World ranked light heavyweight Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs) returns to the ring October 29th. As his first fight under Garry Jonas’ Probox Promotions, Meng will face Panama’s Israel Duffus (20-6, 17 KOs) this Friday in Kissimmee, Florida.
Meng, of Chifeng, China, was a decorated amateur and earned a spot on the Chinese Olympic team in 2012. After moving to the USA to campaign as a professional.
Meng eventually earned a title shot as the mandatory contender against IBF and WBC champion, Artur Beterbiev, for March of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic KO’d that bout along with all of boxing. When that fight was rescheduled to take place in Russia, where then-current pandemic travel and visa restrictions prevented Meng from entering the country, Beterbiev fought Adam Deines instead - the same man whom Meng beat to earn the mandatory position.
The pandemic also complicated Meng’s ability to travel to the U.S. to train. Finally, earlier this year he was able to get back to New Jersey, commence a training camp, and enter a new promotional deal.
“It has been frustrating,” says Meng. “My hands were tied for so long and there was not much I could do in terms of my boxing career. I am finally back in the ring after two years’ wait, but there has not been any negative impact on my performance. I will put on a good show on October 29th!”
“No fighter in boxing has had worse luck during the pandemic than Fanlong,” says advisor Tommy Lane. “But, we were able to get him out of a bad situation into a good one. It’s time to show the world one of the best kept secrets in boxing.”
Meng will be fighting the experienced Duffus of Panama, who is also coming off of a long layoff due to the pandemic. On March 7th 2020, just before the world changed, Duffus knocked out Samuel Clarckson (22-5-1 15 KOs) in round two of their bout. Duffus now lives and trains in Los Angeles.