Babic-Hrgovic? ‘It’s like non-league to Man City’

Alen Babic vs Niall Kennedy is on Sunday night, live on Sky Sports, on Joshua Buatsi’s undercard

Last Updated: 01/10/20 6:23am

Alen Babic’s most recent crushing KO
Alen Babic’s most recent crushing KO

Alen Babic has been warned that he will have to “walk the walk eventually” if he keeps challenging Filip Hrgovic, says promoter Kalle Sauerland.

A personal feud has developed between Croatia’s two top heavyweights and Babic, who is managed by Dillian Whyte, is desperate to settle the grudge inside the ring against the far more experienced Hrgovic – but he must first stay unbeaten against Niall Kennedy on Sunday night, live on Sky Sports.

“There is a bit of a step up from being a bouncer to fighting someone as decorated as Hrgovic, who is in the top five in the world,” Sauerland told Sky Sports.

Alen Babic demands to fight ‘a giant’
Alen Babic demands to fight ‘a giant’
Alen Babic fights Niall Kennedy on October 4, live on Sky Sports
Alen Babic fights Niall Kennedy on October 4, live on Sky Sports

“It’s like playing [in non-league] then playing Man City!

“I get the ambition, all credit to him. But take the domestic level fights – Tom Little or Dave Allen. Go through them, work your way up the rankings.

“I don’t blame Babic, this is boxing where you have to make a name for yourself.

“But when you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk eventually.”

Filip Hrgovic knocked out Eric Molina
Filip Hrgovic knocked out Eric Molina

Since winning an Olympic bronze medal, Hrgovic is undefeated in 11 and has beaten former world title challenger Eric Molina.

He was described as “the next dominating force when Tyson Fury hangs up his gloves” by former opponent Tom Little.

“Filip would fight anyone put in front of him,” Sauerland said. “He’s the easiest guy to deal with. He doesn’t ask ‘who am I fighting?’

“He just asks ‘when?’

“He comes from the schooling of the World Series of Boxing where he fought tough guys week-in, week-out. He did that for a long time.

“Babic could be a good fighter one day but he has to go the route that everyone goes. He can’t make an exception for himself just because he has a personal thing with Hrgovic.”

Babic has romped to four stoppage victories since turning pro a year ago, and is a regular sparring partner for Whyte.

A Hrgovic KO in less than 60 seconds
A Hrgovic KO in less than 60 seconds

The animosity between the Croatian heavyweight duo began when Hrgovic showed interest in competing against amateurs to qualify for the next Olympics.

“He’s just another bully in my country,” Babic told Sky Sports. “I work as a doorman for 10 years and I know how to deal with bullies.

“I work as a doorman and then I sparred him the day after. Every time after a night shift, I sparred with Hrgovic. Of course I will fight him.

“He said I’m just an ordinary doorman. What does that mean? He just wants to discredit me. I came up the tough way and he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I did it all by myself.”

After his most recent win, Babic said: “This is my approach. One or two rounds. My fights won’t go past three rounds. I am different.

“I have a guy in mind, he’s from my country. Filip Hrgovic! He was calling me out. I don’t like him. I want to fight him.”

Sky Sports schedule

Buatsi vs Calic – Oct 4, live on Sky Sports
Joshua Buatsi vs Marko Calic
Chantelle Cameron vs Adriana Dos Santos Araujo
Alen Babic vs Niall Kennedy
Aqib Fiaz vs Kane Baker
Linus Udofia vs John Harding Jr
John Hedges

Ritson vs Vazquez – Oct 17, live on Sky Sports
Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Joe Laws
Kash Farooq
Qais Ashfaq
Thomas Patrick Ward

Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte

Source : Sky Sports