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In the shadows of Undisputed: the best fights in the “Ring of Fire” – Boxing News 24


May 18. The world will witness the emergence of the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago.

Under the titanic burden of such a conflict – Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury – the undercard may be underestimated by many. But Saudi Arabia promises to showcase some of the greatest boxing talent in the world.

So, who exactly will enter the Ring of Fire?

Preliminary information

At the bottom of the map are three standout fighters. The first, David Nyika, is one of the most promising stars in the heavyweight division. The New Zealand native, currently brilliant and unbeaten, hopes to extend his streak by defeating German and European heavyweight champion Michael Seitz. Currently 12-0, Seitz should be a good name on the resume if Olympian Nyika takes the field.

Popular southpaw prospect Moses Ithauma is set to take the stage against 25-3 heavyweight Ilya Mezentsev. The 19-year-old is ready to take over the division as the older talent begins to age and given the wealth of power and talent he possesses should start to slowly make his way towards some recognizable names after this performance.

Finally, in a fight that is sure to produce a spectacular spectacle, “Westgate Warrior” Issac Lowe (24-2-3) will take on former WBC Asian featherweight champion Hasibullah Ahmadi. In another example of the positive impact the Saudis have had on boxing, the eyes of the world will be on Ahmadi, a relatively unknown man with a 16-1 record, who will be looking to add Lowe to his record.

Frank Sanchez vs Ajit Kabayel

Two fighters with records and histories that eerily mirror each other, Agit Kabayel and Frank Sanchez, are guaranteed to produce some heavy fireworks. They're both 24-0, both 31, and both continental title holders in their respective regions – an inspiring and ideal example of matchmaking. Kabael scored a fourth-round TKO victory over Arslanbek Makhmudov during Day of Reckoning, while Sanchez scored a seven-round TKO victory over Junior Fa on the same card.

These two fighters are so similar that this fight will truly determine their fate.

Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab

His Excellency's favorite fighter Mark Chamberlain is set to return to Saudi Arabia to beat his 15-0 record against Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab (23-1), the WBO African featherweight champion.

Once again, the Saudis are providing a platform for a lesser-known fighter who could give Chamberlain trouble. However, Chamberlain seemed unstoppable last time out against the iron will of Gavin Gwynn (17-3-1) and, with his strong gas reserves and left-footed stance, this could prove too much of a step forward for Wahab.

Sergey Kovalev vs Robin Sirvin Safar

“Crusher” Sergei Kovalev was attracted to the Ring of Fire by Saudi Arabian money, despite his age and activity suggesting a possible decline. Now 35-4-1, Kovalev hasn't fought since his 2022 unanimous decision win over younger brother Pulev – not the kind of fight that would prepare someone for a fight of this magnitude.

Although his opponent Robin Safar (16-0) has not yet faced an opponent of Kovalev's caliber, his age and intensity could help the legendary Kovalev go the distance.

However, there are a lot of question marks in this fight; about Safar's talent, about Kovalev's shrinkage, and about who is most likely to win the Ring of Fire.

Joe Cordina vs. Anthony Cacace

'Welsh Wizard' Joe Cordina (17-0) will put his IBF title on the line against lesser IBO featherweight title Anthony Cacace in a Wales v Ireland match. One can't help but wonder if a fight like this should have headlined somewhere like Cardiff, although for a titanic card like Ring of Fire it makes sense. The Apache are 21-1 and Cordina will be looking to maintain her perfect record in Saudi Arabia.

Of course, this battle is expected to heat up from the opening bell to a dramatic conclusion.

Jai Opetaya vs Mairis Breidis

Jai Opetaya (24-0), the current king of the heavyweight division, is set to return to his bout against Mairis Briedis (28-2), with that first fight taking place in 2022. The last time the Ring magazine champion defeated Briedis was in Australia. earned his IBF belt before it was withdrawn due to controversy before the Day of Reckoning.

Briedis managed to get Opetaia a points decision last time out, but severe inactivity and age are sure to be the deciding factors here, and Opetaia has only looked better since then. After two years of brilliant development, it is difficult to understand how Opetaia cannot finish so well from a distance; especially with a chance to get his belt back.

So, ultimately, with these fights on the line, one can begin to look beyond the undisputed and look forward to a whole card of non-stop action at the highest level of the sport.


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