Jack Massey pumped for IBO title dispute with Bilal Laggoune

Jack Massey of Fight Academy has the chance of his life on November 26 when he faces Bilal Laggoune for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) World Cruiserweight Title, at the Bolton White Hotel – live on Fightzone.

It’s a great opportunity for both men. The IBO version of the world title has already been held by top fighters including Antonia Tarver, Tommy Hearns, James Toney, Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck – and the winner can expect to be involved in huge unification contests over late.

Massey has lost only once in 19 fights – a controversial British title loss to much-vaunted Londoner Richard Riakporhe in 2019. Since then, “One Smack” Jack has had several victories, including winning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) European belt during his last fight in July.

Laggoune represents the greatest British challenge to date. The same age as Massey, 28, Laggoune has fought ten times more than his counterpart – with just two losses in 29 fights – and has been with decent operators. The Belgian is also heavy handed, having knocked out 14 men in the opposite corner, and comes after a questionable “away” loss to Tommy McCarthy for the European title in October last year.

Massey knows this is a fabulous opportunity offered by his Fight Academy promotion team, with a victory meaning he overtakes his domestic rivals on the world stage.

“I watched him a bit and he’s a very good opponent. I saw him box McCarthy and the decision was a bit random, it was very close. He’s a great opponent and it can only be a good fight.

“He’s definitely the best I’ve faced so far, but with the world title on the line I’m training harder than ever and I think I’m going to come out and do a good job on him. This is why I box and intend to make a big statement.

“It would be amazing to win the IBO belt. When you look at the people who held [a version of] Over the years as Anthony Joshua, Usyk just won it against Joshua, Klitschko, Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather – the list goes on and on. All the big names of different weights fought for this, and it’s a great title to have.

“It would be absolutely huge to win it; it would open huge doors and could lead to unification fights against big names. The night will be amazing, headlining on Fightzone, we will sell the place and the atmosphere will be amazing.

Main support sees England’s Mark Jeffers and Belgian Michel Garcia fight for the vacant WBO Global Super Middleweight title, and Scotland’s Nathaniel Collins defend the Commonwealth Featherweight title against South Africa’s Thembani Mbangatha.

Also appearing on the undercard are Harry Mullins of London; Zak Miller of Ashton under Lyne; Josh Holmes and Billy Deniz of Manchester; Khaleel Madjid from Bolton and Jake Andrews from Salford.