Filip Hrgovic vs. Demsey McKean added to Joshua vs. Whyte card on August 12th on DAZN

By Boxing News - 07/14/2023 - Comments

By Robert Segal: IBF heavyweight mandatory Filip Hrgovic will face Demsey McKean in a twelve round fight on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte rematch next month on August 12th at the O2 Arena in London.

Hrgovic’s promoter Eddie Hearn feels confident enough in his ability to defeat the 6’6″ Aussie McKean (22-0, 14 KOs) to take this needless fight because he’s already guaranteed a title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) already had a close call in his last fight a year ago, winning a controversial 12 round unanimous decision over Zhilei Zhang last August in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Hrgovic was dropped by Zhang in the first and battered like a drum for the first seven rounds, appearing to lose all of them. In the last five rounds, Zhang gassed, enabling Hrgovic to come back and win a highly questionable decision.

It’s fair to say that if it was Zhang that was offered to Hrgovic to fight on the Joshua-Whyte 2 undercard on August 12th, he would have refused him and sat out, not risking his IBF mandatory position.

“We want to add as much heavyweight action to August 12 as possible. Of course, Anthony Joshua against Dillian Whyte firstly, but a brilliant fight and a really important fight in the heavyweight landscape between Filip Hrgovic, the IBF mandatory challenger, and Demsey McKean, one of our Australian heavyweights,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing.

It’s a massive chance for Demsey because he could gate-crash that whole position of mandatory for Oleksandr Usyk and for Filip Hrgovic, who has long been talked about as one of the top heavyweights in the world; he’ll be looking to make a statement. He’s fighting Oleksandr Usyk next.”

The 32-year-old McKean has no experience whatsoever against notable opposition, so it’s difficult to imagine him beating Hrgovic.

McKean has fought exclusively obscure opposition during his nine-year pro career, so this is going to be a massive step up in class going up against the 6’6″ Hrgovic. Can McKean win? Yeah, possibly, but it’s going to require some luck and power to pull it off.

“With Tyson Fury fighting Ngannou, and Usyk fighting Dubois, that fight [Usyk-Dubois] and the winner of this fight [Hrgovic vs. McKean] is going to get called immediately after August 28th when Usyk fight is,” said Hearn.

“So a massive fight for the heavyweight landscape and a massive fight for Australian boxing as well, and, of course, for the career of Filip Hrgovic and Johnny Fisher. He’s in his first area title, his first 10-rounder.

“He’s in a really, really tough fight, a really tough fight. I think it’s a dangerous fight. I’ve seen the opponent fight various times. He’s a talented heavyweight himself. He’s got fast hands; he’s six foot six, so yeah, two exciting heavyweight encounters.

“One for the southern area title on the road of Johnny Fisher, and of course, moving into what is a very important fight for the world heavyweight landscape in Hrgovic against Demsey Mckean. Plenty more to come next week,” said Hearn.

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