Sam Goodman vs Mark Schleibs date, Schleibs takes pot shot at ‘soft’ Alexander Volkanovski


Australian UFC star Alexander Volkanovski has been branded “f***ing soft” by outspoken Melbourne boxer Mark Schleibs, who is also promising to KO one of the dethroned champ’s great mates.

Already ranked among the nation’s most colourful fighters, Schleibs is now readying for a Pay-Per-View headliner against undefeated bantamweight star Sam Goodman in Wollongong, March 13.

Apart from being easily the biggest fight of his career, the event is gathering both headlines and buckets of bad blood for Schleibs thanks to a fiery press conference launch where the jawing Melburnian was slapped in the face by his usually polite rival.

Goodman v Schleibs & Hardman v Saavedra | WED 13 MAR | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports.

Sam Goodman slaps Mark Schleibs at their pre-fight press conference. Picture: No Limit Boxing
Sam Goodman slaps Mark Schleibs at their pre-fight press conference. Picture: No Limit BoxingSource: Supplied

While 30-year-old comes into the headliner a heavy underdog, he is promising to require less than a round to KO Goodman – who is already mandatory for Japanese megastar Naoya Inoue’s IBF title.

Speaking with Fox Sports Australia this week, the fighter dubbed ‘Magic Man’ also took aim at Goodman’s great mate and fellow Wollongong favourite Volkaonvski — who only last Sunday lost his featherweight crown when iced by brash Spaniard Ilia Topuria at UFC 298.

Asked about the growing bad blood between himself and Goodman, which boiled over during their first face off inside Wollongong Entertainment Centre recently, Schleibs laughed and, unprompted, took a surprising swing at both Wollongong fight stars.

“That slap was f***ing soft, just like Volk’s chin last weekend,” he said.

“Which is why it’s not going to be a good month for the ’Gong.

“First, Volk got iced and now Sam Goodman gets his turn.

“That guy isn’t putting his hands on me again.

“I actually hope he’s with Volk next time we face off. I’ll do them both.”

Certainly there is a chance Volkaonvski could attend the event given he and Goodman are good friends with a long history – with the boxer having been an Albion Park ball boy back in the days when his bush footy club shared an intense rivalry with that Warilla Gorillas side led by ‘Footy Volk’.

In the years since, Volkaonvski has risen up to become not only one of the greatest fighters in Australian sporting history — or a fella with over 2 million Instagram followers, friends like Mark Zuckerberg and bank account to put him top 15 among all current Aussie athletes — but a legend even UFC boss Dana White now agrees is his company’s greatest featherweight of all time.

Yet after five straight featherweight title defences, Volkanovski was sensationally stopped by Topuria last weekend.

Volkanovski v Topuria: Fight Highlights | 03:41

Despite being the second straight KO loss for the star, who also went up on 12 days notice to challenge UFC lightweight champ Islam Makhachev, Volk has already called for a rematch with Topuria and is favoured to get it according to US betting agencies.

Yet in a bizarre attack, Schleibs not only took aim at the popular UFC fighter, but also promised a similar fate for his mate.

Asked if he had a message for Goodman roughly three weeks out, the Magic Man replied: “No excuses when I knock you the f*** out.

“When they pick you up off the floor, I don’t want any f…ing excuses.

“And know I’m ready to die in there.

“For every word that I have said, I’m ready to die for it.”

Elsewhere, Schleibs also dubbed himself the real A-side of the Wollongong headliner and suggested his famed trash talk had already caused Goodman to buckle.

“You heard it here first: Lights, camera, Magic,” he laughed.

“It’s definitely me versus Wollongong and you can see I’m already in Sam’s head.

“You can see the nervous tension, the nervous energy.

“You saw him fold at the press conference.

“That slap is fresh on my mind and I’m ready to get it back.

“So don’t be surprised when your boy is flat on his back.”

Goodman v Schleibs & Hardman v Saavedra | WED 13 MAR | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports.

‘Punch the s*** out of each other’ | 00:30

After going through the first 12 fights of his professional career undefeated, Schleibs suffered a brief setback from 2020 when he dropped consecutive fights to fellow rising stars Brock Jarvis and Rocky Ogden – both stoppage losses.

More recently however, the brash fighter has been a contender for Australian boxing’s 2023 Knockout of the Year award following his brutal finish of Shamal Ram Anuj last November.

Against Goodman, Schleibs is also promising a similar beating, knowing a big win will rocket him right up into the world rankings.

Asked what message he has for Goodman less than three weeks out from the fight, he continued:

Apart from travelling to Goodman’s backyard for his debut No Limit headliner, the ‘Magic Man’ will also be forced to deal with the fighter’s raucous supporter crew – aptly dubbed ‘The Mad Bunch’.

So as for his thoughts?

“Those guys aren’t paying my bills,” he shrugs.

“I’ve just got to come in there and fight.

“There’s a lot of hard rounds going into this prep.

“I’m lasered in.

“I’m treating this like a world title fight.

“And one the people in Wollongong are definitely going to remember.”

“I’m already coming up to his weight class, and I’ve sold the event too

“It’s funny.

“He’s number one ranked in the world but he needs me to do a Pay Per View which shows how much pull and growth I have with the haters.

“And keep hating because the ‘Magic Man’ loves it … I’m here to stay.”


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