Frank Sanchez is ready for the best of what the heavyweight division has to offer.

Is the heavyweight division ready for him?

Sanchez will face Junior Fa of New Zealand tonight at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 10-round bout will be part of a card that will be headlined by the compelling clash between Anthony Joshua and Otto Wallin.

Both fights will stream live on DAZN Pay-Per-View and ESPN Plus (11 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. PT).

Sanchez (23-0, 16 knockouts), who is originally from Guantanamo, Cuba and now resides in Miami, Florida, last fought on September 30 in Las Vegas, dropping gatekeeper Scott Alexander once en route to a knockout victory after the fourth round. Sanchez went through a rough stretch early in the fight, when he was momentarily hurt, but was able to break down Alexander.

In his previous fight on April 8, Sanchez stopped knocked out Daniel Martz in the opening round.

The 31-year-old Sanchez will face a fighter in Fa (20-2, 11 KOs), who has fought sporadically over the last couple of years. His most notable fights were defeats to Joseph Parker in February 2021 and to Lucas Browne on June 5 of last year.

Sanchez is ranked in the top 10 by all four major sanctioning bodies, and is the overwhelming favorite against Fa, but is not looking past his opponent.

“Fa is a very good fighter, big and strong,” Sanchez told BoxingScene Thursday night. “In reality, I don’t think he has an advantage over me. I’m certain he will be in his best shape, as will I, in a fight that will be very entertaining.”

Sanchez is currently trained by Eddy Reynoso, who also trains undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez. 

Since working with Reynoso, Sanchez has become more confident in his skill-set, and believes he is ready to face the top fighters in the division, with Reynoso in his corner.

“Eddy is not one of the best trainers in boxing,” said Sanchez, who is managed by Mike Borao and Lupe Valencia. “He is the best trainer in boxing. I’ve worked with many trainers in my life, he is the best, without a doubt. 

“I’ve progressed with Eddy because he only takes the strengths of a fighter and improves those strengths and advantages. He doesn’t intend to change you as a fighter, just makes you better. That is very important.”

Sanchez’s most significant win, thus far, as a pro occurred in October 2021, defeating Efe Ajagba in a clash of unbeaten heavyweights. 

The sky is the limit for Sanchez, who believes he is on the cusp of facing and beating the upper echelon of the division. Sanchez wants to make a statement at the expense of Fa and send a message to the rest of the heavyweight division.

“I know I’m one of the best in division,” said Sanchez. “I will be a champion when I receive that opportunity. 

“I give credit to Efe Ajagba for fighting me. He has won his last four fights since fighting me. He is very talented, but when he faced me, people saw me at my best.”

Sanchez hopes to continue winning impressively and moving up in the rankings. An opportunity to fight for a regional title belt would force the best in the division to face him.

“I want to be the first heavyweight world champion from Cuba. It’s been frustrating not being able to face the top fighter in the division, but we are almost where we want to be. Saudi Arabia is the place where the big fights can take place next year.

“I believe fighting and winning on such a historic card (this Saturday) is very important. I hope for fights next year against Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Filip Hrgovic, and Daniel Dubois. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing