Leon Bunn (13-0, 7 KOs) will face Leon Harth (18-3, 12 KOs) for the IBF International Light Heavyweight title on May 4 at the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt.
Bunn tops the bill in his hometown as Team Sauerland return to the Fraport Arena for the first time in seven years following a memorable cruiserweight showdown between Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Steve Cunningham in 2012.
The 26-year-old from Frankfurt is back in action after a unanimous points win over Viktor Polyakov on February 16 in Koblenz, and will have the chance to claim his first professional title as he goes toe-to-toe with countryman Harth.
“I would like to thank my promoter Team Sauerland for the opportunity and the confidence they’ve shown in me,” said the highly rated light heavyweight.
“To fight for my first title in my hometown is amazing! I’m looking forward to a great evening with a great atmosphere. Everyone knows that my fans support me everywhere I am boxing, but here in Frankfurt, it’s going to be even better!
“It’s time to step up. I want to climb the rankings and box for the big titles, and to do that I have to beat Leon Harth, even though I know he’s very strong.”
Having campaigned at cruiserweight, Harth has returned to light heavyweight, where he remains undefeated, and has captured the IBO Continental and WBC Asia 175lb titles in his last two contests.
The only blemishes on the Detmold-boxer’s resume come from defeats to former World Champions Murat Gassiev and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and World title challenger Artur Mann, who meets Kevin Lerena for the IBO crown on March 16.
“It’s great that my promoter Petko’s Box Promotion with Team Sauerland has been able to agree this fight,” said Harth. “Leon Bunn is a good boxer with a good amateur pedigree, but I have fought at a higher level. My switch from cruiserweight down to light heavyweight has also served me well. Here, I can play to my strengths much better, as Leon Bunn will find out on May 4.”
Harth’s promoter Alexander Petkovic adds: “We worked very well with Team Sauerland at last June’s Petko’s Fight Night, and the negotiations for this fight were just as simple, within 24 hours we were in agreement. This is exactly the type of fight we have to deliver for the German audience. We know that Leon Bunn is a strong boxer and his fans will support him in many ways, but our Leon will fight bravely and produce a big fight for all boxing fans, I promise!”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland says: “Leon Harth will provide a tough test for Leon Bunn, but if he wants to step up, he must be prepared to face tougher opponents, and Harth is a tough opponent. I am very happy that Harth and Petko’s Boxing Promotions have accepted this fight. We look forward to returning to Frankfurt for an action-packed evening of boxing, and we will be announcing some great fights for the undercard in the coming weeks!”
Former British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Tommy Langford (20-3) makes his move up to super-middleweight by facing Frenchman Baptiste Castegnaro (8-16) on March 9 at the Walsall Town Hall on a BCB Promotions event.
The 28-year-old from southwest France tackled both Olympic bronze medalist Joshua Buatsi and ex-English champion Liam Conroy, who both meet for the vacant British light-heavyweight title on March 23.
He put up a brave show against Buatsi, who eventually earned a fifth-round stoppage win at London’s York Hall, but managed to give Conroy a count in their prior meeting, losing narrowly on points at 59-57.
He has knocked out half of his victims, but hasn’t had his arm raised in any of his last eight contests. Only two opponents from 16 defeats have managed to stop the super-middleweight; Zach Parker being the first to register a TKO win in June 2017, three months prior to Buatsi’s.
Parker, the current British super-middleweight champion and future target for Tommy, halted Baptiste just 15 seconds before the end of their scheduled eight-round contest.
Despite Baptiste experiencing one more fight during his six-year pro career, Langford has an extra 25 rounds under his belt – 130 to 155 – having been involved in 10 title fights.
The 29-year-old from Birmingham decided he could no longer make the 160lbs weight limit after six years and 23 fights competing at middleweight and now makes his debut appearance at super-middle against Castegnaro.
“Everything in my training camp has gone well and I’m really excited to be making my super-middleweight debut, finally,” the West Brom FC fan said.
“I spar with super-middleweights like Callum Smith all the time, so I know what to expect and just want to put on a really good performance to announce my arrival at 168lbs.”
Langford, who once reached No.2 in the WBO world rankings, revealed his reason for moving up a weight category, “It’s been hard to make middleweight my entire career, if I’m honest, and I was always big at the weight.
“In the past 18 months, weight-making has become more of a struggle and I just didn’t feel strong by the end of it.
“All I could do to get to the 160lbs limit was run like crazy, but you end up wasting away muscle and strength, which affects your performances in the ring.
“I feel better already at super-middle, which instantly tells me it was the right move, but the first time I need to deliver is March 9 and I want to put on a really good performance to officially announce my arrival. After that, I’ll be bouncing back in a big way.”
Langford has already declared his intentions to become a two-weight British or Commonwealth champion, stating, “I want to get back in the title mix as soon as possible but I can’t see any of the domestic champions giving me the shot, so I’m fully prepared to work my way into the mandatory positions for the British or Commonwealth.”
The BCB Promotions ‘Pride of the Midlands’ event also features Midlands Area middleweight champion Tyler Denny (10-1-2); unbeaten welterweight Conah Walker (3-0); undefeated lightweight Connor Lee Jones (2-0); and Wolves welterweight Kirstie Bavington (1-0-1).
The middleweight contest between WBC #8 Yamaguchi Falcao and California’s Paul Mendez was cancelled by the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission due to an undisclosed issue with Mendez’ pre-fight medicals.
The matchup was scheduled to take place Saturday, March 9 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino as part of a DAZN broadcast.
“We’re extremely disappointed,” said Falcao’s manager Jody Caliguire of Fire Fist Boxing. “This was an important fight on a big platform for Yama. Unfortunately there was not enough time to get a replacement opponent and Team Falcao sends their best wishes to Mendez.”
Falcao, who is expecting his first child next week, is frustrated over the cancellation following an intense training camp.
“I had a great camp and was looking forward to celebrating a victory with my wife Juliana and our firstborn child. I apologize to all my fans but this is out of my control. I was willing to fight anybody in the world, even on short notice. I’m hoping to fight again soon because I know I’m one of the best in the world at 160 pounds.”