Deontay Wilder- Robert Helenius PPV Undercard Finalized
The pay-per-view undercard for the Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius WBC semifinal heavyweight title eliminator on Oct. 15 (Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, is set.
In addition to the previously announced co-feature of former super middleweight titleholders Caleb Plant and Anthony Dirrell meeting in a title eliminator, two other fights have been finalized and were announced on Tuesday.
Heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez (20-0, 13 KOs), 30, Miami-based Cuban, will face Carlos Negron (25-3, 20 KOs), 35, of Puerto Rico, in a 10-rounder that Sanchez trainer Joe Goossen had already said was going to be on the card.
It’s a fight that was scheduled for Jan. 1 before Negron dropped out a week beforehand due to Covid-19 and Sanchez routed late replacement Christian Hammer.
“I intend to look for a knockout against Negron to demonstrate to boxing fans that I am both a boxer and a puncher,” Sanchez said “I feel I am the best heavyweight in the world and Oct. 15 will bring me one step closer to the very important goal of becoming mandatory contender for a world title opportunity in 2023.”
Said Negron: “I know Frank, and I’ve never been a fighter to call any other fighters out or speak of any other boxer, so I don’t know why he asked to fight me. When my coach told me he wanted to fight me, I didn’t take it personally. I took it like a challenge. It gave me incredible motivation, and now I want to fight him. Let’s see what I can do against good competition.”
In the opener, bantamweights Gary Antonio Russell (19-0, 12 KOs), 29, a southpaw from Capitol Heights, Maryland, and former world titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez (20-2, 13 KOs), 30, of Puerto Rico, will meet in a 12-round rematch.
Russell, the middle brother between featherweight titlist Gary Jr. and junior welterweight contender Gary Antuanne, and Rodriguez met in August 2021 in a no contest. The fight lasted only 16 seconds because an immediate accidental head butt left Rodriguez badly cut and unable to continue. Both fighters have won their only bouts since.
“I’m glad that Emmanuel and I will get our chance to have a redo,” Russell said. “Nothing has changed as far as my objective. I’m coming into the ring at Barclays Center to do whatever I have to do in order to finish this fight victorious.”
Rodriguez added, “I’ve been training in Mexico for a long time and away from my family so that I can focus on this fight that will define my future. Russell is a good fighter who has been avoided throughout his career, but I’ve come to show that I’m on another level. I will win hands down and be back on top of the bantamweight division. He’s going to realize that he’s not on my level.”