One of the most significant cards of the year for the heavyweight division, taking place on October 28, featuring WBC world champion Tyson Fury against UFC world champion Francis Ngannou, will include the participation of two Quebecers. This will be a golden opportunity for Arslanbek Makhmudov, who will aim to shake up the division with his performance against Agron Smakici, while Simon Kean will face Joseph Parker in a duel that promises to be equally explosive. Presented by Queensberry in association with GIMIK Fight Promotions, Top Rank, and Eye of the Tiger, the event will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Since his professional debut, the protege of EOTTM, Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs), quickly captured the attention of boxing enthusiasts worldwide with a series of spectacular victories. In 2019, he won the WBC Continental Americas title, becoming the first man to stop Jonathan Rice, followed by the conquest of the NABF and NABO titles. Following his lightning-fast victory over Raphael Akpejiori in his U.S. debut last July, “The Lion,” as he is nicknamed, is currently ranked 4th in the WBC and ready for high-profile fights.

“Saudi Arabia is a very special country for me. It has always been a dream to fight there, so I am very grateful for this opportunity. I plan to put on a great show on October 28th!”

Croatian boxer Agron Smakici (19-2, 17 KOs) presents an intriguing challenge for EOTTM’s protege as he will be the first southpaw opponent on his professional journey. The only two losses on his record came against rising stars Zhan Kossobutskiy and the undefeated Agit Kabayel, though one of those defeats was controversial.

Olympian Simon Kean (23-1, 22 KOs) will also face one of the most significant challenges of his career on October 28, not only because it will be his first appearance on the international stage but also because he will face his most formidable opponent in his professional career. Former WBO world champion Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs) secured the WBO title in 2016 by defeating future champion Andy Ruiz on points. He successfully defended his title twice before an unsuccessful unification bout against Anthony Joshua in 2018. He won the WBO intercontinental title in May 2021 by defeating Derek Chisora, successfully defending it seven months later. Parker lost a bid for the interim WBO world title against Joe Joyce last September but had a fruitful 2023 with victories over Jack Massey and Faiga Opelu.

“This is the moment all fighters dream of throughout their career. This is what I’ve worked for all these years. It’s time to shine,” says Simon Kean.

In addition to the final between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) and MMA champion Francis Ngannou (0-0), which promises to be a memorable battle, the semi-final will feature Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) facing David Adeleye (12-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Preliminary fights for the rest of the card will be revealed at a later date.

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About Riyadh Season:
Saudi Arabia’s capital embraces one of the world’s biggest entertainment events every year during winter. Since the launch of the Riyadh Season in 2019, the festival has welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience thousands of concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and other unique cultural events. In 2023, Riyadh Season will commence on Saturday, 28 October with a spectacular opening ceremony and an historic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou.