Former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker and highly-rated prospect Nikita Tszyu will co-headline a blockbuster double-header in No Limit Boxing’s Melbourne card on Wednesday May 24.
The stacked card will also feature an all-AFL heavyweight clash between former footy-stars Cameron Mooney and Tom Bellchambers and broadcast live on Main Event PPV, available on Foxtel and Kayo Sports.
Parker, Australasia’s most accomplished heavyweight, will feature in his first Australian show for the prestigious Commonwealth heavyweight title against Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu. It will be the biggest heavyweight showdown in Australia since Jack Johnson fought Tommy Burns at Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay in 1908.
Opelu (15-3-2, 11 KO) is a former Australian heavyweight champion who produced the biggest upset in heavyweight boxing last year, with a stoppage of the previously undefeated Hemi Ahio (20-1, 15 KO) in October.
In the co-main event, Nikita Tszyu will face the best kept secret in Australian boxing, Benjamin Bommber, in what is unquestionably the toughest test of the popular super welterweight’s early career.
It also marks more than two-decades since the Tszyu family name has headlined a show in Melbourne. A crowd of around 30,000 witnessed Nikita’s undisputed champion father, Kostya, dispose of Jesse James Leija at Docklands Stadium in January of 2003.
Tszyu (5-0, 4KO) is straight back is straight back into action following his dominant fourth round TKO over Bo Belbin on the undercard of brother Tim Tszyu’s successful interim world title bout in March. In an unprecedented run in the professional ranks, Nikita will take on his fifth undefeated opponent in only his sixth professional bout.
Bommber (5-0, 4 KO), who has been training out of Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas, has linked up with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney’s team to prepare for the fight of his career. As a lifetime Essendon supporter, the proud Melburnian is a bomber by name and nature.
Joseph Parker said: “I’m very excited to be heading to Australia to headline a massive fight. I’ve been to Australia numerous times and the amount of support there is amazing and everyone is always so welcoming.”
“I look forward to the atmosphere from both the Aussie and Kiwi fight fans and I know everyone will be pumped to see two world class heavyweights go at it.”
“The Commonwealth Heavyweight title has been held by some of the biggest names in the sport so I’m looking forward to adding my name to that list on May 24 in Melbourne.”
“He [Opelu] is a great fighter and deserves his shot but there’s levels to this game and I plan to show that. I’m not taking this lightly and I look forward to putting on a great performance for the fight fans. Credit to him for stepping up and taking this fight.”
The winner of Parker-Opelu will become the first fighter from the Pacific to win the prestigious Commonwealth heavyweight title.
No Limit CEO George Rose was thrilled to have secured boxing royalty and a massive heavyweight title shot as the co-main event for No Limit’s Melbourne debut.
“Joseph Parker is one of the greatest athletes to have ever come from this side of the globe. His historic performances over many years is exactly why boxing is back in a big way in Australia and New Zealand,” Rose said.
“Whilst he is a proud Samoan and Kiwi, his performances and personality made it easy for me to always claim him as an Aussie and one of our very own. It’s why we’re so excited to have him headline our Melbourne debut.”
“But he’s in for a tough test in the most meaningful heavyweight fight on Australian shores in more than a century. Django is one of the heaviest hitters Australia has ever produced and is very much here to spoil the party.”
“It’s pretty hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Tszyu has fought in Melbourne,” Rose added.
“The Tszyu family are boxing royalty – Kostya is the King, Tim is the obvious heir to the throne and Nikita is Australia’s very own prince of power.”
“It will be Nikita’s toughest test by a mile. He’s fighting in enemy territory against a proud Melburnian, who is an absolute bomber by name and by nature. I can’t wait!”