By Peter Lerner at ringside: Moruti Mthalane made the third defence of his IBF flyweight title a no-fuss, clinical one by totally dominating Andrea Sarritzu in six and a half rounds on Friday night in Cagliari.
The very impressive Mthalane took control of the ring from the outset, establishing centre ring as his territory. From the first bell he simply maintained his composure and solidity while slowly cranking up the pressure and tempo, getting ever closer to his skittish Italian foe. Without the firepower, physical strength or pure slickness to keep Mthalane at a safe distance Sarritzu had to wilt sooner or later.
It was from about the fourth round onwards that things started to come apart for Sarritzu. The South African was starting to shake loose Sarritzu’s defences with some nasty-looking bodyshots. The jabs and right hands which Sarritzu had been mainly blocking were now starting to get through and jolt his head around. Each round saw him hit progressively more and more, and, for all his hometown support and bravery, one could sense the end was on its way.
That moment came in the seventh when Sarritzu turned away from the action and seemed unwilling to continue after taking some big hooks downstairs. The towel was duly thrown in and referee Wayne Kelly waved it off at 1.32 of the round.
All three of Mthalane’s defences have come inside the distance, with Sarritzu having lasted the longest so far. Both he and his team feel he would be too much for anyone in the division, including the imposing Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. They could just be right.
This victory takes him to 28-2-0 while Sarritzu drops to 32-5-4.
The other world title fight on the bill was a women’s bout for the vacant IBF super flyweight title between Italy’s Simona Galassi and Nadege Szikora of France. Galassi was just far too educated for her game but raw opponent, picking up a unanimous decision of ten two minute rounds (100-90 twice and 100-91).
Galassi spent much of the fight circling and firing straight lefts from her southpaw stance. She had no trouble reading Szikora, whose footwork was poor and would often start swinging from out of range. Really she was made for a calm technician like Galassi.
In the fifth round it looked like we might see a rare stoppage win for Galassi when she seemed to hurt Szikora with a Bute-esque left uppercut to the body. However, apart from that brief moment, this always looked like being a distance fight.
Galassi is now a two-weight world champion, having previously held the WBC flyweight title. She is 16-1-1 while Szikora drops to 10-3-1.
The main attraction of the undercard was Luca Giacon, who was looking to extend his perfect record to eighteen victories, all inside the distance. Unfortunately his Spanish opponent, Felix Soria, came with little ambition despite also being unbeaten.
Giacon was unable to pin his opponent down long enough to do any real damage and had to settle for a points win over six rounds (60-54 twice and 59-55). Soria drops to 11-1-1, the raw coming against the Spaniard who gave John Murray a tough fight for the European lightweight title, Karim El Ouazghari.
Giacobbe Fragomeni’s nephew, Antonio Moscatiello, fought another Spanish fighter in Juan Martinez Bas and was somewhat disappointing. He dominated without really ever having his slippery adversary in too much difficulty. What was disappointing was the lack of ideas or variety from Moscatiello. His plan was to walk Martinez Bas down, get him onto the ropes or in the corner and then open fire. The problem was that the Spaniard was fairly clever in those situations and was rarely caught more than a couple of times in succession, if at all. Moscatiello picked up a unanimous decision (80-68, 80-69, 80-72) which including some bizarre points taken off Martinez Bas for showboating. Moscatiello moves to 13-0-0 and Martinez Bas drops to 8-21-2.
The opening fight of the night saw middleweight Alessandro Murgia stop Gordan Glisic on a cut in the fourth round of their six rounder. Murgia never had any problems with an opponent who came in with a 6-13-2 record. He showed an insistent jab, good workrate and a nice variety of punches. One thing he needs to iron out is his habit of shaking his arms out any time he skips back out of range - a sharp opponent will take advantage and strike, just as happened to Antonio Diaz against Shane Mosley when he repeated his frequent tick of wiping his gloves on his shorts. Murgia is now 5-0-0.
October 28, 2011