Filip Hrgović (10-0, 8 KOs) will face Jerry Forrest (26-3, 20 KOs) on April 17 at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland as the fast rising Heavyweight star looks to continue his climb up the World rankings with a victory over the hard-hitting Louisianan, live on DAZN in the US and RTL in Croatia.
Hrgović, currently ranked No. 8 with the IBF, No. 9 with the WBC and No.15 with the WBO, is back in the ring following an emphatic third round knockout win over former two-time World title challenger Eric Molina at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia, which ended a successful year for the big punching Croatian.
The 27-year-old returns to happy hunting ground in Maryland having blasted out Gregory Corbin inside 60 seconds when making his American debut at MGM National Harbor in May, the first of three KO wins for ‘El Animal’ in 2019.
His opponent Forrest is a seasoned contender, who has previously gone the distance with top US heavyweights Michael Hunter and Jermaine Franklin. The active 31-year-old has five wins from six fights in the last 12 months, and will be hoping to continue this run of form to halt Hrgović’s meteoric rise.
“I am looking forward to getting back in the ring,” said Hrgović, who will be defending his WBC International Heavyweight title. “I have good memories from fighting at the MGM National Harbor. This is where I made my American debut when I knocked out Gregory Corbin in the first round, and I’ve been training hard to give the fans another exciting performance on April 17.
“My opponent Jerry Forrest is a good boxer. He is a southpaw with a good record, and I’m expecting a tough fight, but I’m confident I will beat him.
“2019 was a great year for me. I fought in America, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. I had three fights against three strong opponents and got three knockouts wins. This year will be even better. My goal has always been to become World Champion, and I’m now closing in on this goal. I’m coming for belts!”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland said: “Filip is in fantastic shape and ready to start his 2020 campaign in style. Last time out at the MGM National Harbor he introduced himself to the American fight fans with an explosive first-round knockout, and they can expect a similar display this time round. Whenever Filip steps into the ring you’re guaranteed excitement. He is the future of the heavyweight division and it’s only a matter of time before he’s fighting for World honors.”
“Filip is a big problem for the Heavyweight division,” says Eddie Hearn. “The Croat is gaining valuable experience with every camp and fight, and all eyes will be on the 27 year old in Maryland as he looks to make another statement in boxing’s glamour division.”
Hrgović-Forrest is part of a blockbuster bill at the MGM National Harbor headlined by former Super Lightweight World Champions Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker. An action-packed undercard also features Undisputed Welterweight World Champion Cecilia Braekhus vs. Jessica McCaskill and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov against former World Champion Julius Indongo.