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14 NOVEMBER 2018


Latest Italian Boxing News: Tamburrini/Fragomeni

Latest Italian Boxing News: Tamburrini/Fragomeni

Last week’s action

By Peter Lerner: Gianluca Tamburrini was kept in hospital overnight after his punishing loss to Tony Averlant last Friday night. Fortunately he was given the all clear and discharged on Saturday. It may not have been the biggest fight of the weekend in Italian boxing but this is surely the most important news.

The Italian printed press devoted a couple of paragraphs to the Matthew Hatton-Gianluca Branco fight – disgustingly scarce coverage for a European title fight but par for the course in a country where sports journalism in the papers starts and ends with football. Pietro Scibetta in the Gazzetta dello Sport didn’t seem to have been particularly excited by the fight, writing that it was a bout “in which the two athletes showed little punch variety and, above all, hardly ever took any great risks.” Scibetta held Branco responsible for the loss because “he gave up too much space and rarely took the initiative,” – which makes boxing seem quite a simple game really. Luigi Panella writing in La Repubblica was somewhat more understanding of the way boxing works. Under the headline “Branco surrenders to Hatton and age,” Panella took into account the factors of the age difference and the difficulties of fighting away from home. Although both articles believed the verdict was completely correct, they didn’t give much credit to Hatton. Say what you will about the timing of his biggest fights (Tackie, Bami, Ndou and Branco were certainly not at their peak when fighting Hatton) or his potential, but he has undoubtedly improved and developed a great deal over the last couple of years.

There was unfortunately even less coverage in the press devoted to the cracking little match between Lenny Bottai and Adriano Nicchi for the Italian light middleweight title. I finally got to see a video of the fight (I had been at the Averlant-Tamburrini bill when it was broadcast) and can confirm that this Tuscan derby was an exciting and competitive fight. Bottai won the contest by split decision 97-92, 95-94 and 94-95. It was one of those fights that could have gone either way, with the decisive factor being a knockdown scored in round nine by Bottai when he came up out of a crouch with a right uppercut and left hook combination.

This fight continues the promising recent trend of the Federazione Pugilistica Italiana and Rai (the state broadcaster) looking to encourage fights between well-matched Italians for the national title rather than bringing in lesser known, and usually less competitive, fighters for minor international titles. This fight is up there with the recent Marasco-Di Silvio-Califano series at lightweight. Such fights have in a short time really elevated the importance of the Italian title. A couple of years ago it seemed to me somewhat equivalent in value to an area title in Britain. It’s not yet of course at the level of the British title but this improvement must be considered one of the positive trends in Italian boxing.

USA v Italy

There’s no professional boxing in Italy this weekend as things tend to shut down at Easter. Tonight in Reno however, there will be the second of a dual match between the American team and the Italians. The Italians won the first match 9-3 in Harvey, Illinois last Saturday. This time round the Americans will be fielding a stronger team led by Rau’shee Warren, who of course has fought in two Olympics and is looking to become the first American to fight in three.

I don’t know who to feel more sorry for: Vincenzo Picardi or Miguel Cartagena. On the USA Boxing website (the official site of the American team), poor Vincenzo Picardi was referred to as ‘Vincenza’, which is of course a girl’s name. Let’s hope that the man he beat last Saturday, Miguel Cartagena, didn’t get teased too much for being beaten by a girl when he got back home to Philadelphia.

These are the bouts that will take place tonight in Reno:


60kg: Mikaela Mayer v Romina Marenda


51kg: Santos Vasquez v Alex Ferramosca

51kg: Louie Byrd v Vincenzo Picardi

54kg: Rau’shee Warren v Vittorio Parrinello

57kg: Jesus Magdaleno v Alessio Di Savino

60kg: Adrian Martinez v Domenico Valentino

64kg: Jamel Herring v Davide Cenciarelli

69kg: Errol Spence v Diego Di Luisa

75kg: Jesse Hart v Luca Podda

81kg: Robert Brant v Simone Fiori

91kg: Javonta Charles v Clemente Russo

91+kg: Lenroy Thompson v Roberto Cammarelle

Next week

There are two important bills next week, both on Friday.

In Sardinia Andrea Sarritzu will be continuing his one-man war against the French when he puts his European flyweight title on the line against Alain Bonnel in a voluntary defence. This will be the third time he faces Bonnel (Sarritzu won the previous two on points over six rounds) and the twelfth time he has fought a Frenchman.

In Viterbo, to the north of Rome, there will be two Italian title fights. At super middle Andrea Di Luisa faces Roberto Cocco and we have Francesco Versaci against Vincenzo Imparato at light heavy.

Fragomeni-Wlodarczyk II

It has been announced that the rematch between Giacobbe Fragomeni and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk will take place on 15th May in Lodz after the purse bids were won by the Poles. The first fight finished in a draw and was the fight of the year in Italy in 2009. Wlodarczyk seemed on the brink of victory in the ninth round when he had Fragomeni hurt and down twice. He would have won the fight on points if he hadn’t hit Fragomeni while he was down the second time (something referee Ian John-Lewis had already warned him for). John-Lewis penalised the Pole by not counting the second time, making all the difference on the scorecards.

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