Gregory Tony is used to rubbing shoulders with beautiful international stars but on Saturday, he will mix it with seven international heavyweights gunning for glory in Prizefighter International Heavyweights at Alexandra Palace.
The eight contenders from eight different countries are battling it out in the unique tournament in north London, a celebration of World Heavyweight boxing live on Sky Sports this Saturday night from 9pm.
Frenchman Tony has just one defeat on his 15-fight record when he was stopped by Robert Helenius in their European title clash in August, and the 32 year-old – also a title-winning Kickboxer – is confident that will remain his sole loss after Saturday night.
Victory would mean Tony would have more time for his boxing and could turn his back on his other work – guarding the door of the exclusive Les Caves du Roy nightclub in St Tropez, where he keeps the peace amongst some of the world’s biggest stars.
“There are many people like Paris Hilton, Rihanna, Denis Rodman, Alicia Keys, P-Diddy who go there – there are so many stars and I see all of them,” said Tony.
“I want to be able to train more and work less as a bodyguard – I also look after my children so winning Prizefighter would be massive for me. As I’ve won many tournaments, I think Prizefighter suits my style – I have no amateur background but I had a good K-1 and Thai boxing record.”
For many of the fighters it’s their first taste of fighting in London, but Tony is no stranger to the capital having sparred with David Haye before Audley Harrison won the third Heavyweights tournament in October 2009.
“I’ve got a taste of Prizefighter when Harrison won when I was in training with David Haye,” said Tony. “I like this concept, I think it’s a good idea, being able to box and meet several people in one evening. It’s not my first fight in the UK, I fought Pelé Reid in Birmingham in a K-1 fight and I won – that was a good feeling and I look forward to have this opportunity to have this experience again.”
Tony will face Russian giant Evgeny Orlov in the second quarter-final, the 6ft 9in man brought in to replace Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson, who pulled out of the tournament after he was refused exit from the States through non-payment of child maintenance.
The winner of that fight faces the winner of the opening bout of the night in the semi-finals, with unbeaten Irish-based Cuban Mike Perez taking on Trinidad and Tobago’s Kerston Manswell. The other side of the draw sees UK Prizefighter Champion Michael Sprott face American KO machine Tye Fields, with the victor facing either unbeaten Romanian Lucian Bot or the dangerous big-hitting German Konstantin Airich in the second semi-final.
Prizefighter International Heavyweights Draw
Quarter-final one: Mike Perez v Kerston Manswell
Quarter-final two: Evgeny Orlov v Gregory Tony
Quarter-final three: Michael Sprott v Tye Fields
Quarter-final four: Lucian Bot v Konstantin Airich
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