Andrei Mikhailovich Faces Ernesto Espana In Pivotal Middleweight Clash

Andrei Mikhailovich

The IBF Pan Pacific and WBO Global Middleweight titles will be on the line tonight ( Wed. June 15) when New Zealand’s Andrei Mikhailovich (17-0, 10KO) takes on Venezuela’s Ernesto Espana (32-3-1, 27KO) in Brisbane, Australia.The 10-round clash will serve as the co-main event for the heavyweight bout between rising star Justis Huni and his fellow Australian, Joseph Goodall.

The winner out of Mikhailovich, who was born in Russia, and Espana will earn a top 15 ranking with the respective sanctioning bodies. Espana has never won outside of Venezuela; at 40-years-old this matchup could be his last opportunity to make a run at a world title.

Mikhailovich, who is still only 24, is one of the most talked about middleweights in the Australasian region. His trainer Isaac Peach, who in David Light and Mea Motu already has two world-ranked fighters in his stable, is well aware of what winning a fight like this would mean for his fighter’s future.

“It’s career-changing, two big belts, regional titles, and world rankings. It’s against a 30-3 guy from Venezuela who’s never been stopped. It’s a great fight, ” Peach said, talking to Boxing Daily.

“The Venezuelan looks a little bit limited, and he’s not the youngest guy in the world, but these guys coming from South America are tough. He is fighting for a new life. He’s got everything to gain. So we’re not underestimating him. “

Mikhailovich is coming into this fight after two recent stoppage wins over Alex Walters and King Davidson. Espana is also riding high after defeating compatriot Jean Carlos Prada via an opening-round TKO last November.

This fight will be Mikhailovich’s third bout in Australia, and he is starting to make himself at home in ‘the lucky country.’ Peach’s focus is on the task ahead; however, looking forward, a possible matchup between Mikhailovich and Australia’s top middleweight Michael Zerafa would be a fight that would attract plenty of interest.

“We want to fight Zerafa. [Issac] Hardman got knocked out by the Zerafa look; that’s the fight everyone wants to see, ” he said.

“It will be amazing; Andrei’s got a name for himself. He’s knocked out two guys in Australia; people all know who he is. Zerafa is very well known. It’s a massive fight.”

Australasian boxing has several up-and-coming talents coming through, and tonight, Mikhailovich will be aiming to ensure his name is front and center in any conversation about boxing in the region.

Who do you think will win the clash between Mikhailovich and Espana?