International boxing returns to ESPN+ this weekend with a pair of #MTKFightNight cards featuring many of the sport’s up-and-comers and a world champion on the comeback trail.
The traveling roadshow hits Caesars Palace Dubai on Friday, as the unbeaten Aliu Bamidele Lasisi will make the first defense of his WBC International super flyweight title in a 10-rounder against two-time world title challenger Norbelto Jimenez. Lasisi-Jimenez will headline a scheduled five-fight stream beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The full undercard will be available in both English and Spanish.
Lasisi (14-0, 8 KOs), from Lagos, Nigeria, won the WBC International belt last April with a unanimous decision over Nicaraguan veteran Ricardo Blandon. He last fought in December in Kazakhstan, shutting out Hamson Lamandau over eight rounds. Lasisi moved to Dubai in 2014 and found work as a cleaner in a gym before turning pro in August 2015. Jimenez (29-9-4, 16 KOs) began his career 2-8-1, but he rebounded to become a world-class super flyweight. He challenged for the WBA super flyweight world title twice, dropping a unanimous decision to Kal Yafai in 2019 and fighting to a draw against Kohei Kono in 2014.
In other streaming action from Dubai, unbeaten super welterweight prospect Rohan Date (11-0-1, 8 KOs) will face Rivo Kundimang (9-2-2, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder. Former IBF junior featherweight world champion TJ “The Power” Doheny (22-1, 16 KOs), in his second bout since losing his world title to Daniel Roman in a stirring unification bout, will fight Ionut Baluta (12-2, 2 KOs) in an eight-rounder at featherweight. Australian super middleweight champion Cesar Mateo Tapia (11-0, 6 KOs) will return in an eight-round non-title affair against Irishman Steve Collins Jr. (14-3-1, 4 KOs). Kazakh heavyweight prospect Zhan Kossobutskiy (12-0, 11 KOs) will fight an opponent to be named in an eight-rounder.
Following the Dubai card, #MTKFightNight returns Saturday evening (ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET) from the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, England, as Danny Dignum will make the first defense of his WBO European middleweight title in a 10-rounder against Belfast native and fellow southpaw Alfredo Meli.
Dignum (12-0, 6 KOs) picked up the vacant belt last November with a brutal fifth-round stoppage over Conrad Cummings. Dignum, 27, will be making his fourth appearance at the Brentwood Centre. Last May, he earned an eight-round decision over former world title challenger Rafal Jackiewicz. Meli (17-0-1, 5 KOs) is competing in only his second scheduled 10-rounder and is coming off a closely contested eight-round decision win over the previously unbeaten Araik Marutjan. The only blemish on his record came via split draw to Cummings back in November 2015.
In other streaming action from Brentwood, in a 10-rounder for the vacant British Southern Area welterweight title, Sam Gilley (10-0, 5 KOs) will step up against Curtis Felix Jr. (10-1, 1 KO), who is hoping to rebound from his first career defeat. Welterweight prospect Shaquille “The Black Mexican” Day (13-0, 2 KOs) will return in a 10-rounder against Kaisee Benjamin (9-1-1, 2 KOs), a Birmingham native who is unbeaten in six fights dating back to April 2018. In a six-round battle of undefeated middleweights, James “Hitman” Hawley (5-0, 0 KOs) will fight Josh Adewale (3-0, 0 KOs).