PLANT CITY, Florida: The sweet science is about to experience a revolutionary change, and it all starts with two action-packed battles in the light heavyweight and featherweight divisions.
ProBox TV, the first and only global sports streaming and media company dedicated exclusively to the sport of professional boxing, will host its first live broadcast on May 20 as IBF No. 1 Contender Fanlong Meng (17-0, 10 KOs) and former two-time world champion Jean Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs) meet in a 12-round clash for a top spot in the 175-pound division.
In the co-feature, former champion Xu Can (18-3, 3 KOs) makes his highly anticipated return against rugged Mexican warrior Brandon Benitez (18-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round bout that is guaranteed to produce a war.
Ticket and undercard information for the event will be announced shortly. The entire event will be streamed live on ProBox TV from the Company’s Events Center in Plant City, Florida.
Meng is a 34-year-old southpaw who has been craving for a meaningful challenge. He made his professional debut in 2015 following a decorated amateur career where he represented China in the 2012 Olympic Games. Since then, he has captured two regional titles, the WBO Oriental and the IBF Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Titles. The native of Chifeng City, China is eager to step up in opposition in order to put himself in line for a world title. But in order to do so, he’ll have to take on the toughest, most dangerous test of his career against a former world champion.
“I’m so excited to get back in the ring and face former world champion Jean Pascal on May 20,” said Meng. “This fight is so unique for a lot of different reasons. It’s my first time as the main event fighter. It’s the first time I face a former world champion, and it’s the first time we will live stream in China so that 1.5 billion people can support. It’s also my first time fighting on ProBox, my home turf. I’ve been training very hard here in Florida. Camp has been great. I can’t wait to put on a good show.”
Pascal is generally considered to be one of the top light heavyweights of the past 15 years. In 2009, he defeated Adrian Diaconu to capture the WBC Light Heavyweight World Title. He defended it twice before capturing the IBO Light Heavyweight World Championship in a unification fight with Chad Dawson.
Pascal eventually lost the belts in a 2011 rematch to Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, but had world title opportunities during the next few years against the likes of Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol. He will need to defeat Meng if he wants to remain a player in the division, and if age is a significant factor, then that means he’ll need to resort to using power and strength to stop the younger man early.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Pascal. “I’m back with a lot to prove and a fire under my ass. This fight with Meng is a great opportunity for me to get right back where I belong, the top of the division. He’s a good fighter. He’s undefeated for a reason, but he’s never been in with anybody like me. After this fight, he and Ahmed Elbiali will have something in common, losses to me in Florida in fights his people should have never made.”
Can is a former world champion who is known for his volume punching and relentless action. The native of Fuzhou, China captured the WBA Featherweight World Title with a unanimous decision victory over Jesus Rojas in January 2019. He made defenses against Shun Kubo and Manny Robles III before losing the belt against Leigh Wood in July 2021.
Can will look to bounce back against a tough challenge in Benitez, a 24-year-old native of Queretaro, Mexico whose only losses have come against undefeated boxers. Benitez will enter this fight coming off a four-fight win streak.
“I’m excited to return to the ring in this tough fight against Brandon Benitez,” said Can. “Fans know my style. They know that I like to throw lots of punches. So when it’s a fight between me and a Mexican warrior like Benitez, you know it will be a war.”
“I am ready and excited for this opportunity to face a former world champion,” said Benitez. “This is the opportunity I’ve been fighting for all my life. I know it will be a difficult fight where there’ll be a lot of punches thrown, but I will be in great shape to not only throw more than my opponent, but also to win convincingly.”
In addition to this double main event, ProBox TV subscribers will be treated with an innovative tournament series titled “Last Chance.” Additional details will be announced shortly.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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