Earlier this week, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn discussed quirky locations to hold an Anthony Joshua v. Kubrat Pulev fight. He used a boat, hotel, and a castle as examples. It appears that he may be testing that out when it comes to Matchroom’s return to America.
Matchroom is set to come to Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 15. No venue was announced for the location, and for good reason; the promotion was waiting for the right time. In a release, it was announced that Matchroom will be having the event in the literal downtown area of Tulsa. A ring will be in the street of Tulsa, between 5th and S. Boston Ave.
“We are taking elite World Championship boxing to the streets in Tulsa!” said Hearn. “For our return in the US we wanted to stage something as unique, ambitious and spectacular as we have with Fight Camp at Matchroom HQ in the UK, and I believe that’s exactly what we have in Oklahoma.
“We had so many options and offers on the table for our return on August 15 from coast-to-coast, but I’m just not a believer in boxing in a studio setting – the fighters and the sport deserve more than that.”
Doing things 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 🏟
With the ring placed in the middle of the street, August 15 sees our World championship double-header take place with downtown Tulsa as a spectacular backdrop on fight night 🏙#MartinezArroyo @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/yNNji0Up5B
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) July 15, 2020
Streets will be blocked off from fourth and sixth, and no fans will be allowed at the event. It is unknown if fans will be inside the buildings surrounding the area.
The main event of the show will be Julio Cesar Martinez defending his WBC Flyweight Title against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo. Also on the card will be the rebooked Undisputed Welterweight Championship fight between champion Cecilia Braekhus and Jessica McCaskill.
Martinez (16-1, 1NC) is on a two-fight win streak. He won the vacant WBC title against Cristofer Rosales back in December 2019. He last fought in February, beating Jay Harris to defend his title. “El Rey” hasn’t lost a bout since his first pro fight in 2015. Arroyo (20-4) is on a three-fight win streak, winning three fights in 2019. His last fight was a victory against Juan Gabriel Medina back in December. Arroyo is 4-2 in his last six fights.
The bout between Braekhus (36-0) and McCaskill (8-2) was supposed to take place on April 17 before the coronavirus postponed the fight card. Braekhus is looking for her 26th-straight title defense of the undisputed welterweight titles. In her eleventh professional fight, “The First Lady” beat Vinni Skovgaard via unanimous decision for the WBA and WBC Welterweight Titles. Her last bout was a unanimous decision win over Victoria Bustos back in November. McCaskill, the WBA, and WBC Super-Lightweight Champion, has won three in a row since losing to Katie Taylor back in 2017.
Matchroom will be working with Holden Productions, led by the Oklahoma boxing’s Tony Holden.
“I can’t imagine a better place to host this event than downtown Tulsa at 5th and S. Boston Ave,” said Holden. “The backdrop is incredible and with no audience possible during this pandemic, the site will unsurpassed in terms of innovation, safety and visual impact. We’re looking forward to working with Eddie, Matchroom Boxing and DAZN in the great city of Tulsa.”
The card will air on DAZN and will also feature the following fights and fighters:
- Uzbekistani Shakhram Giyasov (9-0) defending his WBA International Super-Lightweight Title against Francisco Rojo (22-3)
- Marc Castro (pro debut)
- Nikita Ababiy (8-0)
- Raymond Ford (5-0)