Bravose Previews: Title fights happening in October 2019

Oct 1, 2019

Gennady Golovkin vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko  IBF middleweight title

On Friday 5 October, Gennady Golovkin will square off against Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight title. Golovkin is bidding to become world champion once again after being beaten by Canelo Alvarez in 2018. With Alvarez unable to reach a deal to fight Derevyanchenko - and moving to light-heavyweight – Golovkin and Derevyanchenko will now meet at Madison Square Garden. While Golovkin has fought at the MSG seven times and considers it his home from home, it is Derevyanchenko’s debut. However, Derevyanchenko believes it could be Golovkin’s last time fighting there, saying: “His time is coming to an end, and I want to be the one that makes that time come to an end." Golovkin said: "I’m a little bit scared because he’s absolutely right.”

Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin WBO super-welterweight title

In this rescheduled fight, Claressa Shields will take on Ivana Habazin for the WBO super-welterweight title on Friday 5 October at the Dort Federal Event Center in Shields’ hometown in Michigan. Undisputed champion Shields is attempting to make boxing history by becoming the fastest fighter ever to win world titles in three weight classes. Habazin herself is on a five-fight win streak, but in stark comparison only held a title for six months during 2014. Shields, who “can’t wait” to fight before her hometown fans, said: “Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make it a night I will cherish forever. It is another big step in history, and a giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Josh Warrington vs Sofiane Takoucht IBF featherweight title

Josh Warrington will take on Sofiane Takoucht for the IBF featherweight title at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday 12 October. It is another hometown defence for champion Warrington, whose little known opposite number Takoucht is a voluntary opponent. Having already retained his featherweight title twice, the fight Warrington really wanted was a unification bout in the USA. However, with Oscar Valdez moving up in weight, and Leo Santa Cruz not seeming keen, Promoter Frank Warren said Takoucht was the next available contender. Warrington said: “Takoucht is tough and got his IBF ranking through hard work. This is a massive opportunity for him. I have to stay focused and not take my eye off the ball. Takoucht said: “It’s a chance to beat the best featherweight in the world. Get ready for a shock.”

Dmitry Bivol vs Lenin Castillo WBA light-heavyweight title

On Saturday 12 October the Wintrust Arena in Chicago will see Dmitry Bivol attempt to defend his WBA world light-heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo. It is unbeaten Bivol’s latest defence of his belt after defeating Joe Smith by unanimous decision in March. Bivol has strong-held ambitions to unify the division in 2020 but will first need to focus against underdog Castillo, who is confident of an upset having won his last two bouts. Castillo said: “It’s a dream come true. I consider Dmitry Bivol in the top 20 on the pound-for-pound list, but I know that I have the tools to upset him.” Bivol said: “I am happy that the fight is done and the opponent is confirmed. Castillo is a good opponent. I hope that we can make a very exciting performance for the fans.”

Artur Beterbiev vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles

Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk will meet in a light-heavyweight unification fight on Friday 18 October at Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center. Beterbiev took the IBF title in 2017 and has made two subsequent crushing defences, while Gvozdyk dramatically took the WBC title from Adonis Stevenson last year. It is a matchup that has got boxing fans talking, with some expecting the two undefeated light-heavyweight world titleholders to make this the best fight of 2019. Beterbiev said: "This will be a great fight between the two champions who aspire to become the undisputed light-heavyweight world champion.” Gvozdyk said: "This is going to be a spectacular fight, one that the fans will enjoy. The fans asked for this fight, and we will deliver. One thing I know is that I will be the unified champion.”   

Ted Cheeseman vs Scott Fitzgerald  British super-welterweight title

  Scott Fitzgerald will attempt to dethrone British super-welterweight champion Ted Cheeseman when the two fighters meet at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle on Saturday 19 October. While Fitzgerald is looking dominant after subjecting Anthony Fowler to his first defeat, Cheeseman is coming into the bout after failing to take the European title in February and getting a draw against Kieron Conway in the first defence of his British title in June. Fitzgerald thought Cheeseman deserved the win. He said: "I thought Cheeseman beat Conway, but after that performance, I'm confident I can beat him.” Cheeseman said: "I had a bad start to the year but I overcame all of my demons. I thought I performed well against Conway in June but I didn't get the win, but I'm still the champion and it's my belt to lose.”

Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor  WBA and IBF super-lightweight titles

London’s O2 Arena will host a unification fight when Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor meet to battle it out for the WBA and IBF super-lightweight titles on Saturday 26 October. At one point the World Boxing Super Series final was in doubt as Prograis seemed to attempt to pull out over financial and timing issues. But with the fight joining Eddie Hearn’s 26 October show, it will now go ahead. Taylor said: "Now it's finally over the line I can concentrate on getting to work in the gym and going full steam ahead again. I can't see anything other than a Josh Taylor win." Prograis said: “I always had it in my mind that I was going to get through Josh Taylor and it looks like everything is happening just the way I envisioned it.”

Shakur Stevenson vs Joet Gonzalez  WBO featherweight title

Joet Gonzalez will take on Shakur Stevenson in his first title fight when the pair meet to duke it out for the vacant WBO featherweight title in Reno’s Convention Center on Saturday 26 October. It is a dream come true for both fighters - Gonzalez has coveted this strap for quite some time, while Stevenson at 12 fights into his career had reportedly been getting impatient for a title fight. Both are coming into the bout off the back of knockouts. Gonzalez said: “It’s about time I got my world title shot. I’ve been asking for this opportunity for a long time.” Stevenson said: "I have been working for this moment my entire life, and no one is going to stop me from becoming a world champion. The Shakur Stevenson era will officially begin on 26 October.”

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