Egidijus Kavaliauskas anticipates a war against Mikael Zewski, but he is confident he can make a statement at the expense of Zewski.

So does manager Egis Klimas.

Kavaliauskas will square off against Zewski tonight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 10-round bout will follow the 10-round featherweight bout between former world title challengers Miguel Marriaga and Joet Gonzalez.

Both fights will be streamed live on ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 knockouts), who is originally from Lithuania and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Camarillo, was stopped by WBO welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford in his last bout on December 14. Kavaliauskas thought he had dropped Crawford midway through round three, courtesy of a right hand to the head. Referee Ricky Gonzalez ruled Crawford went down on a slip, but television replays showed a punch from Kavaliauskas did connect, followed by Crawford dropping to the canvas.

The 32-year-old will face a familiar fighter in Zewski, who once fought under the Top Rank banner until he was released in 2016 following his defeat to Konstantin Ponomarev. Both Kavaliauskas and Zewski fought on a handful of Top Rank cards early in their pro careers.

Zewski (34-1, 23 KOs), who resides in the Montreal suburb of Trois-Rivieres, has won his last eight bouts.

Despite Kavaliauskas being winless in his last two bouts, Klimas believes Kavaliauskas can put forth a solid performance and win.

“Egidijus has recovered from a heel injury (earlier this year),” Klimas told BoxingScene earlier this week. “He took time to recover. He’s been preparing for a long time in the gym. He’s facing Zewski, who is a tough opponent and been in the ring many times as a professional and as an amateur. His hand speed is pretty good so Egidijus is facing a good opponent. Egidijus has prepared 100 percent (for the fight).”

After winning his first 21 bouts as a pro against modest opposition, Kavaliauskas struggled against fringe contender Ray Robinson on March 30 of last year, fighting to a decision draw. Despite the disappointing result in the Robinson fight, Kavaliauskas maintained his status as mandatory challenger to face Crawford for the WBO title.

Kavaliauskas does have an amateur pedigree as well, having represented Lithuania at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Despite the loss to Crawford, Klimas believes the fighter known as ‘Mean Machine’ can pull off an impressive victory tonight and march down the road for another opportunity to fight for a world title belt.

“The Crawford fight was very tough,” said Klimas, who also manages unified lightweight titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, welterweight contender Alexander Besputin, and junior featherweight contender Azat Hovhannisyan.

“Egidijus gave him a good fight. Crawford had never faced anyone like Egidijus. Unfortunately, Crawford was stronger, faster and more experienced. Crawford put a lot of pressure and put the fight away in the later rounds. I believe Crawford will remember Egidijus and his performance for a long time.”

“I believe Egidijus picked up a lot (of experience) from the Crawford fight and he’s going to use it. I believe Egidijus has many championship fights in him.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing