Johnny Fisher, 11-0 (10 KOs), will return to action against Alen Babic, 12-1 (11 KOs) on July 6th. The heavyweights will be the main attraction of a DAZN NextGen show at the Copperbox Arena in London. 

Fisher has quickly become an unlikely but successful cottage industry and leader of a growing “Bosh Army” like every video of his father ordering Chinese food, with the admittedly amusing “Rise of the Footsoldier” pastiches and buy tickets for the nightclub tours he and his group embark on.

“The Romford Bull” is also a big, fit, dedicated heavyweight who has stopped 10 of his 11 opponents. The former rugby player started out as a raw novice but was awarded the prestigious Young Boxer of the Year award in 2023 and won his first professional belt, the Southern Area title, last August.

It is rare for a young fighter to have such a level of recognition at such an early stage of their career. Matchroom will be keen to capitalize on Fisher’s popularity and develop him into a headline attraction and have decided to take the plunge.

Elevating Fisher isn’t simply a case of putting his name at the top of a poster and expecting his large but predominantly Essex-based fanbase to naturally expand and fill the 7,500 capacity Copperbox. Choosing the right opponent to help him carry the event is key.

Do you provide Fisher with a genuine step up in quality and hope it isn’t a step too far, too soon? Do you bring in a faded but recognisable name who will appeal to casual fans or do you find an opponent capable of stirring the pot, creating a little pre-fight drama and bringing out an as-yet unseen side of the amiable 25 year old? 

You can decide which two of those three boxes Babic ticks. The 33-year-old also brings with him every likelihood of a highlight reel worthy finish. 

The Croatian brawler is well known to British fight fans for his all-or-nothing, wild approach and larger than life personality but has been hit and hurt by much smaller men than Fisher. 

Babic did beat former heavyweight world title challenger, Eric Molina, inside two rounds back in October 2021 but last April he was blown away inside a round by Poland’s Lukasz Rozanski in a challenge for the WBC’s newly-spawned bridgerweight title. He got back in the winner’s enclosure with a sixth-round bludgeoning of Steve Robinson in March.

Babic will be giving away somewhere in the region of 35lbs to the younger Fisher but isn’t going to change tack at this stage of his career. He will set out his stall from the moment the event is announced and then turn up in East London on the night looking for a fight.

The rest of the card will be announced in due course.