No rest for the weary as Evgeny Gradovich has travelled abroad once again for a big fight.
This time, the fight will not take place in Macau, China, or in America’s heartland.
Gradovich will also have to win in a fighter’s backyard.
The Russia-born fighter will try to defend his IBF featherweight title against Lee Selby on Saturday at the famed O2 Arena in London. The bout will be one of three world title fights on the Top Rank/Matchroom Promotions card.
The card will be shown live on SKY Box Office throughout the United Kingdom.
Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs), who lives and trains in Oxnard, will be making the fifth defense of his world title belt. Gradovich fights under the Top Rank banner and is managed by Egis Klimas of Thousand Oaks.
In his last bout on Nov. 29, Gradovich fought to a 12-round split decision draw against Jayson Velez of Puerto Rico.
Gradovich, who is trained by Robert Garcia, has fought across the United States and three times in Macau, China. Garcia will be in Gradovich’s corner Saturday night.
Selby (20-1, 8 KOs), who is Welsh, has won his last 16 bouts. In his last fight on Oct. 11, Selby, who is the mandatory challenger for Gradovich’s title, stopped Joel Brunker of Australia in the ninth round.
RODRIGUEZ FIGHTS SATURDAY
Lightweight Saul Rodriguez will fight Antonio Capulin on Saturday in a battle of unbeaten fighters at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood.
The eight-round bout will headline a Top Rank card and will be aired on Unimas at 11 p.m.
Rodriguez, who is co-trained by Eduardo and Robert Garcia, was scheduled to fight on March 14 in Glendale, but had to withdraw when he came down with chicken pox.
In his last bout on Jan. 17, Rodriguez (16-0-1, 13 KOs), who splits time between his hometown of Riverside and Oxnard, knocked out Carlos Rodriguez in the second round at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme.
Capulin (14-0, 6 KOs), who hails from Houston, will be fighting for the first time outside of Texas. In his last bout on Nov. 15, Capulin won a one-sided, six-round decision over Marteze Logan.
In other action, Alex Saucedo (17-0, 12 KOs) will fight Jake Giuriceo (17-3, 4 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight bout.
SIMI CARD POSTPONED
The fight card scheduled for the Town Center in Simi Valley on Saturday has been postponed.
Organizers of the card said a number of fighters suffered injuries or simply withdrew from their respective fights.
Robert Ortiz of Simi Valley and Andrew Ruiz of Oxnard were some of the local fighters scheduled to fight.
Organizers are hoping to reschedule the card for the next month.
WEEKEND TV BOUTS
Amir Khan will fight Chris Algieri on Friday night in a 12-round bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The bout will headline a “Premier Boxing Champions” card on Spike TV, beginning at 6 p.m. Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) hopes a win puts him in line for a fight against Floyd Mayweather. Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) has not fought since losing to Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 23.
Unbeaten Lateef Kayode (20-0, 16 KOs) will fight Nick Kisner on Friday night in a 10-round cruiserweight bout at the W.C. Handy Pavilion in Memphis. The bout will headline a card that will air on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 7 p.m. Kayode fought a number of times at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez. Kisner (14-1, 5 KOs) has won his last two bouts.
Francisco A. Salazar covers boxing for The Star. Salazar also covers boxing for RingTV, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.