By Paolo Consiglio
2004 Olympian Malik Bouziane (13-1, 1 KOs), a Frenchman of Algerian origin, caused one of the big upsets of the year in March when he soundly outpointed Ian Napa in London to win the European bantamweight title. After a narrow but well-deserved victory against Carmelo Ballone, he defended his crown for the second time on Thursday evening at Les Pennes-Mirabeau, Bouches-du-Rhône, France, by scoring a dominant twelve-round unanimous decision over Italian champion Emiliano Salvini (13-9-1, 2 KOs). Bouziane gave another good display of boxing skills moving smoothly side to side, switching his stance back and forth and piling up points with nifty-jabbing and counter right hands. Salvini was able to get into some middle rounds on sheer effort but overall seemed to have no answer for the champion’s superior speed and footwork. The Italian gamely kept coming forward throughout the twelve rounds but looked out of his depth for long stretches of the bout even if there was a frustrating sense in his corner that he was allowing himself to be outworked. With Salvini increasingly discouraged, Bouziane easily cruised to a wide points victory on two scorecards (119- 109 and 118-111) while the third judge someway had it much closer (115-113).
Bouziane is now expected to defend against countryman and mandatory challenger Jerome Arnould. On the undercard of a show staged by Gerard Teysseron’s EuroProm, Sebastien Madani (28-1, 8 KOs) retained the French light-middleweight title stopping Anthony Somarriba (10-4, 4 KOs) on cuts in the eight round. The main event was televised live in France by Canal+Sport and on a delayed basis in Italy by Rai Sport Più.