Liam Davies vs. Ionut Baluta & Light Heavyweight Anthony
Yarde Headlines UK Fight Card Sat. On ESPN+
The upset-minded Ionut Baluta hopes to defy the odds again
when he battles the unbeaten Liam Davies in the 12-round
main event for the vacant European junior featherweight
title Saturday at Telford International Centre in Telford,
In the 10-round co-feature, big-punching light heavyweight
contender Anthony Yarde faces Stefani Koykov in a match that
could have world title implications for the London native.
Davies-Baluta and Yarde-Koykov top a loaded bill streaming
live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m.
ET/11 a.m. PT.
Davies (12-0, 5 KOs) is a former English bantamweight
champion who captured the British junior featherweight strap
in his last outing with a hard-fought decision over Marc
Leach at Telford International Centre. He is a four-year pro
who also holds a near-shutout win over Nicaragua’s Dixon
Flores. Baluta (15-3, 3 KOs), a native of Romania who now
trains in England, is no stranger to upsetting the apple
cart. In 2020, he stunned former world champion TJ Doheny by
decision and knocked out Irish Olympian Davey Oliver Joyce
in consecutive bouts. Following a razor-thin decision loss
to Michael Conlan last April, Baluta rebounded to upset Brad
Foster in May for the WBC International title.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs), the WBO No. 1 light heavyweight
contender, is in line for a shot at unified champion Artur
Beterbiev in early 2023. He hopes to shake off the ring rust
following a nearly yearlong layoff. In his last outing, he
knocked out Lyndon Arthur in four rounds, avenging a
December 2020 split decision defeat. Koykov (14-1, 12 KOs)
has won 12 straight bouts since the lone blemish on his
In other streaming action:
Unbeaten prospect Eithan James (9-0) steps up against
southpaw boxer-puncher Connor Parker (14-1, 1 KO) in a
10-rounder for the vacant WBO European junior welterweight
Rising light heavyweight Ezra Taylor (3-0, 2 KOs) will fight
in a six-rounder against an opponent to be named.
Irish lightweight prospect William Hayden (4-0, 1 KO) looks
to improve to 5-0 in a six-rounder versus Romanian veteran
Marian Marius Istrate (3-13).
In a 10-rounder at welterweight, Owen Cooper (6-0, 2 KOs)
clashes with Jamie Stewart (3-2-2).