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14 NOVEMBER 2018


Italian News: Servidei Finally Gets His Chance To Impress

By Peter Lerner: A fighter who has always seemed to be on the outside looking in finally gets his big chance on Saturday. Alberto Servidei made his debut last century, is 31-0-2, held and gave up the European title, and has been a two-time Italian champion. Yet it is only now at 36 years of age that he has been given the chance to fight at the highest level. And it’s not an easy one. He goes to the other side of the world to meet Billy Dib in Sydney for the IBF featherweight title.

In reality it’s not such a strange phenomenon for Italian boxers of today to fight for a major title at an ’advanced’ age. Giacobbe Fragomeni was 39 when fighting for the WBC cruiser title, Leonard Bundu was 36 when he got his first chance at the European welterweight title, and Brunet Zamora was three days short of 37 when challenging for an interim title in October.

Servidei came close to hanging up the gloves a couple of years ago. Beriddled by injury and not having the opportunities he hoped for, he was at something of a low. But since then - and since signing with manager Sergio Cavallari - he’s found himself again. Italian title wins over Davide Dieli and Massimo Morra confirmed that the southpaw is on a completely different level to the competition in Italy - and Dieil and Morra are not bad fighters. In the Italian game he’s a respected figure, recognised by his fellow fighters as being one of the best pound-for-pound in the country. When he came to Rome for sparring at the ProFighting gym earlier this year middleweight contender Domenico Spada eulogised about his quality.

Strangely for him his preparation (including quality sparring with Devis Boschiero) has gone injury-free and he will be accompanied Down Under by the best of teams - trainers Valerio Nati, ex-WBO super bantam and two-weight European champion, and Gino Freo, who came so close to guiding Boschiero world title win in Japan a couple of weeks ago.


It looks like Leonard Bundu will be defending his recently-won European welterweight title against veteran Gianluca Branco sometime in March. 41 year-old Branco last week stopped Janos Petrovics in six rounds on the Ali-Di Luisa undercard. That was just his second fight since losing to Matthew Hatton for the very same title back in March 2010. Just how wins over fighters with records of 8-13-1 and 19-4-0 qualifies him for a second chance at the European crown is beyond me. Nevertheless it is testimony to promoter Salvatore Cherchi’s ability to conjure up opportunities for his fighters. For Bundu it will be his third all-Italian clash on the trot after the two bouts for the vacant title against Daniele Petrucci. Leaving aside the questions over just what Branco has done at welter to merit the shot, this is a decent match-up.


Tonight sees a bill promoted by Cherchi and his OPI2000 outfit up in the Marche region of Italy. Main bout is hometown fighter Mirko Larghetti facing Laszlo Hubert. Larghetti is a bull-like cruiserweight with a 14-0 record. Hubert will be the first fighter he has faced with a winning record. The Hungarian, 30-9, falls into the chinny puncher category. Also on the bill is Emanuele Della Rosa facing Jozsef Matolsci in a twelve-rounder.

November 18, 2011

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