Sofiane Oumiha from France, Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine from Italy, and Fernando Arzola Lopez from Cuba are to headline the next edition of IBA Champions’ Night set to take place in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Another night of boxing action with the crème de la crème of the champions and contenders facing each other on 23 September at the iconic Chapiteau of Monaco.
Three-time World champion in the 60kg division, Oumiha is to deliver the main event of the night sanctioned by WBA, with his opponent to be confirmed shortly. IBA World Championships bronze medallist Narek Manasyan from Armenia will challenge Mouhiidine, a two-time silver medallist, in their rematch following the Armenian loss to the latter in the semi-finals in Tashkent 2023. The pro-style format of the bouts will add another level of intrigue, as men face each other in 5 round-contests, where each round lasts 3 minutes.
Cuban super heavyweight IBA World Championships silver medallist Fernando Arzola Lopez will go into the ring against bronze medallist Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi from Spain. Their contest did not happen in Tashkent 2023, as the boxers were in different halves of the draw and could meet only in the final. However, Ghadfa did not fight in the semi-finals, as he was injured in the previous fight, and Arzola Lopez faced Uzbek star Bakhodir Jalolov.
In 67kg, two-time World Championships bronze medallist from Georgia Lasha Guruli is opposed by Aleksandr Paraschiv from Moldova, who is European Championships bronze medallist. Paraschiv lost to Guruli in Tashkent 2023 in the preliminaries. Italian World Championships bronze medallist Salvatore Cavallaro fights against Asian Championships runner-up Raiys Nurkanat from Kazakhstan in the 75kg weight category.
Cuban World champion and two-time Olympic champion Arlen Lopez is to go into the ring against Gradus Kraus, who is a prospect from the Netherlands in the 80kg division. Kraus won bronze medal at WBT Silver Belt Series in Maribor last year and became silver medallist of the EUBC European U22 Championships in 2022.
‘The new format has proven itself as both a great opportunity for boxers and amazing action for spectators,’ IBA Interim Secretary General and CEO Chris Roberts OBE said. ‘These athletes receive a chance to improve their skills, try pro-style boxing within their ongoing IBA career, and earn money. This is a perfect combination of benefits, and I see that the boxers love this challenge. We are going to deliver more of these events, as the next one is to take place on 29 September 2023 in Antalya, Türkiye.’