It's been a funny old couple of weeks in regards to the IBF Light Heavyweight title. Back in late December the team behind Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10) [孟繁龙] won the purse bids for Meng's upcoming mandatory title bout with IBF and WBC champion Arthur Beterbiev (15-0, 15). The plan of Longjoy was to stage the bout in China, and pay $1,900,000 for the rights to hold the fight
Earlier in the year Beterbiev had made it clear he wouldn't be fighting in China, due to the reported ethnic cleansing and treatment of Uyghur Muslims. It seemed that if Longjoy could prove they had the capital, Beterbiev would likely end up vacating the title.
Yesterday however news broke, through Mathieu Boulay, that Longjoy had failed to meet the terms of the purse bid.
The rules for the IBF purse bid process sees a promoter needing to deposit 10% of their bid on the day of the purse bid, and then another 10% to be deposited 5 working days after the purse bid. Longjoy failed to fulfil the second part of that.
Following their rules the IBF then gave the bout to the second highest bidder, who were Top Rank with a bid of $1,315,000, who indicated their intention is now to hold the bout in Canada, with Quebec seeming the most likely, in late March. The change in venue will mean Beterbiev will not need to vacate the title on the grounds of his principles and beliefs.
Whilst it is a shame, in some ways, for a fight of this stature to not take place in China the whole situation has thankfully been sorted in a way that makes sense. It would be harsh to strip someone for the principles that Beterbiev has shown, especially in a sport that right now appears to have totally compromised it's principles.
Press release - LANE BROTHERS BOXING’ SIGN #1 LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER MENG FANLONG & TOP HEAVYWEIGHT ZHANG ZHILEI
OCTOBER 22nd, NYC -- Number one IBF light heavyweight contender, Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs), and top heavyweight, Zhang Zhilei (20-0, 16 KOs), sign exclusive advisor agreements with newly formed ‘Lane Brothers Boxing.’
Meng of Chifeng, China, is excited to have Terry and Tommy Lane be his industry representatives.
“I am really delighted to have Terry Lane and Tommy Lane on my team as my advisors.” Says Meng. “They are young and enthusiastic about boxing. They believe in me and are very professional in what they do. I believe that our cooperation will have a positive impact on my career.”
As the IBF #1 contender in the light heavyweight division, Meng is eyeing a fight early next year against Champion Artur Beterbiev, who just scored a sensational technical knockout win over Oleksandr Gvozdyk Friday night in Philadelphia.
“This is an exciting time in Fanlong’s career.” Says Terry Lane. “He is one of the best fighters at 175 pounds, and one of the top boxing talents to come from China. We couldn’t be happier to help guide him through this journey.”
Information about Meng Fanlong’s showdown with Beterbiev will be announced in time.
*Image - Meng Fanlong*
*Image left to right - Tommy Lane, Meng Fanlong, trainer Shaun George, Terry Lane*
Zhang, of Zhoukou, China, is also happy to have Terry and Tommy Lane be his career representatives.
“Terry, Tommy and I go way back since the very beginning of my turning pro here in the US.” Says Zhang. “After many years, we are now working together again. They now are my advisors. Their father is a well-known referee and hall-of-famer. The brothers have been in the business of boxing all their lives. I believe that our cooperation will be a new chapter of my professional career.”
Zhang, a 6’6’’ 260 lb 2008 Olympic silver medalist, has amassed an impressive undefeated record and is looking for big fights in the heavyweight division.
“Zhang Zhilei is the face of boxing in China.” Says Tommy Lane. “He has so many opportunities in front of him, we are thrilled about this partnership.”
Zhang is scheduled to fight the tough Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) on November 30th at the Casino De Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco November 30th. The bout will be streamed on DAZN.
*Image left to right - Zhang Zhilei, Tommy Lane, Terry Lane*
*Image - Zhang Zhilei and Terry Lane*
ABOUT LANE BROTHERS BOXING
New York City Based “Lane Brothers Boxing” was founded in 2019 by brothers Terry and Tommy Lane. The Lane brothers have worked in professional boxing for nearly fifteen years, and are now using their industry expertise to advise top international boxing talent. Terry and Tommy are the sons of former referee Mills Lane.
In the main event of a special IBF show in Macau fight fans saw an IBF Light Heavyweight world title eliminator, between unbeaten fighters from China and Germany, with the opportunity to fight IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev up for grabs for the winner.
