By: Sean Crose
“I’m so proud to be sharing a spot on the card with such a great Champion, Canelo Alvarez,” says super lightweight Gabriel Valenzuela, who will be facing Montana love on the upcoming Canelo Alvarez-Dmitry Bivol pay per view card. “We’re prepared for this and training very hard for this fight against Montana Love. He’s a tough opponent but we’re going to come very hard to get the victory. That night Mexico is coming with everything we have.” The 25-2-1 Valenzuela has the chance to really make a mark when he faces Cleveland’s undefeated Love on one of the biggest fight cards of the year.
The 17-0-1 Love, however, is confident he can get the job done when the two meet on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. “Nothing changes on May 7,” Love says. “He’s just another body in the way.”
Undefeated heavyweights Filip Hrgovic and Zhilei Zhang will also be doing battle on the Canelo-Bivol undercard. The 14-0 Hrgovic’s team apparently had difficulty finding an opponent until the 23-0-1 Zhang stepped in.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for more than year,” Hrgovic says. “Finally, I have an opponent willing to face me for the chance to fight for the IBF World title. So many fighters turned down this challenge so credit to Zhang for being brave enough to accept.”
Zhang, too, is pleased to face another rising contender. “I am very happy that this fight is going to happen,” Zhang says. “I’ve been waiting on an opportunity – now it’s here and I’m not going to let it pass. When no-one else from the top 15 wanted to face Hrgovic, I told myself I had to do it for me and for the sport of boxing. This is the most important fight of my whole career. I’m all in. Don’t miss it!” For his part, Hrgovic isn’t planning on taking Zhang lightly.
“I know he’s a good opponent,” says Hrgovic. “He won silver at the Olympics so that means he’s a good boxer, but he is too slow on his feet, and I believe I have better the qualities. My speed, stamina and footwork will be too much for him. I will break him down and I will beat him.” The heavyweight battle is an eliminator for a crack at the IBF heavyweight title.
“I love the Heavyweight dust-up between Filip Hrgovic and Zhilei Zhang,” says promoter Eddie Hearn. It’s been a long-time coming for someone to step up to the plate and fight Filip, credit to Zhilei and his team for taking on the challenge. Both men carry huge power, and they know that victory takes them one step closer to sport’s ultimate prize – Heavyweight Champion of the World. There won’t be a backwards step taken when they rumble, it’s going to be fireworks on an already electric night.”