Lebedev, Yafai, Buglioni, Zhang to fight in Monaco on Nov. 24


Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced ages ago that he would put on his third “Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza” on Nov. 24 at the famed Le Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, but on Monday he announced the fights that will be featured on the show.

Headlining the card, which will stream live on DAZN in the United States, will be cruiserweight Denis Lebedev, a longtime titlist who had been named “champion in recess” during a 14-month layoff but is back for his second fight since returning. Lebedev (31-2, 23 KOs), 39, of Russia, will defend his version of the title against 35-year-old American Mike Wilson (19-0, 8 KOs), who will be taking a monumental step up in the level of his opposition.

Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (20-0, 16 KOs), 35, a two-time Chinese Olympian, who claimed a super heavyweight silver medal in 2008 and lost to reigning unified titleholder Anthony Joshua in the 2012 Games, will square off with Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25 KOs), 41, a Belarus native, in a scheduled 12-round fight. In facing Ustinov, Zhang will be taking a big step up in opposition after facing a series of journeymen thus far.

Ustinov is coming off a decision loss to Manuel Charr for a vacant secondary world title 11 months ago.

In another world title bout on the card, junior bantamweight Khalid Yafai (24-0, 15 KOs), 29, of England, will defend his belt for the fourth time when he takes on Israel Gonzalez (23-2, 10 KOs), who has won two bouts in a row since losing a world title fight to Jerwin Ancajas by 10th-round knockout in February.

In a 10-round bout on the card, light heavyweight Frank Buglioni (22-3-1, 16 KOs), 29, a former super middleweight world title challenger from of England, will fight Fanlong Meng (13-0, 8 KOs), 30, of China. Welterweight Daniyar Yeleussinov (3-0, 1 KO), 27, a southpaw who won a 2016 Olympic gold medal for Kazakhstan, will face an opponent to be determined in a six-round fight.

“I’m delighted to be back in Monaco for the third time for another fantastic night of world championship boxing,” Hearn said. “It’s always special to return to the Casino de Monte-Carlo. It’s a stunning setting that’s unique within boxing and will be broadcast and enjoyed by fight fans throughout the world.”

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