MOSES MEETS THE MEDIA / MAIDEN TITLE BECKONS FOR KAROL
WORLD YOUTH HEAVYWEIGHT champion Moses Itauma formally announced his professional debut today when he met the media ahead of his big night on 28 January at the OVO Arena, Wembley on the undercard of the unified world light heavyweight title showdown between Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde.
Ituma, just turned 18, was confirmed as Queensberry’s future heavyweight force with the signing of a long-term promotional agreement in the wake of his World Championship triumph in November.
The younger brother of elite light heavyweight prospect Karol also won gold at the Schools, Juniors and Youth Europeans. Moses is a two-time National champion, a Multi-Nation BoxCup winner and was unbeaten in 24 fights as an amateur.
He will now see action for the first time in the professional ranks on the same card as his unbeaten sibling, who will fight for his first title on the show.
“It has been our dream since we were young so it will definitely be special,” said Itauma on the Wembley family affair. “It will be the best time of my life, really, me and my brother boxing on the same show. Especially with it being in London, which isn’t too far from where we live.”
“I came off Covid and not having any fights at all, to having the most fights I have ever had and now signing here makes it even better.
“I want to have around eight fights this year. I want to become the youngest ever world heavyweight champion and beat Mike Tyson’s record of 20 years, four months and 22 days.
“I’ve sparred with Lawrence Okolie, Joe Joyce, Anthony Joshua and everyone on the British scene. More often than not I have held my own.
“I am very confident in my ability and now I just want to see the difference between the pros and the amateurs. I want to be part of history and, when boxing is done for me, I want to be up there amongst the biggest names.
“The record is something I am chasing down, but I won’t be beating Mike Tyson’s record if I don’t win my pro debut.”
Sitting alongside his younger brother at the BT Sport studios was the former Olympic Youth champion Karol, who will bid to win a first title in the professional ranks when he goes up against Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna from Argentina for the WBC International light heavyweight title at the OVO Arena, Wembley on January 28.
The classy 22-year-old will hit double figures as a pro in North West London, having built up a perfect 9-0 record to date, with seven of the wins coming via stoppage. He fought four times across 2022 and two of his fights took place on Tyson Fury undercards at Wembley Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Maderna, 28-10 (18 KOs), has kept good company in the ring over the course of his 14-year professional career. He is a four-time winner of the Argentinean super middleweight title and he made an unsuccessful challenge for the IBO world title in 2013, losing on points to Thomas Oosthuizen.
The now 36-year-old subsequently won the WBC Latino title in 2013 before taking on and suffering a fourth round stoppage against a then 9-0 Artur Beterbiev in Montreal in mid-2016.
In the same year he won the WBC Latino belt at light heavyweight by defeating Walter Gabriel
Sequeira before returning to super middle and making an unsuccessful challenge for the WBA Continental title in Moscow against Fedor Chudinov.
“Like I have said all along, my coach does all the homework and I just try and implement things in the ring,” said Itauma of the man standing in the way of his first title triumph. “He has mentioned that he is experienced but that is what it takes to progress and move up the ladder.
“I need this kind of fight. I wouldn’t say the title has made much difference to me in preparations because the prize is just a bonus and, if anything, a cherry on top. The fight is like any other fight in that you go in there to come out victorious. The title is a little extra thing and sometimes you can think about it too much, which can bring pressure, so there is no point in thinking about it like that.
“I am excited for it though and, obviously, I am going to be there with my brother. It is crazy because during our whole amateur boxing career we never boxed on the same night. So to be able to share a night together where it is his debut and my first title fight is very special.
“It was an emotional roller coaster watching him win his world championship out in Spain, so I can’t bear to think what it will be like watching him as a pro. I know what he is capable of though and it is all in his hands.
“He is going to make statements and shock the world.”
Tickets to see Moses Itauma make his pro debut and Karol Itauma fight for his first pro title on the undercard of Beterbiev vs Yarde are priced from £50 and are available from AXS.com and Ticketmaster.co.uk.