Promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA are delighted to confirm the line-up for the first American show live on DAZN at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on October 6.
World-rated Welterweight and former two-weight World champion Jessie Vargas headlines the bill as he targets World honours in a third weigh class, and Vargas’ journey to that goal starts against former World Super-Lightweight World title challenger Thomas Dulorme, the Puerto Rican looking to derail the Las Vegas man’s ambitions at 147lbs.
Two great World title battles feature in the Windy City as crunching Russian puncher Artur Beterbiev defends his IBF World Light-Heavyweight strap against Briton Callum Johnson. Beterbiev has a perfect record of 12-0 with all wins coming via KO, but Johnson is an unbeaten feared puncher himself, having destroyed British champion Frank Buglioni inside a round of their clash in London in March – his 12th KO from 17 wins, pointing to this clash being one that promises to be a ferocious shootout.
Classy WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman defends his crown for the third time against Britain’s Gavin McDonnell. Roman won his title on the road in Japan in brilliant style with a stoppage win over Shun Kobo and was fantastic in both his first defence back in Japan against Ryo Matsumoto and his second against Moises Flores in California. The Californian is hunting unification clashes but will need to be at his best once again against McDonnell, the Doncaster ace having his second crack World honours having learnt so much in his majority decision loss against WBC champion Rey Vargas in February 2017 – making for a fascinating clash that could catch fire and steal the show.
Heavyweight boxing is as hot as it’s ever been right now, and Brooklyn’s Jarrell Miller is right in the mix for the big fights. ‘Big Baby’ is looking to add win number 22 to his slate and force himself into the conversation at the top table, and the man in his way is Poland’s Tomasz Adamek, the former two-weight World champion who picked up and defended the Polish title in his last two fights in his homeland.
Eddie Hearn, President of Matchroom Boxing USA:
“It’s always great flying eight hours and you turn up and you see this state of the art, brand new arena, with some wonderful people working on this project that I know are going to make a huge effort for this event – Worlds Collide, October 6 live and exclusively on DAZN across America, Sky Sports in the UK. This is a huge event and the first of our 16 fights across the year on DAZN. We are delighted to be in Chicago, a great fight city that we hope to really invigorate on October 6 in front of a huge crowd. It’s a new era of broadcasting and a great chance to build our shows from top to bottom. No linear construction, no blocks getting in the way. Live throughout the night, stacked nights continuously, giving fight fans exactly what they want.”
Joe Markowski, SVP DAZN North America:
“I’m personally very excited to be here representing DAZN at the very start of our journey here in the US. Let me start by saying that DAZN was built by fans for fans, and whilst our platform in good time will be carrying a huge range of multisport content bringing tremendous value and excitement to fans of all types, our launch and our first faze here in America is very focused on boxing and fight sports. The reason for that, is we feel that boxing and MMA fans have been underserved for far too long. We’re really excited to be announcing today our first card in the US here in Chicago with our partners at Matchroom for October 6. It’s a really solid and deep card featuring two World title fights, former World Champions, undefeated fighters, another instalment of the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry during Hispanic Heritage Month. It really does promise to be a great night, a cracking show.”
Jessie Vargas – 28(10)-2-1 from Las Vegas, taking on Thomas Dulorme at Welterweight: “Thank you for the opportunity, it really is a pleasure. Thanks to Thomas Dulorme for stepping up to the plate and taking this challenge. I look forward to giving you great fights through DAZN, that’s the plan that we have. We have a great platform and we’re going to give you all excitement and all entertainment. I promise you that I will bring fireworks and I will bring entertainment. I am en-route to becoming a World Champion once again. I am a former two division World Champion. First of all, October 6 is going to be a great fight, Thomas Dulorme is a contender that always comes to give a showdown. He never lets you down, he always brings you action and when the name came up I said sure let’s do it! It doesn’t matter to me, whoever you want to put in front of me, I’m ready.”
Thomas Dulorme – 24(16)-3(2) from Puerto Rico, taking on Jessie Vargas at Welterweight: “Thank you for giving me this big opportunity. This is a great fight, it’s Mexico vs. Puerto Rico again!”
