Who Will Be Fighting On The Same Card As Joe Smith Jr. Vs. Eleider Alvarez?
A former world champion, a new boxing sensation, and an amateur standout will all be appearing on the August 22 fight card for Top Rank.
The main event of the evening will be Joe Smith Jr. Vs. Eleider Alvarez. The co-main event of the night will be Rob Brant v. Vitaliy Kopylenko. Streaming at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, undercard bouts will feature Clay Collard v. Maurice William and the debut of Duke Ragan. All bouts will be taking place inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
“We have a can’t-miss main event and the highly anticipated returns of Rob Brant and Clay Collard. What a night at the fights inside the ‘Bubble,’” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum. “Rob is rejuvenated and ready to begin his ascent towards another world title. As for Clay, whenever he fights, he delivers.”
Brant (25-2) is a former WBA Middleweight Champion. The 29-year-old won the title in 2018 against Ryota Murata. He would defend the title once before losing it back to Murata in 2019. That was “Bravo’s” last fight, via TKO. Making his debut in 2012, Brant has 17 wins via knockout.
“I have worked extremely hard, even though the current climate through the pandemic has been a bit hectic,” Brant said. “After physical therapy, I stayed focused on my nutrition, thanks to my wonderful wife, Tiffany, and began doing a lot of distance running until I was cleared to start punching again. I have been in camp for close to three months now and feel very strong and confident. Kopylenko is talented with a great body attack. I am very confident, but I respect his skill set and will prepare like this is a world title bout. I’m back!”
Kopylenko (28-2) had a 22-fight win streak to start his career in 2008 before losing to Willie Monroe Jr. in 2014. He then won six in a row before facing Steven Butler back in May 2019. Fighting for the WBC International Middleweight Title, Kopylenko would lose via split decision.
Collard (8-2-3) has been making an impact during Top Rank’s time inside the MGM Grand Conference Center. Making his boxing debut in 2017, the former MMA star has won four fights in 2020. He fought in June against David Kaminsky, beating him via split decision. Collard would then fight a month later and would beat Lorawnt T. Nelson via TKO. The 27-year-old had an 18-8 record in MMA with one no-contest, his last fight a win in 2019.
“I just look at this as another fight. Nothing’s really changed other than the attention I’m getting,” Collard said. “I’m loving all of this. I’m just training and getting ready to do what I love.”
Williams (7-1) is on a five-fight win streak dating back to 2017. His last fight was a unanimous decision win over Zachariah Kelley in June 2019.
Other fights and fighters on the card include:
- Julian Rodriguez (19-0) v. Anthony Laureano (13-0)
- Wendy Toussaint (9-2) v. Isiah Jones (9-2)
- Robert Rodriguez (8-0-1) v. Abel Soriano (10-0)
- Israel Mercado (7-0) v. Adrian Valdovinos (5-0-1)
- Duke Ragan (Debut) v. Luis Alvarado (1-1)