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MTK Global, Top Rank debut card on ESPN+ Friday

On July 4th Jack Dempsey Became Heavyweight Champ


MTK Global, Top Rank debut card on ESPN+ Friday

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

MTK Global, Top Rank debut card on ESPN+ Friday

Top Rank and MTK Global’s exclusive multi-year licensing agreement will begin on  Friday, April 5 with a fight card coming from Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Five bouts are scheduled to air live beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET exclusively on the streaming service ESPN+.

In the 12-round main event, Nigerian power puncher Aliu Bamidele “Lucky Boy” Lasisi (12-0, 8 KOs) will fight Ricardo Blandon (10-1, 6 KOs) for the vacant WBC International super flyweight belt. The co-feature will see Irishman David Oliver Joyce (9-0, 7 KOs) battle Stephen Tiffney (10-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European featherweight strap. This will be a great matchup as Joyce in the footage I’ve seen of likes to follow up the jab and apply pressure. A great example of this is a fight from 2017 where he made quick work of Lesther Cantillano.

Lasisi’s last bout was a dominant unanimous decision over Mchanja Yohana in December. Blandon, who hails from Managua, Nicaragua, has won three straight bouts by knockout and will be making his first ring appearance outside of his home country. His only loss was in a rematch he had with fellow countrymen Martin Diaz in November 2017. This fight for both fighters will be a step up for them in competition and should be fun as both guys throw.

Joyce, who represented Ireland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl last October at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tiffney has won two straight since a decision loss to Lewis Paulin (10-0 at the time). The other action slated on the card scheduled are:

Up-and-coming super middleweight Mateo Tapia (9-0, 5 KOs) will face Gaganpreet Sharma (8-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Shakhobidin Zoirov, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics for his native Uzbekistan, will make his professional debut against Anthony Holt (5-4-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round featherweight contest.

Lightweight prospect Majid Al-Naqbi will make his professional debut versus Vladimir Lytkin (0-2) in a four-rounder.

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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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