Golden Gloves has put the finishing touches to its “KO at the Casino” tournament in Monte Carlo on June 21, an event that now includes an intriguing WBA Interim cruiserweight title clash between Mateusz Masternak and Youri Kalenga. The card is headlined by Martin Murray of the UK against Max Bursak of Ukraine for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight belt.
WBA/IBO minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler will make his European debut against Pigmy Kokietgym and undefeated former IBO super-middleweight champion Tommy Oosthuizen will make his debut at light-heavyweight against former African champion Doudou Ngumbu.
Masternak (31-1, 23 KOs), of Poland, is an accomplished fighter who is fresh off a points win against Stjepan Vugdelija in Denmark. Kalenga (19-1, 13 KOs), the France-based Congolese, has campaigned throughout Europe and enjoys a reputation as a dangerous puncher. Indeed, six of his last seven fights have ended inside the distance.
“It doesn’t matter who is put in front of me, the outcome will be the same,” said Masternak. “This is my big opportunity and no one is going to stand in my way. I know that Kalenga is a tough opponent but I will be ready for whatever he has to offer. I have been working hard in the gym and physically I am in the best shape of my life. On June 21 I will become a world champion. Losing is not an option.”
Said Kalle Sauerland, manager of Masternak: “We are delighted, together with Golden Gloves, we have managed to present a great fight for a world championship. After Junior Makabu made the mistake of turning down such a prestigious honour we are delighted to present what can arguably be seen as an even tougher challenge for Masternak in Monaco. With the other fights that Golden Gloves has planned this really will be a night to remember.”
Kalenga was just as confident, saying: “I am very happy to get this opportunity to fight for the WBA Interim world title against Mateusz Masternak. Masternak is a very solid fighter and I have been watching his career for a while. This will be an excellent fight between two big punching warriors and the Congo will have a new world champion. His name is Youri Kalenga.”