Featured images: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
Matchroom Boxing have confirmed two heavyweight fights for the undercard of Anthony Joshua‘s rematch with rival Dillian Whyte on August 12th.
Both men look to kickstart another shot at world titles in a crucial crossroads match-up next month, and the heavyweight theme continues on the undercard.
Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12KOs) returns for his first fight of 2023 against Australia’s unbeaten Demsey McKean (22-0, 14KOs) in the chief support, while Brentwood’s Johnny Fisher (9-0, KOs) faces Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the vacant Southern Area title.
Hrgovic last featured with a controversial unanimous decision victory over Zhilei Zhang in August to cement his place as number one challenger under the IBF.
The 31 year old was forced to pick himself off the canvas in the first to claim what many felt was a generous win in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Arena.
McKean meanwhile penned a long-term deal with Matchroom back in November 2021 and was linked with a fight against former two-time champion Anthony Joshua earlier in the year.
Ranked 12th with the WBO, McKean trains out of Tony Sims‘ Matchroom Gym in Romford and faces by far his toughest test yet against the Rio 2016 bronze medalist.
Further down the card, Fisher looks to land the first major title of his career in his tenth professional outing.
The 24 year old landed a first-round stoppage against the overmatched Emilio Salas last month.
Originally taking up rugby, Fisher turned to the boxing gym and made his pro debut on the undercard of David Avanesyan versus Josh Kelly over two years ago.
Armstrong tasted defeat for the first time as a pro in February against rising prospect Jeamie TKV.
The Main Event
Seven-and-a-half years on from their initial encounter which saw Joshua land a seventh-round knockout against Whyte for the British title, the pair meet again plotting their route back to world honours.
Joshua surrendered his unified titles to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021 before losing the rematch eleven months later, while Whyte was halted inside six by WBC champion Tyson Fury in front of a packed Wembley Stadium in April last year.
America’s Jermaine Franklin was drafted in as the comeback opponent for both men, first losing a closely-fought majority-decision over twelve versus Whyte in November.
Left feeling aggrieved by the verdict, the 29 year old was rewarded with a fight against former two-time world champion Joshua in April, losing wide after twelve rounds at the O2 Arena.
The Brit’s performance drew criticism from large portions of the boxing fraternity however who accused him of being overly tentative and lacking urgency in his work in his first fight since teaming up with trainer Derrick James.
Joshua has the perfect opportunity to silence any doubters next month against his rival Whyte who does hold a win over him from their time in the amateurs.
The pair met at a respectful but tense announcement press conference earlier this week, just over five weeks out from fight night.