Deontay Wilder is the unquestioned A-list star of the Fox-televised Premier Boxing Champions event set for prime time on February 25. But the heavyweight champion won’t have to carry the show all by himself, as he’ll be surrounded by quite a strong supporting cast.
Leading into Wilder’s title defense against Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, will be a pair of exciting undercard matchups between four fighters with a combined record of 77-2—and 62 of those wins have come by knockout.
In the co-main event, Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) will battle unbeaten Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) in a battle of 154-pound contenders, with the winner becoming the front-runner to get a shot at world champion Jermall Charlo. Also, highly touted Polish heavyweight prospect Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs) will make his North American debut against former world title challenger Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs).
All the action will be televised live on Fox and Fox Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Harrison is riding a three-fight winning streak since the 26-year-old Detroit native suffered his only professional defeat to Willie Nelson by ninth-round TKO in July 2015. That run includes consecutive stoppages of his only two opponents of 2016—Fernando Guerrero (sixth round) and Sergey Rabchenko (ninth round) in March and July, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hurd has been nothing short of dominant in recent years, stopping seven of his last eight opponents—including the last five in a row—dating to June 2014. The 26-year-old from Accokeek, Maryland, most recently took out veteran Jo Jo Dan by sixth-round TKO on November 12.
“This is the guaranteed fight of the night on February 25,” Harrison said. “This fight is do-or-die for me, and I’m going to remind everyone how gifted I am.
“Hurd is my toughest opponent to date, and the winner of this will catapult themselves to the top of the division. You don’t want to miss this fight.”
Said Hurd: “This fight lines up a world title shot for me, and I’m not going to take it for granted. The time has come for me to step up and overcome this obstacle.
“Tony is a tall guy who likes to move around, and he has some nice power. He’s a good fighter, and I’m expecting a tough fight. This is a great position to be in, and I’m going to work hard to take advantage of it.”
The 30-year-old Ugonoh, who was born to Nigerian parents in Poland and now resides in Las Vegas, is a former kickboxing champion who turned professional as a boxer in October 2010. The chiseled, 6-foot-5 slugger competed exclusively in Poland for his first nine bouts, with his last eight contests taking place in New Zealand—seven of which ended in knockouts.
In his last bout on October 1, Ugonoh recorded three knockdowns of Gregory Tony on his way to a swift second-round TKO.
“I’m really looking forward to my first fight in the United States,” Ugonoh said. “I’m expecting a tough fight from Dominic Breazeale. He always comes to fight, and I know I have to be ready for anything he can bring to the ring.”
A 31-year-old Southern California native and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Breazeale will represent Ugonoh’s toughest and most accomplished opponent to date.
The onetime college quarterback won his first 17 fights before traveling to London in June to challenge undefeated heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Breazeale lasted as long as any fighter has against Joshua, but fell by seventh-round TKO.
“It’s a new year for me, and I have great expectations for 2017,” said Breazeale, who at 6-foot-7 will have a two-inch height advantage over Ugonoh. “It all starts with a victory on February 25.
“I know my opponent is going to come prepared to protect his perfect record, but I’m going to be ready to do anything to get the victory.”
For a complete look at Harrison vs Hurd, visit our fight page.