YAFAI DEFENDS WORLD CROWN AGAINST JIMENEZ IN PROVIDENCE

WBA Super-Flyweight king meets mandatory challenger on June 29
Kal Yafai will defend his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Norbelto Jimenez on Saturday June 29 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

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Yafai (25-0 15 KOs) puts his title on the line for the fifth time and the Birmingham star returns to action following a points win over Israel Gonzalez in Monte Carlo in November. The unbeaten champion makes his second appearance on American soil after forcing David Carmona to retire after dominating the Mexican over seven rounds.

Yafai’s next obstacle in the way of the unification bouts he desires comes in the shape of mandatory challenger Jimenez (29-8-4 16 KOs), the Dominican man is unbeaten in 30 fights after turning his career around from early defeats, and the 28 year old will fight for the WBA belt for the second time having drawn against previous champion Kohei Kono back in 2014.

“I’m very excited to be back in action,” said Kal Yafai, who turns 30 today. “After my last fight I’ve got to go out there and win and look good doing so.

“He’s obviously going to be a good fighter because he’s my mandatory. I know he boxed for the World title nearly four and a half years ago against Kono and he drew in Japan. Since then he hasn’t really boxed fighters of a high calibre. It’s a long time to box guys at that level and then step up and fight someone like me. I’m looking to show everyone that I’m one of the finest World champions out there and make my mark in America.

“I fought in America last year and we all thought we were going to fight Jerwin Ancajas afterwards, the IBF Champion, but they didn’t seem to be up for it at all. It’s been a bit frustrating at times, and I had a hand injury earlier this year. After my last fight, and especially the performance, it’s given me that hunger to want it even more, to stay at the top and get those big fights. I think at times I’ve got a bit complacent, before my last fight, and that’s completely changed for this one so I’ll be at my game 100 per cent.

“It was a disappointing night for me in Monte Carlo. I didn’t perform how I’d normally like to perform. Everyone can see that that wasn’t myself in there that night but like I said on the night, I don’t like to make excuses. I get in the ring and I fight, and when I get in the ring to fight I should beat them up, at my best, and if I’m not at my best I shouldn’t be in the ring fighting. There’s a few things that I could have done better, but I’ve rectified all of my issues that I had going into that fight and hopefully I can show that it was just an off night in my last fight.”

“I want to say thank you for the opportunity to Team Yafai because they waited until the WBA ordered the fight and I became a mandatory challenger,” said Norbelto Jimenez. “I feel like they are underestimating me, and that make me happy because it motivates me every day much more. I thank Bélgica Peña of Shuan Boxing for the great support of many years, and also thanks to Golden Boy who is allowing me to be part of their family.
 
“It has been a long wait after fighting to a draw in Japan in my first world title opportunity. And now I just want to say that on June 29, the Dominican Republic will have a new world champion, and his name is Norbelto “Meneito” Jiménez.”

“This is a big fight for Kal, especially in light of what lays ahead,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “If he can beat Jimenez on June 29, it’s very likely his next fight will be a unification with pound for pound star Juan Estrada, so he must get the job done in Providence. It’s amazing that he now stands as Britain’s longest reigning World champion and we are expecting a top class display on a huge night of boxing.

Yafai’s clash with Jimenez is part of a blockbuster night of action in Providence as hometown hero Demetrius Andrade defends his WBO World Middleweight title against Poland’s Maciej Sulecki, while former Heavyweight world ruler Joseph Parker fights for the first time under his new deal with Matchroom Boxing USA.

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BUGLIONI: A WIN ON SATURDAY WILL RE-ESTABLISH ME IN THE LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION

‘Wise Guy’ says win over Meng will fire him back into World title contention

Frank Buglioni says a win over Fanlong Meng will re-establish him as one of the biggest threats in the Light-Heavyweight division.
 
‘Wise Guy’ takes on undefeated Meng for the IBF Inter-Continental Light-Heavyweight title at the Casino de Monte-Carlo this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
 
Chinese amateur star Meng, touted by man as one of the best boxers in China, has racked up 13 straight wins since turning professional in 2015, picking up the WBO Oriental and IBF Inter-Continental titles along the way.
 
However, Buglioni feels the former Chinese National Champion is yet to be tested in the paid code and is confident of taking the IBF ranking belt back to Enfield with him on Sunday morning.
 
“I have a very tough test in Fanlong Meng,” admitted Buglioni. “He’s a 2012 Olympian and has a solid amateur record. As a professional I don’t think he has been tested much yet, so this will be his acid test. I’m looking forward to upsetting the party and taking his belt and his undefeated record.
 
“Meng likes to keep things at his own pace and keep his opponents at range, but I’ll be constantly moving and creating angles. I’m fitter and sharper than I’ve ever been and he won’t be able to keep me off all night.
 
“Throughout my career I’ve always done well against southpaws and I’ve always enjoyed fighting and sparring them, be it amateur or pro, and my record against them is very good. I’m heading into the fight with a lot of confidence.”
 
Former World title challenger Buglioni has been busy rebuilding in the gym and sees Saturday’s fight as a golden opportunity to fire his name back into World title contention once more.
 
“The Light-Heavyweight division is buzzing and a good win over Meng will re-establish me as one of the top guys out there. A win would certainly put me back at the top of the pile domestically and possibly Europe too, I won’t be far off World level.
 
“I’m very pleased with my progress since the Callum Johnson defeat. I’ve built upon the mistakes I made in that fight and I’m looking forward to putting on a real show and proving myself once again.
 
“I’ve had some fantastic sparring all throughout this camp including James DeGale. I’ve made some massive improvements in the gym and I think that has been due to such good quality sparring. The guys I have worked with have kept me on my toes really put it on me.”
 
Buglioni’s British title reign was ended by a shock first-round stoppage loss to Callum Johnson at The O2 in March. Johnson’s victory was swiftly rewarded with a shot at IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev.
 
Johnson’s brave World title attempt ended in a fourth-round KO but Buglioni believes the Lincolnshire man was just moments away from being crowned a World Champion and has taken confidence from his rival’s performance.
 
“I think Callum was very unlucky against Bertebiev,” added Buglioni. “I don’t think he realised how much he hurt him in the second round. When he caught him with that shot, Bertebiev’s legs weren’t there. If Callum has jumped on him then he’d be a World Champion right now.
 
“Callum proved that the guys at the top of the domestic scene can mix it at World level. They just need to have the belief in themselves and give it everything they have. I’m fully focused on Fanlong Meng but I know what a win could lead to.
 
“A shot at a World title is the dream and you never know what is around the corner, I just need to keep on winning. I’d love a shot at any of the World Champions, but I like fighting southpaws and if an opportunity to fight Adonis Stevenson arises then why not?”

Buglioni’s clash with Meng is part of a huge night of action in Monaco. 

Main event sees dangerous Russian Denis Lebedev defend his WBA Cruiserweight World title against undefeated American Mike Wilson.

WBA Super-Flyweight World Champion Kal Yafai aims to maintain his undefeated record when he makes the fourth defence of his crown against Mexico’s former World title challenger Israel Gonzalez.

Fresh from a shock win over highly-touted Heavyweight prospect Martin Bakole, America’s Michael Hunter steps in to face Russia’s Alexander Ustinov andKazakhstan’s Rio Olympic gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov faces Marcos Mojica in his fifth professional contest.

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