By Marco Bratusch
Vincenzo Bevilacqua (12-0) retained the Italian jr middleweight belt at the Olympic Center Giulio Onesti in Rome, Italy, with a comfortable point decision victory that one judge astonishingly saw in favor of his opponent Francesco Lezzi (9-8-1, 2 KOs). The 23-year-old gipsy, from Rome, clearly outpointed and outsmarted the challenger over ten rounds in his first defense of the title despite suffering an early injury to his left bicep that had bothered him also during his training camp, as revealed during post-fight interviews. Bevilacqua’s main tactical plan was thus to switch his stance frequently since the beginning to confuse his foe and then using his right cross as a counter, a punch that found a home with good percentage all night. The challenger, who boxes out of Bari, tried to stay active throughout the fight, sometimes pushing or hitting the champion after the referee’s break, but he barely land significant punches during the whole match and could not switch to another gameplan.
Bevilacqua, his hands high and elbows aligned to the body, took the center of the ring as the fight developed, growing up his confidence as he clearly saw everything Lezzi had to throw. Lezzi wresteld his way in round three and four attempting to make Bevilacqua nervous but the champion stick to his more relaxed, thinking style, making Lezzi miss and counter beautifully with the right hand despite his lack of leverage. In round six a frustrated Lezzi tried to turn the match into a brawl using elbows and trash talking as he felt he was well behind on the scorecards. Consequantially, the fight got more rugged in the last part but Bevilacqua looked to be always in control of the tempo. Bevilacqua, aware of his considerable lead, began to accept the short-distance from round eight to ten, forcing the action a bit more until last belt.
Judges saw the fight 96-94 and 98-93 for Bevilacqua, with the latter score appearing the more faithful one, while the third official had 97-94 for Lezzi.
The boxing night was promoted by Davide Buccioni’s BBT Production and televised by Sportitalia. The last preliminary bout just before the main event showed an heated brawl between Roberto Ruffini (7-7, 3 KOs) and Ennio Zingaro (4-1), two portly jr welterweight aggressors, that warmed up the almost 1,000 people in attendance. Zingaro, a southpaw, won it on points after six rounds but the clash was two-sided until the end.