Former three-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-2, 22 KOs)returns to his hometown looking for a fourth world title as he faces fellow former world champion Khabib “The Hawk” Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) for the WBA Super Lightweight world title on Saturday, October 3 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, undefeated IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) will defend his belt against veteran former world title challenger Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19 KOs).
“I’m excited to be back in Cincinnati taking on a tough world class fighter who is going to bring it,” said Broner. “This fight means the world to me. It’s a huge deal to have the chance to be a four-division world champion at 26 years old.”
“Broner is a good boxer, he is a fast and talented guy, but as a man I don’t have anything good to say about him,” said Allakhverdiev. “I am looking forward to a world championship winning performance and I know that if he tries to do something to get in my head, to approach me or to push me that I will be as restrained as possible and save my anger for fight night.”
“I’m very excited to be back on SHOWTIME defending my title,” said Pedraza. “This is another step in the direction of becoming a superstar in the sport of boxing. I will be victorious and make my island proud.”
“I’m in a tough fight on October 3 but I’m very excited for this opportunity,” said Cherry. “This is nothing new for me. I’m not taking Pedraza lightly. He’s a champion for a reason. This is something that comes once in a lifetime and I’m going all-in to win this title.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and About Billions Promotions, are priced at $154, $104, $79, $54, and $29 and are on sale NOW. Tickets are available at the U.S. Bank Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores, call 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.
The 12-round fight will be Broner’s first since he dropped a unanimous decision to former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter in June 20. Broner is 8-1 in title fights and has collected belts at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, but has never won a title at 140 pounds. Dropping down in weight, Broner is looking to add a fourth world title to his resume in his return to Cincinnati, where he defeated Emmanuel Taylor last September in front of his hometown fans in a 2014 Fight of the Year candidate.
Allakhverdiev’s (pronounced ah-lockh-ver-DEE-ev) only blemish came via controversial 12-round split decision in a title defense to then-undefeated Jessie Vargas in April 2014. Allakhverdiev, of Moscow, Russia, initially won the WBA 140-pound crown with an eight-round technical decision over previously unbeaten three-division world champion Joan Guzmán in November 2012. In his lone defense, the southpaw scored two knockdowns in a one-sided 11th-round TKO over former world champion Souleymane M’Baye in July 2013. This is Allakhverdiev’s first start since the questionable loss to Vargas.
Pedraza, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, won the vacant IBF 130-pound title with a dominating unanimous decision over Andrey Klimov on June 13 on SHOWTIME in Birmingham, Ala. The switch-hitting former Puerto Rican Olympian backed up his “The Sniper” moniker against Klimov as he picked apart the Russian with superior speed and accuracy. Pedraza earned a shot at the title in his previous bout with a career-best win over former world title challenger Michael Farenas last November.
Cherry, of Wauchula, Fla., is a former world title challenger who is 10-0 with 1 NC since 2009. His only blemishes since 2007 are losses to Timothy Bradley and Paulie Malignaggi at 140-pounds. Since the loss to Bradley in a bout for the WBC Super Lightweight World Championship in 2008, Cherry has gone undefeated as he made his way down to 135 and 130 pounds. Cherry, who was born in the Bahamas, owns victories over Vicente Escobedo, Monte Meza Clay and Wes Ferguson.