Artur Beterbiev – 12(12)-0 Russia fighting out of Montreal, Canada defending his IBF World Light-Heavyweight title against Callum Johnson: “First of all I would like to thank Matchroom Boxing for being part of this card in Chicago. If I’m not mistaken the trainer of my opponent said I have 13 wins and 13 KO’s, is he right? Because I only have 12 fight and 12 KO’s under my belt. Thank you very much for your time and see you on October 6.”
Callum Johnson – 17(12)-0 Light-Heavyweight from Lincoln, England challenging Artur Beterbiev for the IBF World Light-Heavyweight title: “I want to thank Matchroom, Eddie Hearn and DAZN for giving me this golden opportunity. I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was a little boy. Thanks to my trainer Joe Gallagher for getting me in this position. My last fight was a good win and it got me in the World rankings with the IBF and as Joe and Eddie said, nobody was taking this fight, nobody wanted to know. You only had to ask me once and I’m here. I’m coming to win the fight and I look forward to it. People are saying that I’m brave and as Joe said, fortune favours the brave.”
Joe Gallagher – trainer of Callum Johnson: “First of all I’d like to thank Matchroom, Eddie Hearn and DAZN for putting on this event. I’m really looking forward to this fight. Callum Johnson – 17 fights, 17 wins, 12 by knockout, going up against the World Champion Artur Beterbiev – 13 fights, 13 wins, 13 knockouts [incorrect as pointed out by Beterbiev]. I think the title of this show, Worlds Collide, sums up this fight. It’s a great fight, both haven’t been as active as they’d have liked to be over the past two years. There’s lots of questions to be answered by both fighters. Both have the power to knock each other out. Both can be knocked out. It’s an exciting fight. This is a huge opportunity and like Callum’s motto says – fortune favours the brave.”
Daniel Roman – 25(9)-2-1 from Los Angeles defending his WBA World Super-Bantamweight title against Gavin McDonnell from Doncaster, England: “Come October 6 I will be making the third defence of my World title and it won’t be my last one. I wish my best to Gavin and it will be a great fight and a great night.”
Tomasz Adamek – 53(31)-5(2) Poland fighting out of New Jersey, taking on Jarrell Miller at Heavyweight: “Thank you to Eddie Hearn for the opportunity to fight in Chicago again. 13 years ago was my first fight and I’m ready to go again on October 6 and October 6 is my day. We start our training camp on Monday. I want to say good luck to my opponent Jarrell Miller, I respect him, he is a good boy, a young boy. I am older and smarter, we will see who is better on October 6.”
Jarrell Miller – 21(18)-0-1 from Brooklyn, taking on Tomasz Adamek at Heavyweight: “Adamek made me kind of hungry when he called me a boy. He is a legend but when you fight a young stud like me, sometimes parents get their butt whipped. This young man is going to take it to pops. The Heavyweight division in booming right now. Adamek stepped up in the blink of an eye to take this fight and I take my hat off to him but bring the ambulance because it’s gunna be an early night. I’m not going to spend an extra round in that ring. AJ might be the best in England but he isn’t the best in America and that’s the way I see it. Hard work, dedication, cheeseburgers, let’s get it.”
Shawn Simpson – 8(3)-0 Bantamweight from Chicago in action on the undercard: “I want to thank Matchroom for giving this opportunity to fight on this card in my hometown in this beautiful arena. One day I hope to be where these guys are fighting for and defending World titles. On October 6th I’m going to put on a great show and show why I am one of the best Bantamweight prospects right now in boxing.”
Jessica McCaskill – 5(3)-2 Lightweight from Chicago in action on the undercard: “It’s so great to see everyone coming out today, it’s going to be a great fight on October 6th, all of the communities coming together for Worlds Collide. I’m definitely excited to represent Chicago as a Chicago fighter. I’m looking to get back into the World rankings and fight for a World title, this fight is going to take me there so make sure you stay tuned.”