Last week, Ray Robinson suffered injuries in a car accident which caused him to withdraw from his scheduled fight against undefeated welterweight Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KOs). Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (19-2-1, 11 KOs) agreed to step in and replace Robinson in the ten-round welterweight co-feature on the Saturday, Jan. 30th HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast which features the much-anticipated rematch between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) and Jean Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs).
Mikhaylenko, 29, from Gelendzhik, Russia, is co-promoted by Main Events and German Titov Promotions. “The Mechanic” is undefeated and stopped his last three opponents, including former interim super lightweight titleholder Johan Perez. This will be his second fight in Canada; he stopped Felipe De la Paz in the fifth round on the undercard of Kovalev-Pascal I.Mikhaylenko is not one to question any of his opponents. He is in shape all year round and a win against a notable, dangerous, and equally determined guy in Mayfield would be exactly what he needs to be taken seriously in this stacked welterweight division.
Mayfield, a San Francisco, California native now promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions, made his professional debut in 2006 and went undefeated for the first eight years of his professional career. After suffering back-to-back losses in his first two fights in 2014, which included a close-decision against former title contender Thomas Dulorme, he returned to defeat Michael Balasi of Hawaii in an eight-round unanimous decision victory in his last fight on Nov. 8, 2014. He has been inactive for a year but a win over a ranked Mikhaylenko will be an instant game-changer in his career, and can be the difference in getting his name back in the mix.
Main Events’ CEO, Kathy Duva, said, “We were devastated when we learned about Robinson’s accident. Very few fighters would agree to take a fight on such short notice, especially a fight which opens the HBO telecast for such a high-profile event like Kovalev-Pascal II. Mayfield, however, jumped at the opportunity. He wants to step in against an undefeated ranked prospect like Mikhaylenko in an attempt to re-establish himself as a contender. Mikhaylenko has no doubt whatsoever about his abilities inside the ring. He didn’t even blink at the change in opponents. Short notice or not, this is a great fight!”