Buatsi Takes on Ford at The O2!
(August 15th) Joshua Buatsi will defend his WBA International Light-Heavyweight title against Ryan Ford on the undercard of the huge Lightweight World title showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell at The O2 in London on August 31st, shown LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Buatsi (11-0, 9 KOs) was last seen taking out Marco Antonio Periban in four rounds on the blockbuster Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr bill at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1, marking his big US debut with a ruthless stoppage win in the Big Apple.
The undefeated Croydon star took a step-up in class against the seasoned Periban and was eager to impress, dropping the Mexican and then finishing the fight with a barrage of punches to earn his sixth successive win inside the distance.
Ford, a former opponent of Fedor Chudinov and Avni Yildrim, has never been stopped in 20 career fights and the former MMA fighter, hailing from Edmonton in Canada, picked up the WBC International Silver Light-Heavyweight title in his last fight.
“I’m fighting a tough, durable opponent on August 31 in the form of Ryan Ford,” said Buatsi. “He’s never been stopped in his 20 professional fights and he’s got some good experience against some top names. He’s an ex MMA fighter so he’ll know how to handle himself.
“If I can become the first fighter to stop him then I’ll be very happy. As always, it’s about getting the win at all costs. I’m there to get the job done and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Buatsi vs. Ford is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.
At the top of the bill, Olympic Champions Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) and Luke Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) will clash for the WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World titles, Manchester Heavyweight Hughie Fury (23-2, 13 KOs) takes on former WBA World Champion Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) and WBC Flyweight ruler Charlie Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs) makes the second defence of his crown against Mandatory Challenger Julio Cesar Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs), with more exciting additions to be announced soon.
Lomachenko-Campbell will headline a special afternoon edition of Top Rank on ESPN on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets for Lomachenko vs. Campbell are priced at £40, £60, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 (Inner Ring VIP).
ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.
Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.
ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com. They are the industry-leading all-in-one digital sports platform, delivering a rich, personalized experience to tens of millions of fans every month.
Cordina Faces Gwynne In Welsh Battle at the O2!
(August 2nd) Joe Cordina will defend his British and Commonwealth Lightweight titles against Gavin Gwynne in a mouth-watering battle of Wales on the undercard of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell at The O2 in London on August 31, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Cordina stopped Andy Townend inside six rounds to add the British title to his Commonwealth belt at The O2 in April. The undefeated ‘Welsh Wizard’ outclassed his experienced opponent from the first round and dropped the Barnsley boxer three times in the sixth round to extend his record to nine straight wins with his seventh knockout.
Gwynne, a former St Joseph’s stablemate of Cordina, is undefeated in eleven professional fights and picked up the Welsh Lightweight title against Henry Janes in December 2017. The Newport fighter, trained by Tony Borg, lands his second title shot after outpointing Derby’s Myron Mills in a Final Eliminator for the British title in his hometown.
“I’m glad to be making the first defence of my prestigious British title on a huge night of boxing at The O2 on August 31,” said Cordina. “The British and Commonwealth titles are important belts to add to my collection on my route to World title glory and I intend to defend them in style against Gavin Gywnne later this month.
“It’s brilliant to be sharing a bill with Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell as they both bid to become the number one Lightweight on the planet and I hope to be fighting for that honour myself in the future. I know Gavin from my amateur days and I’m expecting him to give his all to take my titles from me but they won’t be going anywhere.”
“I was absolutely delighted when I found out I’d have the opportunity to fight for the British and Commonwealth titles,” said Gwynne. “Being on the undercard of pound-for-pound number one Vasiliy Lomachenko is even better so it’s a massive night for me. When I first turned pro winning the British title was my only ambition. Winning these titles would mean the World to me.
“Joe is a former Olympian and Team GB star so he’s going to be the favourite going into this fight but me and Joe have sparred rounds in the Welsh squad and I think over twelve rounds I’ll have too much for him. Especially at Lightweight, I’m going to be the much bigger guy in there.
“Joe is a very skilful boxer and he looks like he’s picked up a bit of power as well in his last couple of fights, but I’m confident of getting the win on August 31. Whoever wins the fight will pick up the titles and have the bragging rights in Wales so there’s plenty on the line here.”
Edwards Meets Martinez At the O2!
(August 1st) Charlie Edwards will make the second defence of his WBC Flyweight World title against his Mandatory Challenger Julio Cesar Martinez at The O2 in London on Saturday August 31st, LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Edwards ripped the WBC 112lbs crown from Cristofer Rosales on an emotional night at The O2 in December, outclassing the Nicaraguan with a masterful display to take a well-earned unanimous decision in his second World title attempt.
He turned on the style as he successfully defended his World title for the first time against Spain’s Angel Moreno at the Copper Box Arena in March, winning every round against his former sparring partner in a dominant display.
