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Brant set to defend WBA belt against Baysangurov

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Brant set to defend WBA belt against Baysangurov

This Friday night at the Grand Casino Hinckley, nearby St. Paul, Minnesota native Rob Brant will defend his WBA middleweight title against undefeated Khasan Baysangurov in a tripleheader on ESPN. Brant, who upset Japanese superstar Ryota Murata last October 20th via unanimous decision to win the title, is making his 12th appearance at the casino.

“Becoming a world champion was a dream come true. It’s extra special that my first title defense will be in my home state of Minnesota in front of my fans,” Brant told the media. “I fully understand the task in front of me, as it is harder to keep a title than it is to win one. My opponent is very talented and certainly deserving of his world ranking. I know that Khasan has weaknesses, and I feel we can exploit them. I am already working hard in a full training camp in Las Vegas in order to be prepared for top-level competition. I am confident and ready.”

 

Baysangurov (17-0, 7 KOs), whose been boxing since 16, is a former Russian amateur standout, Baysangurov had recently won the vacant WBA Intercontinental middleweight belt last May with a 12-round decision win defeating Guido Pitto. He last defended that belt in October in Kiev, Ukraine, with a unanimous decision victory versus Paul Valenzuela Jr.

“I am very proud and happy to receive this great opportunity to showcase my skills against the reigning WBA middleweight world champion,” Baysangurov told the press. “I won’t disappoint my team and will give everything it takes to become the new champion. Of course, Rob Brant is a good boxer and a great champion, but now is my time to shine.”

Rounding out the televised triple header card are Joshua Greer Jr. (19-1-1,11 KOs) taking on Giovanni “Little Giant” Escaner (19-3,13 KOs) and Mikaela Mayer (9-0, 4 KOs) challenging Yareli Larios (13-1-1, 3 KOs).

Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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