Ben Whittaker only made his professional debut last month – but he is already set to star on a world title undercard.
The Olympic silver medallist turned over on the back of a long, dragged-out pursuit by a number of promoters.
Whittaker was coveted by everyone but eventually settled on a deal from Ben Shalom and Boxxer. He is managed by Anthony Joshua’s 258 MGT and fights exclusively live on Sky Sports.
And the 25-year-old will box on the channel’s pay-per-view arm later this month.
Whittaker, who debuted with a two-round stoppage win over Greg O’Neil at the Bournemouth International Centre on July 30, will box abroad on Saturday.
After his debut, which came on the undercard of Chris Billam-Smith’s Commonwealth and European cruiserweight title defence against Isaac Chamberlain, Whittaker told Sky Sports:
“As soon as my management team and promoter and whoever put their heads together and get me a date, that’s when I’m ready. I’m fit, no injuries so I’m just ready to go again.”
He has been confirmed as an addition to his manager Joshua’s bid to become a three-time world champion, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office after the broadcaster paid a staggering £23million for the UK rights to the fight.
TalkSport online editor, Michael Benson, tweeted about the fight announcement:
🥊 Announced: Ben Whittaker will have his second pro fight vs Petar Nosic on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Josuha rematch on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) August 15, 2022
Joshua meets Oleksandr Usyk, the Ukrainian former undisputed cruiserweight champion, looking to regain the WBA Super, IBO, IBF and WBO titles he lost in a unanimous decision defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London last September.
Streaming giant DAZN, to whom Joshua committed his broadcasting future back in June in a groundbreaking deal, will show the fight in the US, as well as more than 190 territories, including Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Poland.
Whittaker, who is trained by Tyson Fury’s trainer SugarHill Steward, will face Croatia’s undefeated Petar Nosic (6-0, 3 KOs) on the card and added:
“Whoever’s in the opposite corner, I’ll just make them box to my strengths.”
Callum Smith, from Liverpool, features on the card in the chief support contest when he takes on former European light-heavyweight champion Mathieu Bauderlique. ‘Mundo’ returns to Jeddah having won the World Boxing Super Series tournament at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the city and will take on the Frenchman in a final eliminator for the WBC world championship currently in the custody of Artur Beterbiev.
Filip Hrgovic meets China’s undefeated Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) in a final eliminator for Usyk’s IBF heavyweight crown after the fight was postponed back in May, having originally been set to take place on the undercard of Dmitry Bivol’s shock victory over the aforementioned Alvarez.
Ramla Ali (6-0, 1 KO) becomes the first female boxer to feature in an official international event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, clashing with Crystal Garcia Nova (10-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super-bantamweight contest, while Andrew Tabiti and Badou Jack box in respective heavyweight and cruiserweight contests and Daniel Lapin looks to improve on his 5-0 ledger.
YouTube star ‘Money Kicks’ will get a slot on the card, having previously been linked with a fight against a legend of the game Floyd Mayweather, when he takes on Britain’s Kyle Paevie, and Ziyad Almaayouf concludes the action in what will be his debut outing.