By Enrico “Erik” Crociati
Over the weekend, Italian boxing fans witnessed the unlucky plight of the everlasting national star, welterweight Gianluca Branco, who was defeated in twelve rounds by the new European champ at 147 lbs, Matthew Hatton, in Dagenham, United Kingdom. That was not the only action featuring an Italian fighter, as two always-active promoters staged different cards on Italian soil.
Italian light middleweight Lenny Bottai (11-0, 4 KOs) won the first title of his pro career last Friday at Palamacchia in Livorno, Italy. Bottai in front at his fans outscored Adriano Nicchi (12-3-2, 6 KOs) over ten good rounds of boxing and took the national title at 154 lbs. It was a give-and-take affair starting from the opening minute until the end; both fighters gave more than expected and went toe-to-toe without any stop, and the clash is easily the “Fight of the Year” so far in Italy. Bottai got a split decision through scores of 95-94; 97-92 and 94-95. Sergio Cavallari promoted with Rai Sport Più televising.
Also that evening French light heavyweight Tonny Averlant (12-3-1, 3 KOs) of France shocked the attendance and won the IBF Mediterraneo title at Tendastrisce in Rome, when co-challenger and local hero Gianluca Tamburrini (8-6, 6 KOs) was stopped in round seven by referee Francesco Rega. Averlant dominated every single minute of the match as Tamburrini looked too tender for this level of competition.
In the chief support of the evening, former national titlist Simone Califano (14-3, 7 KOs) was back in action and showed his boxing ‘kick and rush’ and outscored decent journeyman Luigi Mantegna (1-18, 1 KOs) over six entertaining rounds
Armando De Clemente staged the show.