Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Interim Title Bout And Title Eliminator Contest Added To May 20th Card At MGM National Harbor Casino!

Two quality bouts have been added to the TGB Promotions card that will take place at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD on Saturday, May 20.

We already know that the main event will feature WBC Featherweight champion "Mr." Gary Russell, Jr. of Capitol Heights, MD (27-1, 16 KO's) making the second defense of his title against Oscar Escandon of Ibague, Colombia (25-2, 17 KO's).  However, there will be two more scheduled 12-round contests on this card.

In a matchup for the interim IBF Super Middleweight championship, "The Resurrected" Andre Dirrell of Flint, MI will take on Jose "Bolivita" Uzcategui of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico by way of Venezuela.  Dirrell (25-2, 16 KO's) last fought on April 29th and won a 10-round unanimous decision over Blake Caparello in Atlantic City, NJ. 

By the way, Dirrell returns to the state where he made his professional debut.  Dirrell won his first pro bout by fourth-round TKO over Carlos Jones in January of 2005 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD.

Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KO's) has won four straight contests since suffering his only loss -- a 10-round unanimous decision to Matt Korobov in June of 2014 in Omaha, NB.  One of his wins during the streak was a crushing second-round TKO over previously undefeated Julius Jackson in October of 2015.  Uzcategui last fought on August 20th and scored a second-round TKO over Fabiano Pena in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico.

The winner of this bout will face IBF champion James DeGale, who is recovering from injuries suffered in his title unification bout with WBC champ Badou Jack on January 14th in Brooklyn, NY.  That bout ended in a draw.  If Dirrell defeats Uzcategui, the win would set Dirrell up for a rematch against DeGale, who defeated Dirrell in a title bout in May of 2015 by unanimous decision in Boston, MA. 

There will also be a WBA super lightweight title elimination bout between undefeated former two-time, two-division world champion Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy of Las Vegas, NV by way of Arroyo Naranjo, Cuba and former world title challenger Kiryl "Mad Bee" Relikh of Minsk, Belarus. 

Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KO's) is trying to become the first Cuban-born boxer to win three world titles in three weight divisions.  In his last outing, Barthelemy successfully defended his IBF Lightweight title with a split decision over Mickey Bey on June 3 in Hollywood, FL.  Barthelemy is also a former IBF Super Featherweight champion. 

Relikh (21-1, 19 KO's)  needs a win to obtain a second opportunity at a world title.  In his last contest, Relikh lost by unanimous decision to Ricky Burns for the WBA Super Lightweight title on October 7 in Glasgow, Scotland.   This will be Relikh's first time competing in the United States.

The winner of this bout will be the WBA's mandatory contender for newly-crowned titleholder Julius Indongo, who defeated Burns to win the WBA and IBF championships by unanimous decision in Glasgow on April 15.

All three of these bouts will make up the Showtime Championship Boxing telecast that evening.

Also scheduled to appear on this card are Gary Russell's brothers, Antonio and the debuting Antuanne, a member of the 2016 US Olympic Team.  No word yet on their opponents.

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