FILIP HRGOVIC (6-0, 5 KOs) continues his World title hunt on December 8 as he returns to Zagreb to defend his WBC International Heavyweight title at the Arena Drazen Petrovic.
The Croatian star sent shockwaves through the heavyweight division with a sensational third-round knockout win over Amir Mansour to claim the WBC International belt on September 8 at the Arena Zagreb.
As Hrgović continues to climb the rankings and move closer to an inevitable world title challenge, the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to the Croatian capital to defend his belt against another top heavyweight contender.
“The experience of walking out in front of my home fans in Zagreb last September was so powerful and emotional,” said Hrgović. “I have never experienced anything similar and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to compete in front of my home fans again.
“There was a lot of pressure on me before my last fight, with Mansour replacing Cornish late into my preparations, and with Mansour being a better fighter and a southpaw as well. That being said, we had a fight plan, which I stuck to perfectly, and secured a good win and made a statement for everyone in the heavyweight division.
“On December 8, I will take another step forward in my career. I’ve never hid from a challenge and have made tough choices since my professional debut last year. At the Arena Drazen Petrovic, I will continue the same path and face the best possible opponent, as I believe I need to beat the best to be the best.
“I am currently back in Miami, and will be training here with my coach Pedro Diaz until the fight. Pedro has prepared a specific training plan as he did against Mansour, and I am sure that we will be 100% ready for my next opponent.
“I urge everyone to reserve their tickets as soon as possible, as we plan to organise another magical boxing night in Zagreb on December 8. I want to put Zagreb on the boxing map and make Croatia proud of their talented boxers.”
Zeljko Karajica, CEO of 7Sports, the sports unit of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group and Managing Director of the operating event agency MMP Event GmbH, is anticipating another great event on December 8.
“Following a successful event on September 8, we look forward to returning to Zagreb for another spectacular night of boxing,” said Karajica. “Filip is currently the biggest talent in the world of boxing, and we are excited to be bringing his next fight to the Arena Drazen Petrovic on December 8.”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland, of Team Sauerland, says he has been impressed with Hrgović’s meteoric rise through the professional ranks, but admits tougher tests lie ahead including December’s title defence at the Arena Drazen Petrovic.
“Filip continues to impress,” says Sauerland. “His fight with Mansour attracted a 38% television market share in Croatia, and earned him a top twenty ranking with the WBC and that WBA, which is an impressive achievement after only six professional bouts. Filip must now build on this success. Starting on December 8, the stakes will get higher, the opponents will be get tougher, and he must rise to the occasion.”
Antonio Vuksanović, Sports Editor of RTL, who will broadcast the fight live and exclusive in Croatia, adds: “We are extremely happy to get to see Filip in ring one more time before the end of the year. It will be an early Christmas present to our audience.”