India’s Goyat to fight on Paul-Tyson undercard

Sports

The first international signee of Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions will debut on the undercard of Paul’s July 20 showdown with Mike Tyson, officials confirmed with ESPN on Tuesday.

India’s Neeraj Goyat (18-4-2, 8 KOs) will compete for the first time under the MVP banner against Brazilian superstar Whindersson Nunes in a six-round super middleweight bout contested at 165 pounds.

Goyat, 32, is the first Indian fighter to make the WBC world rankings and is recognized as one of the best boxers in the country. He utilized a social media campaign earlier this year in an effort to land a fight with Paul but instead found himself signing with Paul’s promotion. Goyat has over a million followers on Instagram and has appeared on Indian television and Bollywood movies.

Goyat — a three-time WBC Asia titleholder — has won nine of his last 10 fights, with his only loss coming to lightweight and super lightweight title contender Jose Zepeda. But it was his viral video that caught the attention of Paul when Goyat flew to Puerto Rico to challenge “The Problem Child” to a boxing match. The video has over 2 million likes on Instagram and led to the two potential rivals burying the hatchet and joining forces.

“I couldn’t be more excited to make my MVP debut on what promises to be the biggest boxing event in history,” Goyat said. “With millions of fans back home in India watching my every move, I’m not just fighting for myself; I’m fighting to make history and make my country proud. Thank you to Nakisa and the entire MVP team and of course Netflix for this opportunity to shine on the biggest stage imaginable. I hope all Indians around the world tune in for this historic event.”

Nunes is a global superstar who boasts just under 60 million followers on Instagram and is mostly known for his comedy. The 29-year-old is 0-1 as a professional boxer but has competed in several exhibition bouts, most notably against former two-division world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas. Nunes’ professional boxing loss came on the undercard of KSI vs. Tommy Fury last October when he dropped a unanimous decision to Nathan “My Mate Nate” Bartling.

Goyat vs. Nunes joins a loaded undercard that features Ashton “H20” Sylve vs. Floyd “Kid Austin” Schofield, MMA fighter Darren Till making his professional boxing debut against former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the highly anticipated rematch between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano for Taylor’s undisputed women’s super lightweight championship. The event takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and will be streamed live on Netflix.

“By featuring two more international stars in Neeraj Goyat and Whindersson Nunes, alongside the rest of our historic card, we’re strategically supplementing Paul vs. Tyson and Taylor vs. Serrano 2 to drive patriotic engagement with the event from two of the biggest countries in the world,” Bidarian and Paul, co-founders of Most Valuable Promotions said via statement. “Neeraj Goyat is arguably the greatest Indian boxer of all time and he will now have the opportunity to represent India as a part of one of the biggest boxing events of all time. Whindersson Nunes is returning to the ring against a much more experienced boxer and it shows what a Brazilian badass he is, ready to take on the challenge — you have to respect that.

“These two fighters are viral content machines and boast incredibly loyal supporters and massive reach across India and Brazil. This isn’t just about the thrilling matchups; it’s about uniting fans from around the world for an unforgettable experience and to grow the sport of boxing.”

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