Martinez, hailing from Mexico City, landed his shot at the coveted green and gold belt by taking out highly-rated Welshman Andrew Selby in five rounds in their Final Eliminator bout earlier this year in March.
It was a first career loss for Selby, who was once regarded by many as one of the brightest prospects in the UK. A brutal left hook liver shot ended proceedings in the fifth session to set up a first World title shot for Martinez.
Losing on his professional debut in October 2015, ‘El Rey’ has since won fourteen fights on the bounce, scoring eleven knockouts in that impressive run. Halting Selby means no opponent has gone more than six rounds with the 24-year-old since June 2017.
“He’s a very tough Mexican who can bang with both hands,” said Edwards. “His record shows that he’s a massive puncher and we saw that in his last fight against Andrew Selby. He got him out of there in the fifth round and was hurting him on a number of occasions. He’s coming to bring it and he’s going to try and rip that WBC title off me. This is his World Cup final.
“He’s going to put it all on the line. He’s going to be coming hard and fast from early to try and put me under pressure, but I believe my boxing skills and the experience that I’ve gained throughout my short pro career will see me through. I expect to have a punch perfect performance. I believe that he will bring out the very best in me.
“Timing is everything, I believe this is my era. I have arrived at my destination at the right time and I’m loving the journey. This is another legacy fight for me, and I believe that I will build a great legacy. To fight your Mandatory Challenger on one of the biggest cards in British boxing this year is brilliant because it showcases my skills around the world.”
“I can’t wait to challenge for the WBC Flyweight World title in London,” said Martinez. “I’ll be taking that famous green and gold belt back to Mexico with me. I have already knocked out one Brit and on August 31 I will make it two.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is another great fight added to a brilliant card at The O2. We saw Martinez knock out Andrew Selby recently in his Final Eliminator and he is an aggressive, fearless fighter who will be coming to try and take Charlie’s belt. Charlie is now established as the best 112lb fighter in the World right now and I expect another brilliant performance from him at The O2. This will be a fast paced, explosive fight and there’s still plenty more to come on this card!”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Charlie Edwards has been an enthralling success story in British boxing and it’s fantastic to add his next WBC title defence to the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell bill.
“Charlie has grown as a fighter since claiming the WBC belt on that emotional night last December, but Julio Cesar Martinez is a real danger-man as shown in that win over Andrew Selby.
“We also have Hughie Fury’s heavyweight clash against Alexander Povetkin on an action-packed evening, with more fights to be added before Luke Campbell’s epic World title battle with Lomachenko.”
Lomachenko vs Campbell Opening Presser!
(move slider to 3:15 to begin watching)
August 31: Lomachenko-Campbell Set for London Showdown at The O2 LIVE and Exclusive on ESPN+!
(June 20th) London called. Loma answered.
WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will defend his belts Saturday, Aug. 31, against fellow Olympic gold medalist “Cool Hand” Luke Campbell, the pride of Hull, England, at The O2 in London.
The vacant WBC world lightweight title will also be up for grabs in this battle of 2012 London Olympic gold medalists.
This will mark Lomachenko’s first ring appearance in London since the 2013 World Series of Boxing when he shut out Sam Maxwell over five rounds.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at the O2 Arena, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”
“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.
“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”
"I am thrilled to see Vasiliy Lomachenko head to the UK to meet British star Luke Campbell," said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. "Loma is simply one of the finest boxers to ever lace them up, the best fighter on the planet today and I’m honored to be promoting his first ever pro fight in the UK. But Luke is an elite world fighter, too, and with his range, ability and heart, the Hull ace can shock the world and rip Loma’s titles from him on another epic night of boxing in the capital."
“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” Campbell said. “I am in this sport to be the best and I am this sport to become a world champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a world champion and fulfill my potential.
“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.
“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs), who went 396-1 as an amateur, has won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight in the paid ranks. He fought for a world title in his second pro bout and won the WBO featherweight world title in his third outing, dominating Gary Russell Jr. over 12 rounds. He made his lightweight debut last May, tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round and rising from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out WBA champion Jorge Linares in the 10th.
Lomachenko added the WBO lightweight title to his collection in December, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the 11th round and ultimately winning a unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza. He last fought in April at Staples Center in Los Angeles, disposing of mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds.
Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs), the WBC No. 1 lightweight contender, captured Olympic gold as a bantamweight at the 2012 London Olympics, one of only two male boxers (along with Anthony Joshua) to win gold in front of the home fans. Lomachenko won gold as a lightweight in London, and a little more than seven years later, their paths will cross once again.
Campbell lost to Yvan Mendy via split decision in his 13th pro bout in December 2015, a defeat that was avenged nearly three years later in convincing fashion. Campbell challenged Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title in September 2017 in Los Angeles, dropping a highly contested split decision. He has won three in a row since that disappointment — including the Mendy rematch — most recently knocking out Adrian Yung in five rounds in Philadelphia.