BoxNation is set to get 2018 off to a bang with two of the world's most exciting fighters, knockout king Lucas Matthysse and Jorge Linares featuring in separate world championship bouts on Saturday, January 27th.
Argentine assassin Matthysse takes on undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA welterweight world title.
35-year-old Matthysse has twice challenged for world titles but came up short, first against Danny Garcia in a thrilling 2013 12-round battle before being stopped by the then unbeaten Viktor Postol in 2015.
He will now be hoping to fulfil a lifetime ambition and capture his first world title belt at the "Fabulous" Forum in Inglewood, California, but will need to be at his very best when he takes on an unknown quantity in Thai ace Kiram.
"I am honoured to be able to fight for a world championship in just my second fight at welterweight," said Matthysse, a former interim world champion at 140 pounds who has defeated the likes of former two-division champion Lamont Peterson and former WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov. "I understand I am facing a younger, undefeated opponent, but I am confident that 'The Machine' will emerge victorious."
Since turning pro at the age of 15, Kiram has torn through an astounding 38 opponents, 28 of them never hearing the final bell, with this being his first fight outside Thailand.
"I understand not many people know me in the U.S., but they are in for a big surprise on January 27th," Kiram said. "I have never been defeated, and I am fully confident that I will return to Thailand with the WBA welterweight world championship around my waist."
In the second co-main event the ever-exciting Venezuelan Linares defends his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight world titles against the tough Mercito Gesta in a 12-round fight.
"I have travelled all over the world to win and defend my titles, and I am looking forward to having my hand raised in victory once again in America," said Linares, the three-division world champion who holds victories over Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell. "I know that Gesta has speed and power, but he hasn't been at this level before, and on January 27th, he'll know what it's like to face a world champion."
Gesta, a 30-year-old from the Philippines, has not tasted defeat in six fights, beating quality opponents including Gilberto Gonzalez and former contender Martin Honorio.
"I know firsthand how long it takes to get a shot at a world championship, and I will not allow this opportunity to pass me by," Gesta said. "I understand Linares is a great fighter, but I know I have the skills, speed, power, and great coaching which will get my hand raised in victory."
Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said: “This is a brilliant card to get our 2018 schedule off to a flyer. We enjoyed a truly fantastic year in 2017, airing the biggest and best fights, including Canelo Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin. We are looking forward to delivering more of the same quality for BoxNation subscribers and featuring two of the most exciting fighters around in Lucas Matthysse and Jorge Linares is a great way to usher in the New Year.”