While all eyes will be on the highly anticipated trilogy match between Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), July 24 is shaping up to be a massive night for the Heavyweight division as a whole.
As The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reported, three Heavyweight fights will fill the evening’s undercard before Fury defends his WBC and The Ring Magazine titles against Wilder.
In the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) and Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13 KOs) will meet in a pivotal bout that will cement the winner as a key player in the division.
The 27-year-old Ajagba, a native of Nigeria, was a 2016 Olympian and is currently 15-0 with 12 knockouts as a professional. In his most recent bout last April, he stopped Brian Howard in just three rounds. Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Sanchez, a native of Cuba, is 18-0 as a professional with 13 knockouts. He was last seen defeating Nagy Aguilera on the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders undercard this past May.
Before Ajagba and Sanchez meet, an intriguing rematch between Robert Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs) and Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) will take place. The two first met in March 2020 when Helenius scored a surprising fourth-round TKO victory over Kownacki at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Neither fighter has competed since that night.
The 37-year-old Helenius is 30-3 in his professional career, with 19 of those victories coming by knockout. He’s won back-to-back fights over Mateus Roberto Osorio and Kownacki. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Kownacki, a native of Poland, is currently 20-1 with 15 knockouts. Before losing to Helenius, he had never lost as a professional.
Finally, rising prospect Jared Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs) will make his return on the undercard as well, as he’s set to meet Russian southpaw Vladimir Tereshkin (22-0-1, 12 KOs).
The 21-year-old Anderson, who won the 2017 and 2018 U.S. National Championships as an amateur, made his professional debut in 2019 and has since gone 9-0 with nine knockouts. He’s competed twice in 2021 thus far, as he stopped Kingsley Ibeh in February before finishing Jeremiah Karpency in April. Tereshkin, on the other hand, is also unbeaten at 22-0, but he’s been far less active, as he hasn’t competed since stopping Francisco Silvens in November 2019.
This event is expected to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be broadcast as an ESPN/FOX joint pay-per-view.