If Jack Massey can win the International Boxing Organization (IBO) World Cruiserweight Title on Friday November 26, he’ll find himself in excellent company.
Massey and Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune meet for the vacant belt at Bolton White’s Hotel – live on Fightzone – with the winner the latest in a long line of illustrious names to have held the title. Legends including James Toney and Tommy Hearns are both previous holders of the IBO strap, as well as other notable names including Brits Carl Thompson and Ola Afolabi, and Poland’s Tomasz Adamek.
Massey versus Laggoune is a fight that has got fans talking and trade insiders buzzing – with many unable to call a winner.
Jack has lost just once in 19 outings, a debatable 2019 British Title defeat to highly touted Londoner, Richard Riakporhe. Since then, ‘One Smack’ has put together a brace of wins, including picking up the International Boxing Federation (IBF) European belt with a stoppage victory in his last fight in July.
Laggoune though will be the Brit’s biggest challenge to date. Also aged 28, Laggoune has fought ten more times than Massey – with just two reverses in 29 bouts – and been in with capable operators. The Belgian also has heavy hands, having knocked out 14 men in the opposite corner, and is coming in off the back of a short-notice ‘away from home’ decision loss to top-rated Tommy McCarthy for the European Title in October last year.
Ahead of the big night of boxing, Fight Academy promoter Dennis Hobson says this is a fantastic opportunity for Jack to stake his claim on the world scene but he will need to be at his very best to come out on top.
“When you look at the names who’ve won this title, some of them have created absolute legacies in the sport,” stated Dennis. “So, to be on the same page as them is a fantastic achievement; nice company to be in. Jack left Queesnsberry [Promotions] a bit disillusioned with the game and within two weeks of coming with us he won the IBF European Title and is now in for a world title straight away. Things like this just don’t happen, there’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes. We put our money where our mouth is, and we’re good at getting our fighters opportunities. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it!
“This is a platform for both Jack and Laggoune to move into some mega fights. He looks the part does Jack, and he’s exciting to watch. It’s tough fight but so it should be, it’s a world title fight. You don’t just get given these belts, you have to earn them. He’s in with a kid who’s beatable but if he’s not up to it then he’ll get found out. We believe in Jack, he’s not in with Floyd Mayweather but has got a very credible opponent who will be as determined as Jack to become a world champ. You don’t win an opportunity like this without having to dig deep, but we believe Jack has it in him to do that.”