“Full respect to Ziani he’s coming over here to defend his title, but I will be relieving him of the belt”
Alex Dilmaghani will finally challenge the reigning European Super-Featherweight Champion Samir Ziani on Saturday 5th September, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 in the UK.
Presented by Mick Hennessy for Hennessy Sports in association with Ladbrokes, Infinitum, Numan and Everlast, the five-fight card to be staged behind-closed-doors at a purpose-built TV production facility in Wakefield, also features the Southern Area Super-Flyweight Championship between Sammy Cantwell and Ricky Little; cruiserweight talent Isaac Chamberlain and fast-rising middleweight prospect Michael Hennessy Jr; plus a further name to be confirmed.
All-action Dilmaghani (19-1-1, 8 KO’s) was due to face Ziani (31-3-1, 6 KO’s) for the European title on April 25th, but the show was subsequently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hennessy has worked hard to ensure that his charge still had his title challenge upon the recommencement of boxing.
Dilmaghani, 28, is raring to return to the ring and finally lay his claim on the prized European title. It will be almost a year since his last fight in November at the York Hall where he fought a thrilling battle against the Two-Time World title challenger Francisco Fonseca for the IBO World title that ended in a draw, but was one of the fight’s of the year.
The Crayford southpaw displayed his never-say-die warrior’s heart by fighting with a bad cut above his left eye from the ninth round, he pressed the fight and although it was very close at the end, many ringside observers felt that Dilmaghani had done enough to be given the decision.
He will need all that and more when he comes up against the solid and experienced Ziani from from Blagnac, France,
Ziani, 29, makes the second defence of his European title against Dilmaghani and it will be the first time he has fought in the UK despite having previously fought in Spain, Denmark, Morocco, Ukraine and Italy in his 35-fight career that has seen him capture the French and WBC & WBA International titles.
He won the vacant European title by forcing Spaniard Juli Gigner to retire in the sixth round in his Barcelona backyard last year and putting his title on the line against ‘Dilma’ holds no fear for him.
Ziani was last out in October when he made the first defence of the title over the Belgian challenger Faroukh Kourbanov with an unanimous points win. He has never been stopped in the three points losses on his record and one of those was to the big-hitting former IBF World Lightweight Champion Richard Commey in a very tight fight that some had Ziani winning.
Dilmaghani said: “It’s been a long and frustrating time to wait, but I’m so happy that Mick has worked hard behind the scenes to make sure the title fight stayed on and now I get my chance at the European title and it’s live on free-to-air Channel 5. Full respect to Ziani he’s coming over here to defend his title, but I will be relieving him of the belt. I can’t wait for it, it’s going to be a great fight and real thriller for the viewers’ on Channel 5.”
Ziani emphasised: “I’ve had plenty of extra time to prepare for Dilmaghani since the fight was postponed and I’m ready to fight him right now. I’ve boxed everywhere and in other fighters’ countries so fighting him in England does not worry me one bit. He is in for the fight of his life so I hope he has studied and prepared himself in the meantime because he won’t know what’s hit him.”
Hennessy added: “It’s a relief to finally announce the fight is back on between Samir and Alex and the European title will still be on the line. Like everyone, I was really looking forward to seeing this one in April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, it made it impossible to stage until restrictions had been eased.
“I’d like to thank Gary Hyde, The BBBofC, The EBU and Channel 5 for their input and foresight in keeping this fight together and with the aim of getting it on as soon as possible. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to deliver that and I’m sure their styles will make for a truly great fight on September 5th.”