Matchroom Boxing and DAZN are heading to Kansas – and promoter Eddie Hearn has promised that the stacked card will deliver a ‘wild’ night.
Heavyweight star Jarrell Miller tops the bill as he continues his march to World honors against fellow unbeaten banger Bogdan Dinu, with chief-support provided by two-weight World ruler Claressa Shields who looks to add the WBC Middleweight strap to her WBA and IBF crowns against tough Scottish challenger.
Middleweight contenders Luis Arias and Gabriel Rosado clash in what promises to be a real war as the pair look to gatecrash the lucrative top table, and there’s an all-Mexican clash and a homecoming for Brandon Rios against Ramon Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’’, as both men look to make a splash at Welterweight.
Promoter Eddie Hearn told a press conference on Saturday that a big reason for taking the show to Kansas was the rise of Team USA 2016 Olympic bronze medal man Nico Hernandez, the 22 year old who has raced to 5-0 (4KOs) – the Wichita talent fights for the third time in the Kansas Star Casino and Arena since debuting there in March 2017.
Rankin has some high-profile support from home on the bill in the shape of three-weight World champion Ricky Burns in his 51st pro fight and a second fight in the paid ranks for Commonwealth bronze medal man John Docherty – with unbeaten Light-Heavyweight contender Anthony Sims Jr. and Brooklyn’s exciting newcomer to the Middleweight scene Nikita Ababiy, fresh from a first round KO on debut in Chicago earlier in the month.
Eddie Hearn: I watched Nico Hernandez box in Kansas on YouTube and I saw what we love at Matchroom Boxing – passion, excitement and a city that is behind the sport and their fighters. Then I realized that Brandon Rios is from Kansas, and we decided to take this event to the KSA and I am really, excited.
We’ve got about 6,000 seats to sell, and I believe we’re going to sell every one of them. This is part of our plan and process, to go to cities where we can get excitemne.t We’ve been to Chicago and Boston and they were great, people are happy that we are there and thanking us for bringing boxing to those cities. With Kansas, it’s a whole other level of excitement, and the one word I use to describe this show is wild.
Nico Hernandez: Kansas has never seen a card like this. I’ve been getting a lot of support back home and I can’t wait to be part of a great show. Claressa and I put in work at the 2016 Olympics so it’s great to have her on the show and another Kansan in Brandon, it’s going to be a brilliant night and I can’t wait.
Brandon Rios: I’m going back to Kansas! It’s the middle of nowhere, but it’s Kansas! I’m excited to be going back to fight there for the first time since 2009. I always come to fight and fighting Canelo’s older brother is great, everyone knows how I fight, and I am ready, I’m honored to be part of a bill stacked with talented fighters.
Luis Arias: Losses are over-rated – unless you have 11 of them like Gabe has – it’s about who you fight. I took a chance in my last fight against Daniel Jacobs, I had the opportunity to skip the line and jump into the mix with the top guys.
Even though it was the worst performance of my life, I fell short, you take the best out of the situation. I was able to go 12 rounds on one foot with a top guy. I know what kind of fighter Gabe is and what kind of fight this will be, he’ll bring it. I asked for this fight when I was 10-0 and honestly, his chances of beating me would have been better back then.
I’m stronger, I’m in my prime, and there’s nothing he can bring that can hurt me, that I haven’t seen. I know he’s tough, I’ve seen more of him than he has of me and we’re going to steal the show
Gabriel Rosado: It’s been a long time since my last fight but in that time, I’ve been able to re-group, focus, get back with my original trainer and I’m looking forward to this opportunity. Luis has said a lot about my losses, but win, lose or draw, everybody respects me.
He ran in his last fight, remember that. He doesn’t know what he’s got coming. I like that all the Middleweight titles are with DAZN – congratulations to Demetrius Andrade for his win, that’s a fight I’d love, Danny Jacobs too and Canelo – I want to smash this clown and then meet the top Middleweights.
Hannah Rankin: It’s an amazing opportunity for me to fight Claressa Shields, it’s one that I wanted so I am thrilled that we have got it. It’s going to be a fantastic fight, we both have aggressive come-forward styles, so I am looking forward to putting that into action as I think we’ve got one hell of a fight here.
Claressa Shields: Eddie said I am an Olympic gold medalist – I’m a two-time Olympic gold medalist, the only one in the US – but it’s cool, I have so many accomplishments it’s hard to keep up with them myself. I don’t know right now if I am a unified champion, close to being an undisputed champion – I just know I have a lot of belts at home.
Only being 6-0 and having two world titles at both Middleweight and Super-Middleweight, trying to become unified World champion – I don’t have to keep saying that I am the greatest woman boxer of all-time because you can see it. When you talk about women tat box the way that I do there’s only one that’s with me at the top and that’s Katie Taylor, anyone else is further down the ladder. I’m number one, and Katie is 1 ½, that’s how great she is.
All the respect to the women that box though, we have more than one fight to fight, we’re fighting each other but also fighting for equal pay, equal TV time, equal sponsorship as the men. Everybody wants us to play nice, but, you know I am not really that nice, and when I get inside the ring, I’m a beast.
Come November 17, I’m going to show Hannah that she may be tough, but she’s too damn tough, she wants to stay in there. I hope she works on her head movement because I’ve got a hell of an uppercut that I’ve been working on and it might out her down. I’m not training to be at HR level. The girl HR got beat by, I’d take her out within four rounds. I hope she comes in to box me – if she comers forward, it’ll be an early night, if she’s smarter, maybe she’ll last a little longer.
Jarrell Miller: Credit to Bodgan for taking the fight – I’m fighting people I have no animosity to! He’s undefeated, he’s been in camp for a fight last weekend, so I know he’s in shape. it’s been a long journey to get to where we are today, I’m finally at the stage where I am getting that title shot and being in a place to fight the big guys. The proof is in the pudding, being big is not a crime. Big Baby is big and I’m going to keep throwing big punches and getting big wins.
I’m finally getting the chance to headline a big card thanks to Eddie and Matchroom and I am going in for the kill. I’ve been in the gym since winning in Chicago and my hands feel good, so as always, I’m going for the KO. I want those big names, the Anthony Joshua’s, the Dillian Whyte’s, Deontay aka Beyonce Wilder – you know I can’t stand that guy. So, let’s get this win and then if Dillian doesn’t fight AJ, I can turn that English Muffin into toasted strudel.