Russian heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov (7-0, 7 KOs) will have the opportunity to get his first career belt when he faces the American Jonathan Rice (10-3-1, 6 KOs) for the WBC Intercontinental Title in the main event of a gala that will be presented at the Cabaret of the Montreal Casino on Friday, May 17th. The event, which will be broadcasted live online at www.punchinggrace.com, will also feature Mathieu Germain (16-0-1, 8 KOs), Batyr Jukembayev (15-0, 12 KOs), Clovis Drolet (9-0, 5 KOs), Kim Clavel (7-0, 2 KOs), Raphaël Courchesne (5-0, 2 KOs) and Lexson Mathieu (2-0, 2 KOs).

"Following our double gala on March 16th at the Montreal Casino, we received tons of positive comments about our matchmaking and the level of opposition boxers faced, where we searched for opponents belonging no less than the top 10% of their division. This is definitely a formula that we want to adopt since it's beneficial for our fans as much as it is for our boxers. It's a golden opportunity for our athletes to shine while being featured in exciting fights all the while developing the tools needed for elite level fights,” says EOTTM President Camille Estephan.

Few opponents can withstand the devastating power of Arslanbek Makhmudov. The team behind the Russian giant, however, have great hope in Jonathan Rice, who has shown great endurance in the past and should therefore allow their protégé to make complete some rounds and demonstrate the extent of his boxing and physical abilities. Trained by the former world champion Wayne McCullough, the 6'5'' American has delivered great performances during his recent outings, especially against Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka, whom he managed to reach solidly a few times.

"I am very satisfied with my career so far. We are going step by step to prepare well for an eventual world championship fight," notes Makhmudov. "Putting my hands on my first belt represents a step closer to my ultimate dream. So I take this fight extremely seriously. Rice is a good opponent, with good punching power. It will be quite a fight!"

"I am very happy with my recent performances and feel ready to face an opponent of Makhmudov’s caliber. I train as a champion, and am extremely confident that I'll get the win on May 17th," adds Jonathan Rice.

In the co-main event of the evening, Mathieu "G-Time" Germain will defend his IBF North American title against the experienced Mexican boxer Jose Eduardo Lopez Rodriguez (29-6-2, 15 K.-O.) in a 10-round duel in the lightweight division.

Tickets for the Gala featuring Arslanbek Makhmudov against Jonathan Rice will be available on March 27th on the Ticketmaster network at www.ticketmaster.ca or at the Box Office at the Cabaret of the Montreal Casino. For more information, visit www.eottm.com or join the discussion using the hashtag #MakhmudovRice on Facebook @EyeoftheTigerManagement, on Instagram @eottm_boxing or on Twitter @EOTMVD.