Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN kicks off 2019 with a world title tripleheader at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
On January 18, DAZN will have it first boxing card in the United States of the new year and Demetrius Andrade is set to headline with his first WBO middleweight title defense. Andrade will defend his title against former title challenger Artur Akavov, who will get a second crack at the title.
Andrade finally won his middleweight title after many months being stuck in limbo waiting for a big fight to come. Andrade eventually left his former promoter and signed with Matchroom with the hope of becoming a two-division champion. Andrade was successful in his first fight with Matchroom, capturing the vacant title in Boston, but his title win came against last-minute opponent Walter Kautondokwa.
The title fight was originally supposed to be between then-champion Billy Joe Saunders and Andrade, but after Saunders failed a drug test weeks before the fight, he was denied a license and later surrendered the title to the WBO. Now Andrade is looking for big fights at 160 pounds, but must first defeat Akavov.
Akavov once challenged Saunders for the title in late 2016, but even a spirited effort from the Russian was not enough to get him the title. Akavov has since then won his next three fights, putting him in the position of potentially winning his first world title.
But that fight will be supported by two other title fights with a lot at stake on both bouts. The first is a fight between Amanda Serrano and Eva Voraberger for the vacant WBO Female super flyweight title. Serrano, a future Hall of Famer, could potentially win a world title in a seventh weight class with a win over Voraberger, but also keeps her momentum for a potential superfight against unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor.
Voraberger sports an incredible resume in her own right. Having won world titles at flyweight and super flyweight (plus an interim bantamweight title reign), Voraberger could cement herself as one of the best women’s boxers of this decade with a victory over Serrano.
Lastly, the IBF super bantamweight title fight between TJ Doheny and Ryohei Takahashi was a match added with less than two weeks before the show. Doheny, the latest signing for Matchroom Boxing, is defending his title for the first time, but a win over Takahashi, who is coming into the fight as a major underdog, could reap greater rewards in the future. Should Doheny win, he could be facing WBA champion Daniel Roman later this year in a big title unification at 122 pounds.
All this, plus more on a loaded card from the Hulu Theater. Below are the top fights taking place on DAZN:
- Demetrius Andrade (c) vs. Artur Akavov: WBO Middleweight title
- Amanda Serrano vs. Eva Voraberger: Vacant WBO Female Super Flyweight title
- TJ Doheny (c) vs. Ryohei Takahashi: IBF Super Bantamweight title
- Jorge Linares vs. Pablo Cesar Cano: Junior Welterweight bout
- Chris Algieri vs. Daniel Gonzalez: Junior Welterweight bout
Tale of the Tape: Demetrius Andrade vs. Artur Akavov
Record: 26-0 (16 KO)
Titles Won: WBO Middleweight, WBO Junior Middleweight, WBA Junior Middleweight
Notable Fights: Vanes Martirosyan, Jack Culcay
Record: 19-2 (8 KO)
Titles Won: WBO International Middleweight, WBF Middleweight, WBO European Middleweight titles
Notable Fights: Billy Joe Saunders
Tale of the Tape: Amanda Serrano vs. Eva Voraberger
Record: 35-1-1 (26 KO)
Titles Won: IBF Super Featherweight, WBO Lightweight, WBO Junior Welterweight, WBO Featherweight, WBO Super Bantamweight, UBF Featherweight, IBA Featherweight, WBO Bantamweight
Notable Fights: Edina Kiss, Dahiana Santana, Yazmin Rivas, Frida Wallberg, Kimberly Connor, Marilyn Hernandez
Record: 24-5 (11 KO)
Titles Won: IBF Flyweight, WBF Super Flyweight, IBF Super Flyweight, IBO Super Flyweight, Interim WBC Bantamweight titles
Notable Fights: Esmeralda Moreno,Nina Radovanovic, Raja Amasheh
Tale of the Tape: TJ Doheny vs. Ryohei Takahashi
Record: 20-0 (14 KO)
Titles Won: IBF Super Bantamweight title
Notable Fights: Ryosuke Iwasa
Record: 16-3-1 (6 KO)
Titles Won: IBF Pan Pacific Super Bantamweight title
Notable Fights: Andrew Moloney