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Florian Marku Aims To Conquer Chris Kongo, Envisions U.S. Tour And Adrien Broner Showdown

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FLORIAN MARKU AND CHRIS KONGO ARE ONCE AGAIN SEPARATED AFTER MARCH 30 WEIGH-IN AT INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL IN LONDON. PHOTO CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER

Florian Marku can envision a 2024 campaign where he silences all the fighters who rub him the wrong way.

At least two are on his radar, including the one directly in his path. Marku and Chris Kongo get to see their long-brewing rivalry finally make its way to the ring. They meet this Sunday on Sky Sports and Peacock+ from The O2 in London.

“It’s a good rivalry and it comes on a very good card,” Marku told The Ring. “I haven’t fought in London in nearly two-and-a-half years. I turned pro here. My friends always come out and support me. I expect a big crowd and I can’t wait to shut this guy’s mouth.”

The bout takes place on the undercard of the Fabio Wardley-Frazer Clarke British heavyweight title fight.

The pair of London-based welterweights have been in each other’s line of sight for years.

There were long ago talks of a potential meeting at a 150-pound catchweight. Those terms didn’t interest Marku (13-0-1, 8 knockouts), born in Albania but whose family moved to Greece when he was four. A run-in during a press conference last year reignited interest in the matchup. Those feelings have not died down, as evident from the trash talk and shoves at every turn during the promotion.

“It’s just what he does,” insisted Marku, who has lived in North London since 2018. “He likes to bully people and get under your skin. I responded for the first time with a shove last year.

“That’s where the rivalry began. It will end on Sunday with me beating this guy and getting him out of my life for good.”

Kongo (14-2, 7 KOs) will end a 14-month inactive stretch with this bout. The 31-year-old Southeast Londoner dropped a twelve-round decision to unbeaten Ekow Essuman last January 21 in Manchester.

Marku will move into prospect-to-watch territory with a victory. The 31-year-old southpaw realizes that a welterweight title shot isn’t exactly around the corner. The building process will continue, which he hopes will include a trip to the U.S.

Marku even has the ideal opponent in mind for his stateside debut.

“I would really like to go there and fight Adrien Broner,” Marku said of the brash former four-division titlist. “I don’t really like him. He seems very stupid and makes a lot of noise.

“I would love the chance to shut his mouth after I silence this guy. That would be a great fight for me to introduce myself to the American fans.”

For now, it’s a long overdue trip back to his adopted hometown.

Marku’s last fight in London came in a November 2021 points win over Jorick Luisetto. He has since fought in Newcastle, his native Albania and last September in Manchester.

Once he hears the cheers of his local fans and gets his arm raised in victory, it’s onto new business.

“I’m happy for what BOXXER has been doing for my career,” acknowledged Marku. “But once I beat this guy, I need bigger fights.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America

Follow @JakeNDaBox

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