The May 7 Canelo-Bivol undercard is taking shape with two showdowns at super lightweight and heavyweight. Montana Love will clash with Gabriel Valenzuela and Filip Hrgovic faces Zhilei Zhang in a final eliminator for the IBF world heavyweight title.
Love will be fighting his second consecutive Las Vegas fight under the Matchroom banner. In his last appearance, Love scored a third-round knockout of Carlos Diaz at the MGM Grand in December. A win against Valenzuela could secure a Top 5 world ranking for Love, who currently sits at #10 with the IBF.
Valenzuela’s biggest win came in February 2021 when he beat hometown favorite Robbie Davis Jr. by majority decision in London. Since then, he’s scored two knockouts with stay-busy fights in his native Mexico.
“Nothing changes on May 7,” said Love. “He’s just another body in the way.”
“I’m so proud to be sharing a spot on the card with such a great Champion, Canelo Alvarez,” said Valenzuela. “We’re prepared for this and training very hard for this fight against Montana Love. He’s a tough opponent but we’re going to come very hard to get the victory. That night Mexico is coming with everything we have.”
Having been previously turned down by the likes of Luis Ortiz for the IBF title eliminator, Filip Hrgovic is excited about the opportunity finally arriving against Zhang. Hrgovic is on a seven-fight knockout streak dating back to 2018, having dispatched of Emir Ahmatovic in three rounds last December.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for more than year,” said Hrgović. “Finally, I have an opponent willing to face me for the chance to fight for the IBF World title. So many fighters turned down this challenge so credit to Zhang for being brave enough to accept.
“I know he’s a good opponent. He won silver at the Olympics so that means he’s a good boxer, but he is too slow on his feet, and I believe I have better the qualities. My speed, stamina and footwork will be too much for him. I will break him down and I will beat him.
“I’m now only one fight away from my dream of boxing for a World title and nothing is going to stop me. Canelo is the face of boxing and I’m excited to get this opportunity on such a big show. I’m ready to show the whole world that ‘El Animal’ is coming!”
Also undefeated and listed at the same imposing 6’6 height, Zhang equally insists he’s been ducked and credits Hrgovic for stepping up.
“I am very happy that this fight is going to happen,” said Zhang. “I’ve been waiting on an opportunity – now it’s here and I’m not going to let it pass. When no-one else from the top 15 wanted to face Hrgovic, I told myself I had to do it for me and for the sport of boxing. This is the most important fight of my whole career. I’m all in. Don’t miss it!”
The Canelo-Bivol card will air live on DAZN pay-per-view.