Alen Babic, the popular slugger from Croatia, will be in action on Saturday.
He takes on Poland’s Lukasz Rozanski at the G2A Arena in Rzeszow for the new WBC bridgerweight title, live on Sky Sports.
Bridgerweight is a new division created by the WBC at 224lbs. It is not recognized by any other sanctioning body.
But holding this novel belt will still pave the way for potential fights with big-name cruiserweights or set the victor on course for key fights at heavyweight.
“Lawrence [Okolie] and Richard Riakporhe will be watching that fight with keen interest as well, given that they’re really at the top end of the weight for the cruiserweight division,” promoter Ben Shalom told Sky Sports.
He added: “For me being a WBC champion is going to help you in your heavyweight cause and your route to titles in the heavyweight division. So it’s still an important title and an extremely valuable title.
“I think the cruiserweights, the heavyweights will be looking at it and thinking it’s a huge opportunity.”
Shalom is convinced that Rozanski against Babic will almost guarantee excitement.
“[Babic] has got a big task. I really think that. I think Rozanski’s a good fighter,” Shalom said.
“In front of a home crowd as well, it’s going to be a straight shoot-out. I expect a war really. Someone’s getting knocked out in that fight without a doubt.
“It’s going to be a tough night.”
But the fight is also a real opportunity for Babic. “It’s a huge night for him,” Shalom said. “I think the Babic fight is a fight that Richard Riakporhe has been interested in.
“Babic will hope that he’s victorious and then it opens it up for him. I’m sure he wants to be in the mix with Frazer Clarke and [Fabio] Wardley and Riakporhe and Okolie. So definitely a fight that the cruiserweights will be interested in.
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“Babic is a massive fan favorite that brings big numbers. So if he can come through he’s got some huge fights ahead of him, which is exciting. But it is a 50-50 fight and it’s going to be an absolute war and everything’s on the line for the winner.
“So let’s enjoy Saturday, let’s see if Alen Babic can do it and we’ll see what happens then.”