By Charles Brun: Heavyweight contender Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) faces little-known Agron Smakici & Joseph Parker will fight Simon Kean on October 28th on PPV in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Arslanbek Makhmudov vs Agron Smakici
Joseph Parker vs. Simon Kean
Moses Itauma vs. Opponent TBC
David Adeleye vs. Fabio Wardley
It makes sense for Wardley & Adeleye to be added to the card, as they’re British, and it’ll make it more appealing to UK fans to purchase the Fury-Ngannou fight on TNT PPV.
Adeleye & Wardley are domestic-level heavyweights rather than guys that one day capture a world title. U.S. casual boxing likely has never heard of either of these guys, so this won’t entice them to purchase the event.
These two fights are part of the event involving Tyson Fury fighting the non-boxer Francis Ngannou in a crossover bout. The event will be shown on ESPN+ & TNT Sports PPV.
The real talent on the undercard is Arslanbek Makhmudov, but he’s being wasted here by not facing a top contender. His promoters at Top Rank need to step him up already because, at 34, he doesn’t have a lot of time left.
In Makhmudov’s last two blowout fights, he’s destroyed Raphael Akpejiori & Michael Wallisch in contests that never made it to the third round.
Makhmudov has the kind of talent to where he doesn’t need to be fed tomato cans one after another, and one gets the sense that he’s being wasted with the weak match-making that’s being done for him.
It would be great if Top Rank matched Makhmudov with some of the top five-ranked heavyweight contenders in the division, as he’s capable of beating anybody.
Makhmudov is co-promoted by Top Rank & Eye of the Tiger and ranked #3 WBC & #6 WBA. Boxing fans want to see him face some of the top-tier heavyweights, like Jared Anderson, but it’s not surprising that he’s not getting that fight.
He’s all wrong for the 23-year-old Anderson and would likely wreck him before he’s had a chance to pick up a belt.
Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs) is still slowly rebuilding after his 11th round knockout loss to Joe Joyce last year in September.
Parker has taken two fighters since then against unranked lesser opposition, and now he’s continuing in that direction against Simon Kean(23-1, 22 KOs) in a 10 round fight.
Fury’s WBC title won’t be at stake for this contest. It’s being sanctioned as a fight that will count on Fury & the boxing novice Ngannou’s professional records, but the WBC title won’t be up for grabs.
Hardcore fans are disappointed with Fury’s choice of opponent, and they view this as a cheap, pathetic money-grab designed to take advantage of former UFC heavyweight Ngannou’s popularity with MMA fans.
Of course, Fury’s loyal fans from the UK will purchase the event because he’s still popular there despite the fact that he hasn’t fought a quality opponent since 2021.