WBA bridgerweight eliminator slated for Saturday

Source: WBA

06/02/2024

WBA bridgerweight eliminator slated for Saturday

Evgeny Romanov and Zhaoxin Zhang will fight in a WBA bridgerweight (224-pound) eliminator this Saturday in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The newly minted WBA bridgerweight championship is currently held by Russia's Evgeny Tishchenko. Romanov is 38 years old and is 19-0 as a pro. He holds an amateur win over former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and a pro win over former WBO title holder Siarhei Lyakhovich (via a 2020 knockout). The Volgogradv native is coming off a win over Wilmer Vasquez last September and feels ready for his most important fight yet. Zhang (11-2-1) has international experience, but in his biggest fight, he lost to Ryad Merhy in a bid for a secondary cruiserweight title. From China, Zhang is 28 years old and will try to take advantage of his youth to pull the upset.

 

BOXINGTALK'S BRIDGERWEIGHT DIVISION TIMELINE

WBA / DEC. 12, 2023: Evgeny Tishchenko is now recognized as the first WBA bridgerweight champion after he defeated Germany's Leon Harth this weekend at the Agenda Arena in Dubai. The Russian Tischenko  finished the fight in the sixth round against Harth to join South Africa's Kevin Lerena as the two recognized champions in the nascent 224-pound weight class. Tishchenko dominated the bout, winning every round and getting a knockdown in the second round. The fight ended when Harth took a ten count after a hard shot to his body. Tishchenko's most accurate pro record is 21-3 including the World Series of Boxing. Harth falls to 22-6-1. 
 
WBC / NOV. 27, 2023:  In a 224-pound fight held in South Africa on Saturday, Kevin Lerena outclassed rugged Senad Gashi, landing powerful accurate blows throughout the twelve rounds of the fight. Lerena diminished Gashi’s condition round by round. Gashi never stopped fighting and trying to win, but Lerena remained focused on his fight plan to tilt the fight in his favor. Gashi was penalized a point in the final round after hitting Lerena with a low blow. The South African took revenge for this action by knocking down Gashi seconds before the end of the last round. The judges scored the fight in favor of South African Lerena, declaring him the new WBC interim bridgerweight champion. He now looks forward to facing champion Lukasz Różański, who is expected to fight two-time world champion Badou Jack first. 
 
WBC / APRIL 23, 2023: Poland's Lukasz Rozanski became the second WBC bridgerweight champion, winning the vacant 224-pound title by knocking out Croatia's Alen Babic in the very first round at the G2A Arena in Rzeszow, Poland. Rozanski didn’t give Babic an opportunity to get comfortable because as soon as the bell rang in the first round, the wild-swinging Pole attacked the visiting Croatian with power, sending him to the canvas. Babic got to his feet, but Rozanski connected with a powerful right hand that again put Babic in bad shape, and then Babic was battered with all kinds of combinations. The referee Guadalupe García decided to stop the fight because Babic was receiving too much punishment. With this victory, Rozanski established himself as the WBC bridgerweight champion, succeeding Oscar Rivas, whose career ended due to eye problems. Rozanski improved his record to 15-0 with 14 knockouts. Babic, who had his manager, English heavyweight Dillian Whyte in his corner, fell to 12-2 (including the World Series of Boxing).
 
WBC / JAN. 7, 2023: Oscar Rivas is the first-ever bridgerweight champion in recess. The WBC clarified that Rivas has not been stripped of his bridgerweight championship, but instead has been demoted to champion in recess until he confirms his decision about his boxing future. Rivas suffered a detached retina and will not be able to fight his contracted bout with Lukasz Rozanski of Poland. The WBC Board of governors has voted in favor of the following resolution to immediately address the status of the new 224-pound weight division: Alen Babic and Rozanski will fight for the vacant title with a 50-50 purse split if a purse bid is needed. The winner must commit to comply with two mandatories, the first one against the winner of a final eliminator between Ryad Merhy vs. Kevin Lerena. 
 
WBC / APRIL 27, 2022: Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), Probellum and Global Jabes 77 held a joint press conference in Bogota, Colombia, to announce WBC bridgerweight champion Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (28-1, 19 KOs) will make his first title defense on August 13th at home against Poland's Lukasz Rozanski (14-0, 13 KOs) at the Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero stadium (40,000 capacity) in Cali, Colombia. **The fight would never take place after it was revealed that Rivas had a detached retina and could not fight anymore.** 
 
WBC / OCT. 23, 2021: Colombian transplant Oscar Rivas emerged from an all-Canadian slugfest as the first bridgerweight world champion. Rivas defeated Ryan Rozicki in a phone booth-type fight by scores of 115-112 (twice) and 116-111 to win the inaugural WBC 224-pound honors. An exhausted Rivas bloodied Rozicki's nose and brow but had a point deducted in round twelve for excessive holding. Rozicki took the fight on barely three weeks’ notice after Bryant Jennings refusal to get the coronavirus vaccine barred him from fighting in Canada.