It's official: Heavyweights Agit Kabayel and Agron Smakici clash for the vacant EBU title on January 28 at the RuhrCongress-Halle in Bochum (Germany) on a SES promotion.

Kabayel, who hails from Bochum will thus get home turf advantage against Smakici, who hails from Croatia but has on and off been based in Germany.

Kabayel (listed by SES as 22-0 which means they exclude the fights in the Bigger is Better tournament as do BoxRec) has fought once a year since beating Derek Chisora back in 2017 and a United States debut for Top Rank was announced at one point, but it never materialized.

Smakici (19-1) was promoted by the "new" Universum but was brutally knocked out in the first round by Zhan Kossobutskyi in 2019. He has since won four straight inside the distance and can punch but the question is if he can take it.

IN OTHER NEWS:  Dennis Hobson is planning a world title journey for Kirstie Bavington after the Wolverhampton fighter’s recent successful defense of her European Boxing Union (EBU) Welterweight Title against Germany’s Naomi Mannes.

At the Rotherham Magna Centre on November 19, live on Fightzone, Bavington was in another of her exciting trademark battles as she picked up a unanimous points decision over the previously unbeaten Mannes.

Now at 7-2-2 (2), including a highlight victory over highly-touted April Hunter, ‘Bavvo’ is on a four-fight winning streak and Hobson believes the 30-year-old can follow in the footsteps of her Fight Academy stablemate, Hannah Rankin.

Having previously guided the likes of Ricky Hatton, Clinton Woods and Jamie McDonnell to the pinnacle of the sport, as well as helping Rankin to become a double and two-time world champion – Hobson is a master at manouvering fighters into life-changing opportunities and sees Kirstie as a future star.

“I do think we can do a similar job with Kirstie, like we did with Hannah.  We’ve got a great blueprint for the way we guided Hannah to the top, and Kirstie can benefit from that.

“Hannah will, I believe, become a world champion again [having lost her belts to Terri Harper in September] but we can do the same with Kirstie.  She’s exciting and is great for the fans to watch.  And the best thing about her is she wants it so much – so she isn’t shy when it gets a bit hot in the kitchen!

“I like Kirstie and her attitude, she brings it every time she steps in the ring.  Women’s boxing has progressed so far so quickly, and I’m a converted fan.  I love watching the women box and we’ve got some really good female fighters in our stable, including Katie Healy.

“I’m happy with how we’re regrouping at Fight Academy and Fightzone.  We’ve let a few people go, we’ve got a few people who’ve come back on board and we’ll continue to get fighters opportunities who appreciate what we’re doing for them.”