EBU updates

By Marco Bratusch

Following the competitive title-bout held in Barcelona, Spain, last July 21 between co-challengers Marc Vidal (10-1-4, 4 KOs) and 42-year-old Sergio Blanco (23-4-1, 6 KOs) with the vacant European featherweight belt at stake, Blanco, who lost the fight by split decision, has now been appointed as mandatory challenger. The reason of such decision is the EBU board accepted the claim of Blanco’s promoter Gallego Prada, who pointed out that, in his view, the fight was extremely close and could have gone either ways. The winner Vidal, however, will be granted a volontary defense before the duty of taking on his official challenger in a rematch.

Italian-Ukrainian Serhyi Demchenko (18-11-1, 12 KOs) has been appointed as the new European mandatory challenger. The puncher and former European Union titlist, will thus take on German Karo Murat (31-3-1, 20 KOs), the current European champion, after a volontary defense Murat is expected to do during next November in a card promoted by SES Boxing. Demchenko and Murat already fought each other in 2009 for a vacant WBO Regional belt, with Murat winning a lopsided unanimous decision in Halle, Germany.

As a result of such decision, European Union mandatory challenger Orial Kolaj (18-5, 12 KOs), who fought again last week after almost two years, becomes now co-challenger, along with Mustafa Chadilioui (10-2-2, 6 KOs), for the vacant EU title previously held by Demchenko. Parties to have time until Sept 4th to reach a private deal.

Last week, Italian OPI Since 82 won the bid to stage the fight between European Union (EU) junior welterweight co-challengers Andrea Scarpa (22-3, 10 KOs) and Franck Petitjean (18-4-3, 3 KOs), who replaced Steve Jamoye in this spot after the Belgian fighter had lost via TKO against Scottish Jason Easton on July 8th in Glasgow. OPI offered 29,317 Euros, slightly edging a MK Events’ bid of 25,000 Euros. Consequentially, the bout might take place in Italy between October and November, according to the winning promoter. Petitjean already won the European Union belt at the beginning of 2017 stopping another OPI fighter as Samuele Esposito, but then he failed a drug test following that bout. The result of such contest was not changed, but Petitjean was stripped of the EU title and faced a three-months suspension period sanctioned by the French Boxing Federation.

European female straweight champion Joana Pastrana (10-1, 3 KOs) is expected to defend his continental laurel on Sept 23rd in Madrid, Spain, against Hungarian Judit Hachbold (4-1) in a volontary defense. This will actually be a rematch between the two fighters, as earlier this year Pastrana scored a 6-rounds decision victory over the same foe.

European female junior bantamweight co-challengers Divinia Perez (5-0) and Eva Naranjo (9-0, 1 KO) will collide on October 7 in Gran Canaria, Spain, as part of a Boxing Kas promoted night. The winner will have to face mandatory challenger, Serbian Nina Stojanovic, as EBU sanctioned.

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