By Alexey Sukachev
Sebastian Sylvester (32-3, 15 KOs), previously ranked #2 by the IBF and #5 by the WBO, is the new IBF middleweight champion following a hard-fought split decision over IBF #1 Dominican Giovanny Lorenzo (27-2, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Lorenzo proved he was dangerous early as he cracked Sylvester with some hard shots in round two. From that point on, however, ring technician Sylvester was able to fight his kind of tactical fight and went in to win 116-112, 115-113 on two cards. Lorenzo was up 116-111 on the third card.
The fight definitely wasn’t a walk in the park for the local hero Sylvester, who was forced to catch up with an early backlog in points and to deal with a bothering cut just above his forehead.
Lorenzo, on the other hand, started the fight quickly, showing no respect to his opponent and scoring numerously with his straight rights in the first couple of rounds, while taking little in return.
The pattern changed considerably in the third, when the German fighter started to find his rhythm. Sylvester was stalking Lorenzo around the ring, pressing him behind a tight block. The Dominican tried to use his left uppercut but missed a lot. The German did a better job first in equaling Lorenzo’s punch output and then in landing harder and cleaner blows with a special accent on a long lean right hand and left hook in the out-of-clinch position.
Lorenzo’s will and determination simply weren’t there this night as he kept losing rounds. In the last stanza, the guest fighter desperately looked for a knockout win but found only clinches and disappointment.
The scores were summed up for an extraordinary period of time and surely they stunned the crowd. While judges Pawel Kardyni of Poland and Alfred Asaro of France had it 116-112 and 115-113 for Sylvester respectively, American judge Valerie Dorsett was way out of consensus with a 111-116 mark in favor of a clear loser Lorenzo. Fightnews saw it 116-114 for the new champion by split decision Sebastian Sylvester. The IBF belt was vacated by Arthur Abraham, who moved up in weight to take part in Showtime Super Six tournament.
In the co-feature, unbeaten Germany-based Italian Francesco Pianeta (19-0-1, 12 KOs) retained his EBU-EU heavyweight title for the third time with a stoppage win over 42-year old Brit Matt Skelton (22-4, 19 KOs). Pianeta dominated the first half of the fight with his usual workmanlike status. The Italian fighter was simply more precise and more consistent of two, though Skelton had his portion of success but was too slow and too inactive. He was, however, the better man in round six, which proved to be his last considerable surge for a victory. Pianeta took rounds seven and eight and even shook Brit a bit with his power left hands. Fightnews had it 79-73 in favor of Pianeta, when the fight was surprisingly stopped by Skelton’s corner after the eighth citing an injured right hand.
Rising cruiserweight star Alexander Frenkel (20-0, 16 KOs) scored his second stoppage win in a week and will ceratinly improve his WBC #13 rank in the upcoming ratings. Frenkel was considerably better than Hungarian Jozsef Nagy (21-5, 14 KOs) but his opponent was never in a danger of being stopped or even knocked down. However, late in round two Nagy threw a left hand and seemingly hurt or even broke it. Nagy’s corner stopped the action right after that during the break. TKO 2 for hard-hitting Frenkel.
German light heavyweight Dustin Dirks (11-0, 6 KOs) scored a devastating knockout of Hungarian Norbert Nagy (3-2, 2 KOs) midst in the first round of scheduled eight. Nagy came off aggressive but landed nothing. Dirks waited a bit, then wobbled Nagy with a hard uppercut forcing a standing-eight count. Soon thereafter he connected with another power shot; Nagy turned his back and was caught with a brutal left swing. The referee issued no count as the Hungarian guest was obviously in no condition to continue.
6’11” Jens Krull moved up to 7-0 with five kayos after an easy first-round TKO over no-hoper Enrico Garmendia (11-5-1, 6 KOs). Heavily-tattoed Garmendia looked much more dangerous than he proved to be in the ring, as he continously went down on almost every thrown punch by Krull.
Heavyweight Edmund Gerber (8-0, 5 KOs) stopped stocky but brave crowd-pleaser Marcel Zeller (22-5, 21 KOs) at 1:39 of the last sixth round. Zeller had ultimately no chances at all against bigger, younger, stronger and seemingly more skillful fighter. He was almost stopped at the end of the second stanza but continued to fight on. He was also down in the fourth, before referee rescued him in the last round after another couple of blows by 21-year old Gerber.
Rising cruiserweight Lukas Schulz (2-0, 2 KOs) stopped 46-year old Silvio Meinel (11-3-1, 4 KOs) at 1:54 of the fourth round. Schulz controlled the whole fight; however, in round three Meinel had some success with his right hand. In the midst of the fourth Schulz connected with series of right hands and bruised Meinel’s face, which prompted referee to stop the fight to save the old man from further punishment.
Highly regarded amateur heavyweight Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria (2008 European champion and 2005 WC bronze medalist) debuted as a pro with the second-round TKO over Florian Benke (2-4). Time was 2:05.