By Marco Bratusch
Legendary boxing trainer Domenico Brillantino passed away last week in Marcianise, south Italy. Brillantino, 76, a retired aviation marshal, had run his own gym, the Excelsior Boxe, for forty years in one of the most delinquency filled areas of the country, putting his kind word and immense knowledge of the sport at the service of hundreds of endangered kids. A real social doctor, he taught the importance of the rules, the mental and physical benefits of daily workout using the boxing metaphor, helping young men to become better human beings and to look for an alternative, more positive way of dealing with problems. He also led some of his best pupils as Angelo Musone, Clemente Russo and Vincenzo Mangiacapre to step on the Olympic podiums, the greatest achievements in amateur boxing.
Two purse bids were held today in Rome, regarding likewise European titles.
Maravilla Box earned the right to stage the European featherweight title for challenger Kiko Martinez (38-8-1, 28 KOs) versus title holder Marc Vidal (11-1-4, 5 KOs), promoted by Rimer Box. The two offers received by the EBU were 20,111 Euros from Maravilla Box and 13,500 Euro from Rimer Box. Tha date of the aforementioned fight was not officially released yet but it seems likely that the contest can take place in late April. Vidal, who is at the first defense of his title, was expected to take on countryman Sergio Blanco in their rematch, but his foe unexpectedly decided to hang up the gloves and the EBU appointed Kiko Martinez as the new official challenger. The action fighter from Alicante, now 31, had a taxing career around the world, facing some of the best fighters of his generation and winning the IBF world title in 2013 stopping Jonathan Romero in the US followed by two successful defenses. He is also a two-time European champion, as he already won the belt in 2007 and 2010.
The second bid held today was set to put on the boxing market the mandatory defense of European super middleweight titlist Hadillah Mohoumadi (23-4-1, 16 KOs) against challenger Stanislav Kashtanov (36-2, 21 KOs). The only bid received by the EBU office was a noteworthy one, made by Kiril Pchelnikov, of a squared 50,000 Euros. The Russian promoter intends to stage the bout on March 17th in Moscow, Russia, and such bid would be split 60-40 in favor of the champion Mohoumadi, aged 37, at the second defense of his belt.
As Fightnews.com reported last week before the decision was made official by the EBU, now former European light-heavyweight champion Karo Murat vacated his belt leaving mandatory challenger Serhyi Demchenko (18-11-1, 12 Kos) momentarily without a dance partner, waiting for the highest available opponent to fight for the vacant belt. As a result, former Murat’s challenger Dominic Boesel – who has never won the European belt yet, falling short in his only chance one year ago – has taken the opportunity and will be facing Demchenko on March 3rd in an Ulf Steinforth’s SES Boxing promoted night in Weissenfels, Germany. That bout will represent the second crack at the Europen belt for both men and be an interesting clash of styles between the puncher Demchenko and a rangy boxer as it is Boesel (26-1, 10 KOs), who is also ten years younger than his opponent.
IBF International titlist Gianluca Ceglia (14-3, 2 KOs) will be fighting in a voluntary defense of his title against Finnish southpaw Tuomo Eronen (20-5, 8 KOs). Italian company Boxe Loreni will promote the contest on April 21st in San Valentino Torio, Italy.
Unbeaten Dutch boxer Nieky Holzken (13-0, 10 KOs), who divides his fighting career between boxing and kick-boxing, grabbed a good victory last Saturday in Helmond, Holland, as he stopped Ukrainian Viktor Polyakov (13-3-1, 6 KOs) in two rounds. The bout was still heating up with both men throwing carefully and assessing one another at mid-range when an accurate left uppercut landed cleanly on Polyakov’s hepatic area, forcing him to take a knee and then listening to the ten count in this position. Polyakov had come back in 2017 after a five-year hiatus due to personal issues. He fought five times last year, spoiling Giovanni De Carolis’ comeback party in Rome winning a lopsided decision and then losing a controversial majority decision to undefeated Stefan Haertel over ten rounds in Stuttgart, Germany.
Last Saturday at Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy, cruiserweight southpaw Fabio Turchi (14-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended his WBC International Silver title easily outpowering Dario German Balmaceda (15-17-2, 11 KOs), from Argentina. The challenger’s corner threw in the towel at the very end of round one, considering their boxer in no position to continue. In the chief support, light-heavyweight Vigan Mustafa (19-3, 9 KOs) won the Italian 175-pound title halting former titleholder Nicola Pietro Ciriani (15-2-1, 9 KOs) in round two. Mustafa landed a perfectly-timed short left hook to Ciriani’s jaw while going backward under the opponent’s pressure, with such punch that left no chance for Ciriani to beat the count. Mustafa, born in Kosovo but Italian citizen, paused to fight for five years for medical reasons following a brutal knockout loss against Sofiane Sebihi in 2011.