Tommy Fury guarantees he will show up for Jake Paul fight
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Saudi Arabia will host a boxing showcase to remember as Tommy Fury and Jake Paul collide in a clash of new-age titans. But the main event between YouTuber Paul and Love Island alumnus Fury—half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson—won’t be the only bout worth keeping an eye on.
‘The Problem Child’ and ‘TNT’ aren’t expected to step into the ring until around 9.45 p.m. UK time, with an eight-fight undercard slated to get underway at 7 p.m. for Fury’s home fans. Badou Jack and Ilunga Makabu will duke it out for the WBC cruiserweight crown as a warm-up to the main attraction, while rising prospects like Bader Samreem and Ziyad Almaayouf are sure to court extra attention.
Badou Jack (27-3-3) vs. Ilunga Makabu (29-2) – WBC cruiserweight title fight
Swedish star Jack returns to 12-round boxing for the first time since December 2019, when he last fought for a world title challenging Jean Pascal for the WBA light heavyweight championship. Now riding high on the back of a five-win streak, ‘The Ripper’ will seek to tear down Makabu’s imperious run of 10 straight victories, which includes two successful defences of the WBC cruiserweight belt in his last two outings.
Jack, 39, is four years Makabu’s senior and can’t quite hold a torch to his foe’s knockout CV, with ‘The Junior’ having clinched 25 of his 29 pro wins via stoppage. Though both fighters are at the opposite ends of their careers compared to those in the main event, the penultimate punch-up of the card has the potential to be the best of the night.
Bader Samreen (7-0) vs. Viorel Simion (23-9)
Lightweight up-and-comer Samreen is certain to receive a warm reception in Riyadh when the undefeated dynamo returns to the ring against Viorel Simion. And the opportunity to advance his 7-0 record has seemingly been offered on a plate against a 41-year-old foe who’s lost six of his last seven fights.
Romania’s Simion ended a two-year losing streak when he beat compatriot Maxim Railean in his native Brasov back in November. However, his chances look fairly poor over eight rounds as he drops down to 135 pounds against Samreen, who has finished six of his seven opponents to date.
Muhsin Cason (10-0) vs. Taryel Jafarov (12-5)
A year to the day since beating Steven Lyons with a fifth-round stoppage, American Muhsin Cason returns to the ring in one of three cruiserweight duels worth savouring on Sunday. And he does so against game opposition, with Taryel Jafarov having amassed a six-win streak over the course of 2022 alone.
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Cason, 29, boasts an unblemished 10-0 record while the highly active Jafarov, 36, lost five times in six outings during 2021. The Azerbaijani underdog helped make up for that sour stretch with some superlative form last year, but ‘The Muslim Boxer’ Cason—younger brother of two-time world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman—could prove too steep a step up in opposition.
Ziyad Almaayouf (1-0) vs. Ronnald Martinez (2-1-1)
Six months on from his pro debut in ‘Rage on the Red Sea’—where Anthony Joshua suffered a second straight loss to Oleksandr Usyk—Ziyad Almaayouf will once again look to entertain a home crowd in Saudi Arabia. ‘Zizo’ faces 2-1-1 Ronnald Martinez at super-lightweight (140lbs) in a battle to preserve his seamless start, while his Ecuadorian opponent looks to cease a two-fight slide without a win.
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- Salman Hamada vs. Daniel Plange
- Ziad Al-Majrashi vs. Philip Quansah
- Ragad Al Naimi vs. Perpetual Okaijah
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