Undefeated Baltimore, MD welterweight Malik "Iceman" Hawkins will have to wait for his big opportunity to headline a nationally-televised event. Hawkins (18-0, 11 KO's) has been forced to withdraw from his main event bout against fellow undefeated boxer Keith "The Bounty" Hunter of Los Angeles, CA on Friday, February 28th at Sam's Town and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, NV due to medical reasons. The bout was slated to be shown on ShoBox on Showtime.
There was no official word on Hawkins's condition but it was revealed on Facebook that Hawkins was hospitalized for a short time.
Hunter (11-0, seven KO's) will now be in a rematch against Sanjarbek “War” Rakhmanov of Tashkent, Uzbekistan (12-2-1, six KO's). The two men fought each other on February 5th of 2019 with Hunter winning a close split decision.
There will be a Beltway Boxer on this card as Hagerstown, MD super middleweight "The Sexy Albanian" Genc Pllana will open the ShoBox telecast in his first 10-round bout against "The Second Coming" Kevin Newman II of Las Vegas by way of Los Angeles, CA. Pllana (7-1-1, four KO's) comes off an eight-round majority draw against Kalvin Henderson on December 6th in Philadelphia, PA. Newman II (11-1-1, six KO's) last fought on November 1st and won an eight-round unanimous decision over Mark Anthony Hernandez at Sam's Town and Gambling Hall. This will be Newman II's fifth straight appearance at this location.
The broadcast will get underway at 10:45 ET.