt with that, it doesn’t matter where or who I fight now.
“I travel to Dubai quite often so it’s great to be back out there where it feels like home. As soon as I heard about this card I was eager to get on the bill, so I can’t wait to compete.”
Davey Oliver Joyce is enthusiastic over the chance to win the WBO European in front of a new audience in Dubai on April 5.
The unbeaten Olympian (9-0-KO7) clashes with MTK Global team-mate Stephen Tiffney on a stellar Round 10 Boxing Club bill at Emirates Golf Club – live on ESPN and iFL TV – and is determined to seize the opportunity to announce himself on the global stage.
The Mullingar featherweight said ahead of starring on #TheFightDXBUNCovered: “I was immediately excited when I heard it was moving to Dubai. I wanted the opportunity to fight for a title and whether it’s in my back yard, his back yard, Manchester or Dubai, I’m going to win it.
“Dubai is an unbelievable place to box in. I’ve been to the Middle East but never to Dubai and it’s going to be an incredible experience. I can’t wait to box there.
“It’s great the people in Dubai are going to see a professional show hosted in their country. It’s something to savour for myself and for the people of Dubai. There are a lot of Irish people there who’ll come out to support me!
“I’ve boxed in some of the best places in the world of boxing – Kazakhstan, Russia, you name it. For me to be able to show people what I’ve got and how I can perform, it’s great for the people of Dubai to see top boxing in their land.
“I think it’s only the start of big things coming to Dubai in terms of professional boxing.”
Former world amateur champion Hurshid Tojibaev wants to move quickly in the professional game after making an eye-catching debut.
The Uzbek hero demolished Krzysztof Rogowski inside three rounds in Poland on March 23 and having fought in two Olympic Games before turning professional, is ready to race to the top of the paid ranks.
Tojibaev said: “I have been waiting a long time for this moment and I enjoyed it. I won the AIBA title over 12 rounds so I know what longer fights are like.
“I simply want to become world champion as a professional now and I know I have what it takes to get there.
“I don’t want to waste time and I hope to be fighting for some kind of title after a handful of bouts.
“I’m so pleased to be with MTK Global alongside my friend and former Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov. We believe we are with the people who can guide us best.
“It’s the biggest boxing management company in the world and I’m so pleased they chose me for their team. I believe they’ll make a major difference to how my career develops.”
With Tojibaev up and running, compatriot Zoirov takes his professional bow on a glitzy card Round 10 Boxing Club card in Dubai on April 5; broadcast live on ESPN and iFL TV.
Featherweight star Stephen Tiffney is having to pinch himself ahead of the chance to beat Davey Oliver Joyce to the WBO European featherweight title in Dubai on April 5 – live on ESPN+ and iFL TV.
Tiffney (10-1) faces Joyce for the crown at Emirates Golf Club on a packed Round 10 Boxing Club card broadcast around the world and, having visited Dubai before, the Scot is delighted to be heading there on business this time.
Tiffney said: “I was on holiday in Dubai with my wife last year, so it’s crazy to think I’ll now be fighting there. It’s a great place and I’m looking forward to heading over there again.
“It’s a fantastic card and the first MTK Global show to be shown on ESPN+ in America, so I’m really excited. There are lots of talented stars on the bill, including some Olympians, so it’s one not to miss.
“This is a massive fight for me, and winning this bout and earning a title can open doors for some big fights. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to get in the ring.
“I’ve been boxing for a lot of years now and have been travelling around from a young age when I was in the amateurs, so all of that experience will count when it comes to nights like this.
“The fight is getting closer and closer, and it’s going to be a brilliant event.”
The Fight DXB Uncovered, founded by Ahmed A Seddiqi’s Round 10 Boxing Club, partnered with international boxing powerhouse MTK Global bring you a fight night like never witnessed before in Dubai.
With a multinational fight card, which includes professional boxers from every corner of the globe, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, UK and Ireland, The Fight DXB Uncovered promises an unforgettable night at Emirates Golf Club on April 5th.
With the WBO European Featherweight and WBC International Super Flyweight titles up for grabs on the night, you will be witness to two new champions being crowned.
22 countries being represented, 22 exceptional professional boxers, 11 hotly anticipated fights, a once in a lifetime experience where fans will witness the real birth of professional boxing in the UAE.
Two-time national champion, Majid Al-Naqbi, will make his professional debut on home soil as he proudly becomes only the second Emirati professional boxer. The 22-year-old from Fujairah’s first bout in the professional circuit is hotly anticipated following an impressive amateur career.
The WBC International Title is on the line at 115lb, where Dubai-based Nigerian Aliu Bamidele Lasisi, who is based in Round 10 Boxing Club, will enjoy some vociferous support in his bid for glory against Nicaragua’s experienced Keyvin Lara (26-3-1-KO9).
LOCAL FIGHTER REACHES NEW LEVELS FOR UAE
Saudi Arabia’s Zuhayr Al Qahtani will also take to the ring following his WBSS win in Jeddah in September 2018. Before becoming Saudi Arabia’s first ever professional boxer, Al Qahtani’s ambitious amateur career saw him win 50 of his 55 fights.
David Oliver Joyce and Stephen Tiffney will clash for the WBO European Featherweight Title for the second title up for grabs on The Fight DXB Uncovered show in Dubai that also includes Olympic gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov.
The event, which takes place on April 5 at Emirates Golf Club and is presented by Ahmed A. Seddiqi’s Round 10 Boxing Club in association with MTK Global, will be broadcast live on both ESPN and iFL TV.
Ireland’s undefeated Joyce (9-0-KO7) – an Olympian himself – is hoping to secure his first major title as a professional but standing in his way is popular Scot Tiffney (10-1-KO4), who has recovered from his sole career defeat with impressive back-to-back wins.
Also on the card, 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and flyweight champion Zoirov makes his eagerly awaited professional debut having signed up as an MTK Global fighter last year alongside another elite Uzbeki amateur talent in Hurshid Tojibaev.
One man to have raced to prominence early in his time in the paid ranks is Kazakhstan’s Sultan Zaurbek (5-0-KO3), who faces China’s Yuancai Zhu – and there are other attractive international match-ups throughout a ground-breaking card.
Australia’s heavy-hitting youngster Mateo Tapia (9-0-KO5) is widely tipped for the world stage and takes on a graduation fight against India’s Gaganpreet Sharma (8-1-KO4), while London-based Saudi Arabian Zuhayr Al-Qahtani (5-0) continues his rise against another Indian in SK Saheb.
Earlier on in the evening, the Philippines’ Larry Abarra, Afghanistan’s Hasibullah Ahmadi, Armenia’s Anahit Aroyan will all jostle for the limelight on this truly global event.
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