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24 JUNE 2018

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Impressive Fegatilli dethrones a brave Foster Jr

Foster(pictured) lost his European title
Foster(pictured) lost his European title

By Dewi Powell at ringside: Belgian, Ermano Fegatilli (23(5)-4-0) produced a career best performance to dethrone European super-featherweight champion Stephen Foster Jr (28(18)-3-1) in his first defence of the title.

The bout, at the Premier Suite of the Reebok stadium in Bolton, saw Salford man Foster Jr dropped to the canvas 5 times by Fegatilli. The bout was scored 114-109 (twice) and the other, 114-110 as Foster Jr faded dramatically down the stretch despite his admirable bravery.

The beginning of the bout saw Foster Jr make a solid start behind a scoring jab with feints to his right to set up left hook’s to the body of Fegatilli. The Belgian responded by upping his work rate, despite his early shots being taken on Foster Jr’s arms and gloves he kept Foster Jr rotating to open up body shot opportunities.

The 3rd round saw Fegatilli continue to grow as his movement seemed to delay Foster Jr’s jab which gave Fegatilli the opportunity to close the space and unload to Foster Jr’s body as he blocked and shut himself down for too long.

It was then, that Foster Jr enjoyed his best rounds as he took the next few. The 4th round saw a Foster Jr body shot that hurt Fegatilli only for the Belgian to wince in pain and spit his gum shield out to get a breather.

The trend continued into the 5th and 6th rounds with Foster Jr varying his lead with his right hand for the first time in the fight which scored often before another, and final, change in dictatorship.

Foster Jr’s brief rally seemed to tire him and Fegatilli’s endurance allowed him to dominate from then on. As he came under increasing pressure Foster Jr repeatedly ducked out of the way of Fegatilli’s shots but it left his body open and the challenger took advantage with hooks around Foster Jr’s elbows.

Throughout the 8th round Foster Jr’s hands slowly began to lower which gave Fegatilli even more opportunities to bully his man on to the ropes where he found holes in his opponents attempted shoulder roll defence.

In the 9th round, with fatigue setting in, Foster Jr’s movement slowed further which proved to be his un-doing as Fegatilli landed another body shot to hurt his opponent. Unable to recover in time, Foster Jr took another short straight left hand before taking a knee and recovering before the count hit 10.

The following round saw Foster Jr dropped to the canvas three times as his coordination up close seemed confused, at times his arms were open for Fegatilli to unload and although Fegatilli wasn’t punching as hard as some, his shots were landing flush.

Fegatilli again dropped Foster Jr in the 11th round as he was now walking down his opponent and with Foster Jr’s hands low and body square on, Fegatilli had a free right hand shot.

Despite the towel almost being thrown in by Foster Jr’s trainer, Maurice Core, and extended discussions with the referee prior to the 12th round, Foster Jr was determined to finish the fight and fought bravely, yet unsuccessfully, in the bout which he never got going by his standards.

While many may now write off Foster Jr, he’s come back from losses to Alex Arthur and Derry Matthews to be in the position he was in and there are some interesting domestic fights there if they can be made. At 30 there can still be big domestic fights and titles for him.

As for Fegatilli, he came in to the fight unknown but he introduced himself to the UK with a thoroughly deserving, dominant, versatile victory and there’ll be many of the UK’s top super-featherweights wanting a shot at him now.

February 26, 2011

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