One of Europe’s top welterweights returns this Friday, March 12, as #MTKFightNight is back with Lewis “The Croc” Crocker making the first defense of his WBO European belt in a 10-rounder against German contender Deniz Ilbay at University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton, England.
In the co-feature, Irish fan-favorite Gary Cully will battle Kazakhstan’s Viktor Kotochigov in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
Crocker-Ilbay, Cully-Kotochigov and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m.
Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) captured the WBO European belt last August with a dominating seventh-round stoppage over Louis Greene, a former British Southern Area champion. The Belfast native takes another step up against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs), who is 7-1 in his last eight bouts. He last fought in December 2019 and notched a first-round stoppage over Milos Janjanin.
Cully (11-0, 5 KOs), from Naas, Ireland, went 2-0 in 2020, including a first-round stoppage over Joe Fitzpatrick to capture the Irish lightweight title. He returned last August and survived a fifth-round knockdown to edge Craig Woodruff via decision. Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs), a former WBC International lightweight champion, seeks to rebound from last October’s upset loss to Maxi Hughes.
In other streaming action:
Former Commonwealth featherweight champion Isaac Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs) makes his first ring appearance since the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard and will face Ed Harrison (2-5) in a six-round junior lightweight bout. Lowe is ranked as a top-10 featherweight by two of the major sanctioning organizations.
Former British amateur star Jordan Reynolds will make his highly anticipated professional debut in a six-round middleweight bout versus the durable Robbie Chapman (6-6).
In an eight-round welterweight tilt, Bolton native Sahir Iqbal (8-0, 1 KO) will fight an opponent to be named.
The ESPN+ stream is scheduled to begin with the pro debut of Carl Fail, who will clash with the unbeaten Jordan Dujon (4-0) in a six-rounder at junior middleweight.