Unbeaten light-middleweight Sergey Rabchenko has relinquished the European title. However, according to Rabchenko’s camp he did it in order to save OPI2000’s show in Rome this weekend. The Belarusian puncher was due to defend his championship against mandatory challenger Emanuelle Della Rosa, but according to Hatton Promotions the show’s promoters were unable to provide the necessary paperwork for Rabchenko’s entrance into Italy. Instead, Rabchenko’s management has agreed that Spain’s Isaac Real can box Della Rosa for the vacant title following confirmation from EBU general secretary Enza Jacoponi that the decision will not affect his status as WBC silver champion or his ranking as number one contender for the world title currently held by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Hatton Promotions is disappointed that OPI2000 were unable to complete the legal requirements for this Saturday’s fight.
Salvatore Cerchi’s company won the purse bids for the contest on January 23, but failed to provide full contractual agreements and visa documentation, despite several formal requests, until May 6 – just 11 days before the proposed fight.
Both Sergey Rabchenko and his manager Valery Kaplia visited the Italian embassy in Minsk, but were told that a visa could not be granted in time to meet this Saturday’s date.
Having trained for almost two months, Rabchenko is extremely saddened by the situation. A date and venue for his next fight will be announced in due course.