Filip Hrgovic vs Rydell Booker: Fight Preview
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

Unbeaten Croatian heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic takes on Rydell Booker on the undercard of the Matchroom Boxing USA show featuring Devin Haney vs Yuriorkis Gamboa card.

Hrgovic is on the fringes of securing a big fight, with consistent knockout performances and he features in the top 15 rankings for the IBF, WBO and WBC belts. 

However, his best opponent so far is two time world title challenger Eric Molina. He now faces unknown 39-year-old Booker, who has a winning record of 26 wins with 13 knockouts with three defeats all by unanimous decision. It certainly makes for a strange matchup, but it seems that this is the best fight Hrgovic could make in the current circumstances. 

However, Booker makes for a durable opponent and Hrgovic will be keen to carry on his solid performances as he builds towards a big 2021.

  • Who is Rydell Booker?

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Not many boxing fans will know who the American is, but crazily, he has spent time in prison and turned professional all the way back in 2001. 

In fact, he was 22-0 with 12 knockouts when he faced James Toney in 2004 for the vacant WBA International Heavyweight title. His opponent that night, had just come off the back of a knockout win over the legendary boxer Evander Holyfield. Whilst in contrast, Booker was in the midst of impending imprisonment for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver over 1000 grams.

He ultimately lost the fight, albeit on points, but despite being dropped in the eighth he proved himself a durable opponent at that level. However, he did go to prison, originally being sentenced to 12 to 30 years.

Entering in 2005, he emerged in 2017 and headed straight back into professional ranks. He's fought six times since 2018 and lost to unbeaten American heavyweight Jeremaine Franklin on points in 2019. Then he stepped up to the higher echelons of the heavyweight scene facing Kubrat Pulev, losing on points. 

Regularly utilised as a sparring partner, he assisted the likes of Anthony Joshua and Charles Martin and now he's ready to step up and make up for lost time.

But he faces a tough test in the up and coming heavyweight contender, who has regularly delivered powerful knockout performances and is a name to be feared.

  • Hrgovic's Knockout Streak

 

Already fighting once in 2020, he faced Alexandre Kartozia in Denmark in September winning by knockout in the second round. 

The level of opponent suggested it was nothing but a 'tune-up' fight as the current climate gives absolutely no absolutes in terms of making big fights happen.

Fighting his way up into the top 15 in three of the world title belts, he's found himself as a somewhat avoided fighter as the big fights have failed to materialise so far.

He dismantled former two time world title challenger Eric Molina on the undercard of the Joshua/Ruiz rematch in December 2019 with a powerful performance - ending the bout with clubbing, hurtful shots in the third round from which Molina could not recover from.

His knockout against the unknown Kartozia was an absolutely devastating finish and standing at six foot six and only 28, he's ready to take the step up next year.

This fight will be on the undercard of the Haney vs Gamboa available to view on DAZN.

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