On Sunday, October 4, Ghanaian-born Londoner Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10KOs), the current British light-heavyweight champion, will defend his WBA International belt to Croatian challenger Marko Calic (11-0, 6KOs), live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Despite performing on our TV channels in the UK before, not a lot is known about Calic, so BBN decided to dig up some interesting facts about him:
1. Born on the same day as the solar eclipse on September 23, 1987, when Rick Astley was number one in the UK charts with ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’; Marko Calic is currently 33-years-old.
2. He was born in Pula, which is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia; famous for its many ancient Roman buildings and well-preserved amphitheatres.
3. Calic started boxing aged 11, and defeated heavyweight ‘Savage’ Alen Babic (4-0, 4KOs) twice in the amateurs (they actually fought four times and the score is even at 2-2), as well as a win over highly-rated Welshman Kody Davies (10-1, 3KOs). Overall, he had over 190 amateur bouts!
4. Aged 20, he was involved to the national squad in 2007 and he needed five years of experiences to reach the level of the top European boxers. He took part in the World Championships in 2009 at heavyweight, where Oleksandr Usyk won bronze. Calic was defeated 3-8 in the second round of the competition to Turkish boxer Bahram Muzaffer. He achieved a bronze medal in the 2012 AIBA European Olympic Qualifiers in Turkey and joined to the AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) later that year. He also fought in the European Champions in Samokov in 2015.
5. He represented his country in the World Series Boxing, regularly weighing in at 200lbs. However, in his final WSB bout, he defeated Italian Riccardo Valentino (now 2-0, 2KOs as a pro) at 178lbs. He won five from his last six fights in the WSB between November 2014-April 2018. His last defeat was to fearsome Bulgarian Tervel Pulev (15-0, 12KOs), who is the current European and WBA International cruiserweight champion. Calic also narrowly lost to Pulev in he amateurs over three rounds in 2012, scored at 14-12.
6. His decision to turn pro came after losing in an Olympic Qualification final in Venezuela in 2016.
7. His trainers are Dorian Calic and Leonard Piejtraj, and Kamran Kabinejad is the head coach. He trains at Gym Örebro Boxing Gym in Sweden and is signed to Fight Life Promotion.
8. Calic has defeated 11 opponents as a professional fighter, completing 37 from a scheduled 64 rounds. His six knockouts all came within the first two rounds – three in round one, three in round two. His 11 opponent’s records combine to a total of 104-107-10.
9. His last three contests were eight-rounders, but he has only gone as far as eight rounds once as a pro, which was in his last fight in October 2019.
10. This will be his 12th professional contest in an eighth different country. He debuted in Slovenia and has fought in Czech Republic; Germany; Sweden; Hungary; Albania; and his last fight was in his homeland Croatia. This will be his first ever title contest also, as Joshua Buatsi puts up his WBA International belt for the fifth time.
11. He is managed by Kosovan boxing manager Artan Verbica and promoted by Iranian-born Swede national Kamran Kabinejad, who also looks after IBO World and interim WBC Female super-welterweight champion Patricia Berghult (14-0, 3KOs), who defeated Scot Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2KOs) in her last bout. The partners also manage 29-year-old unbeaten heavyweight Pezhman Seifkhani (10-0, 7KOs) from Orebro, Sweden.
12. The odds of him beating Brit Buatsi are as low as 12-1 on most betting sites.