Matchroom Boxing continues its very busy schedule this Saturday with a stacked card at Casino Monte Carlo in Monaco. The Monte Carlo card marks the start of a run of 5 shows in 20 days for the British outfit, headed by Eddie Hearn. The Monte Carlo card is headlined by a clash of unbeaten Russians for the WBA’s “regular” belt as “The Python” Radzhab Butaev (12-0 9 KOs) takes on Egis Kilmas-promoted Alexander Besputin (13-0 9 KOs) in a card that is far deeper than some would be forgiven for thinking.
The two American-based Russian welterweights are both relatively untested in the pro ranks but will have to rise to the occasion in the fight that will see the winner suddenly become far more relevant in arguably the most lucrative division in the sport. For some insight, the last time this belt was contested was between Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2 39 KOs) and Adrien Broner (33-4-1 24 KOs) in January of this year with the victorious “Pac-Man” presently holding the “Super” version of the WBA strap after heroically dethroning Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1 22 KOs).
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport surprised many when he won the purse-bid between the Top Rank-promoted fighter, Besputin and Lou DiBella-promoted fighter, Butaev and made it the headline attraction with the bout initially being touted for the undercard of Beterbiev-Gvozdyk. Matchroom have also added a number of interesting bouts on the undercard of this showdown that makes the night of boxing even more worth the watch.
On the undercard, the Welterweight Championship is on the line as P4P sensation Cecilia Braekus (35-0 9 KOs) takes on game fringe-contender Victoria Bustos (19-5 0 KOs) in a fight that could be the last stumbling block for Braekus before a super fight with Irish superstar Katie Taylor (15-0 6 KOs) who has just made her mark in the weight class below, picking up the WBO belt at super-lightweight.
Further down the card, man-mountain Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (20-0 16 KOs) looks to put himself into the heavyweight conversation as he takes a step up in competition against Andriy Rudenko (32-4 20 KOs). Some may know Rudenko for losing a lop-sided decision against another heavyweight on the card, the classy and elusive Hughie Fury (23-3 13 KOs) as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing decision loss to the more aggressive and effective Alexander Povetkin (35-2 24 KOs) earlier in the year.
Team GB standout Joe Cordina looks to come out of the shadows of his higher-profile Olympic counterparts as he steps in with tough Mexican Enrico Tinoco (18-5 13 KOs) in the card-opener. Tinoco endeared himself to the UK fans with his come-forward style when he battered and stopped the highly touted Jordan Gill (24-1 7 KOs) in front of the Sky Sports cameras in Nottingham, UK, in May. The Welshman’s fans will be hoping that Tinoco’s style will play into Cordina’s hands as he’ll look to box on the back-foot with flashy combinations and footwork but Tinoco has shown he can cut off the ring and make the fight ugly, so it’s a great match of styles to open the varied and exciting card headed to the city-state this weekend.