Days after signing a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, undefeated WBA World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will make his fifth title defense against Joe Smith Jr. on March 9 at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. This card will also feature WBO Super Lightweight titlist Maurice Hooker defending his belt against undefeated challenger Mikkel LesPierre. The fighters gathered at Madison Square Garden this afternoon to discuss the upcoming stacked card, which will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN. (photos by Ed Mulholland).
Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP of North America - “This has been another big week for DAZN and Matchroom – but more importantly, a big week for fight fans. We came into the market with sizeable promises and making a lot of noise.
“Week by week, we are demonstrating our ability to follow through. Momentum is building. But it’s not just about March 9 or May 4. It’s about consistently delivering high-quality content. And because we’re not consumed with precious pay-per-view buys, we can deliver solid fight nights leading up to tentpoles instead of just serving up weeks of promo materials that try to convince you that an upcoming match is worth 75 bucks.
“Andrade today, Munguia next week, the highly-anticipated Bellator clash between Michael “Venom” Page and Paul Daley next month. The schedule keeps getting stronger.
“And we’re not done. More fighters will be signed. More fights will be announced – all available to fans at a low monthly cost, without any B.S. or the pain of pay-per-view.”
Dmitry Bivol - “I want to say thank you to all of you guys who work with me and help me. I am glad that my team decided the way of my career and the way that we work with DAZN. Thanks to Joe Smith and his team for taking this fight. I think we will make great fight and I will keep my belt.”
Joe Smith Jr. - “This is a huge opportunity for me. I am going to take full advantage. I want to thank DAZN and Bivol for giving me this shot. I want to thank everyone who made this fight happen. I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career. Come March 9, I will be 100% and hopefully will be taking that title home with me.”