The match up pitted 2012 Olympian Meng Fanlong (15-0, 9) [孟繁龙] against German foe Adam Deines (17-1-1, 8) and on paper this looked like an excellent match, with both men risking their "0" in return for a potentially huge fight later in the year.
Early on it was the talented Meng who looked in control. He used his longer arms, his faster hand speed and his more rounded technical boxing skills to tag Deines with some classy shots. Despite landing good, clean punches the Chinese fighter could never really put a dent in Deines, who proved to be tough, game and willing to put the pressure on in an attempt to turn the bout around.
It wasn't until round 8 that Deines' pressure really had any break through success, he had done enough to make life difficult previously but never come close to really hurting the Chinese fighter. In the 8th he landed a huge, sweeping right hand that sent sweat spraying from Meng's head and dropped the Chinese fighter. Meng, to his credit, recovered to his feet quickly but was still hurt when the bout resumed, and Deines jumped on him, looking to take him out. Meng saw off the storm, holding and smothering Deines's work, though did eat a huge uppercut in the process.
Meng dropped in round 8, he's up, Deines jumping on him, Meng holding, huge uppercut from Deines, KD came from a sweeping right. Deines continued to have success in round 9, as Meng continued to try and recover, but sadly for the German he couldn't find the home run shot, as Meng used his reach and relied on his skills to get over the line without any more major issues.
At the end of 12 rounds Meng celebrated, and it seemed like both men knew who deserved the win. Thankfully there was no strange judging, with Meng taking the unanimous decision thanks to scores of 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109.
Although Meng has now secured himself a world title fight, we do have to fear for him against a big puncher like Beterbiev, and we'd be surprised if the Chinese fighter, who has been down several times against lesser punchers than Beterbiev, could survive one of the champions heavy shots on the chin.
Earlier today the IBF announced that they would be holding a special card to celebrate their 36th anniversary, with a small but notable show in Macau.
The big fight for local fans comes at Light Heavyweight, where the unbeaten Chinese hopeful Meng Fanlong (14-0, 9) [孟繁龙] will face unbeaten German Adam Deines (17-0-1, 8), in a bout for an IBF minor title, rumoured to be the IBF Inter-continental title.
Another unbeaten fighter on this card will be Australian Steve Gago (10-0, 4), who takes on Filipino fighter Adam Diu Abdulhamid (14-7, 6). This will be for a regional IBF title, and although it looks like a mismatch we're actually really interested in this one, with Abdulhamid being much better than his record suggests.
A third bout of note will see former world title challenger Richie Mepranum (33-7-1, 9) take on Chinese fighter Sen Chen (11-1, 2). This will also be for a regional IBF title, and looks like a tough bout for the Chinese youngster, though Mepranum is certainly not the fighter he once was.
At the moment full details of the card haven't been revealed, though we are hoping that the show will be given a free legal stream though some of the Chinese sites.
Moments ago in Monaco Chinese hopeful Meng Fanlong (14-0, 9) [孟繁龙] secured his first defense of the IBF Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title and recorded his best win to date, as he stopped Englishman Frank Buglioni (22-4-1, 16) in 5 rounds.
Meng looked like he was tuned in from the opening round. He used his southpaw left to really pick away at Buglioni as the Englishman came forward, and used the jab to both penetrate the guard of Buglioni and also confuse him, varying it's speed and power well.
Buglioni tried to up the pace in round 2 and had mixed success, as he began to take more shots, leaving more openings from Meng to counter. It wasn't until round 3 that Buglioni really managed to get some success, upping the tempo significantly and letting combinations go. It was a risky strategy but one he had to use given how Meng was controlling him with such ease. It was Buglioni's best round of the fight.
Sadly for Buglioni him having his best round seemed to force Meng to move into a new gear. The Chinese fighter, who had been happy boxing off the back foot early on, moved onto the front foot, and took the fight to Buglioni, who was left cut on the nose. Meng had started to land not only straight punches but also started to make more and more use of his right uppercut, which Buglioni failed to avoid.
Buglioni's face was starting to show more and more effects from the head shots he was taking, with cuts on both eyes, especially the right hand. Those cuts would see him being taken to the doctor, and the doctor would stop the fight on the second inspection, due to a very nasty cut over the right eye.
With the win Meng takes a huge step towards a potential world title fight.
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