Wilder vs Helenius undercard swells, Frank Sanchez added

Two exciting high-stakes matchups have been added to the packed four-fight FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event headlined by the return of former WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he takes on top-rated Robert “ The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius on Saturday, October 15 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The telecast will feature undefeated Cuban sensation Frank Sánchez battling Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron in a 10-round heavyweight matchup, while top bantamweight contenders Gary Antonio Russell and Emmanuel Rodriguez will square off in a 12-round rematch opening pay-per-view telecast at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT.

In the co-feature, former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant takes on two-time WBC super middleweight champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell in a title eliminator. of WBC super middleweight among rivals at 168 pounds.

Tickets for the event, promoted by BombZquad Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the American Express box office at Barclays Center.

A noted amateur from his native Cuba, Sánchez (20-0, 13 KOs) now trains in California with renowned trainer Joe Goossen. The 30-year-old has kept himself busy in his climb up the heavyweight rankings, posting three wins in 2020 as he earned a unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko and stopped Brian Howard and Julian Fernandez.

Sánchez caught the attention of boxing fans when he scored the best victory of his career in October 2021, defeating previously undefeated Efe Ajagba en route to a unanimous decision victory. Sanchez kicked off the New Year with a 10-round decision win against Christian Hammer in his last fight.

“Carlos Negron is a dangerous opponent, but I will be ready for whatever he brings. I intend to seek a knockout against Negrón to show boxing fans that I am a boxer and a puncher,” Sánchez said. “I feel like I am the best heavyweight in the world and October 15 will bring me one step closer to the very important goal of becoming a mandatory contender for a world title opportunity in 2023.”

2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Negrón (25-3, 20 KOs) was scheduled to face Sánchez on January 1, but had to pull out of the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. Negron is on a five-fight winning streak in the match against Sanchez, including four stoppage wins.

The 34-year-old bounced back from losses to Dominic Breazeale and Brian Howard to put together his winning streak, which includes a March 2020 knockout of previously undefeated Robert Alfonso. He earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Scott Alexander in his last fight in May 2021. Negron has fought professionally since 2009 and now lives in Miami, where he trains alongside Luis Ortiz.

“I know Frank, and I’ve never been a boxer to call out other fighters or talk about any other fighter, so I don’t know why he asked to fight me,” Negron said. “When my trainer told me that he wanted to fight me, I didn’t take it personally. I took it as a challenge. He gave me incredible motivation, and now I want to fight him. Let’s see what I can do against the good competition. I have always given my best against better opponents. So come on October 15, let’s see who’s the best.”

Russell (19-0, 12 KOs), 29, originally faced former champion Rodriguez in August 2021, but an accidental clash of heads ended the fight in a no contest before the first round was complete.

Russell, the middle brother between WBC featherweight champion Gary Jr. and the US Olympian, won a decision victory over former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in December 2020.

“I’m glad that Emmanuel and I have the opportunity to redo on October 15,” Russell said. “Nothing has changed in terms of my goal. I will step into the ring at Barclays Center to do whatever it takes to finish this fight victorious.”

Rodríguez (20-2, 13 KOs) fighting out of Manatí, Puerto Rico, has also added a victory since his first meeting with Russell, knocking out Roberto Sánchez Cantú in March. The 30-year-old won the IBF bantamweight world title with a unanimous decision win over Paul Butler in 2018 and successfully defended it against then-undefeated Jason Moloney. Rodríguez lost the title to undefeated champion Naoya Inoue in their May 2019 title fight.

“I have been training in Mexico for a long time and away from my family so I can focus on this fight that will define my future,” Rodriguez said. “Russell is a good fighter who has been avoided throughout his career, but I have come to show that I am on another level. I will win without a doubt and be back at the top of the bantamweight division. On October 15 he is going to realize that he is not at my level”.

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