By Marco Bratusch
Saturday night in front of almost 2,000 fans in attendance at the Palasport of Rome, Italy, both the challengers for the two Italian national titles scheduled to top the program tore the belts off reigning titleholders’ waists, concluding a successful BBT Production night of boxing with two quite surprising results.
Mauro ‘Strong’ Forte – his boxing nick is the English translation of his surname – became the new featherweight national champion scoring an impressive and somewhat unexpected fourth round TKO over Nicola Cipolletta (13-6-2, 3 KOs), from Naples.
The 23-year-old challenger won the first three rounds showing a rational pressure, taking control of the action boxing out of his southpaw stance and timing his punches well, especially a right cross that was frequently followed up by a straight left. That was actually the punch that shocked Cipolletta at the beginning of round four, followed by a flurry of shots thrown by Forte (7-0, 1 KO) that made the referee stop the contest, although this decision might be seen a bit rushed as it actually was, of course, by Cipolletta’s cornermen, who bitterly protested.
In the chief and final bout of the evening, 10 rounds of balanced and steady action was the tale of the junior welterweight contest between Francesco Lomasto (12-1), the house fighter, and the more experienced titlist Luciano Randazzo (10-3-3).
The champion, a natural aggressor, tried to push the pace and take the fight to Lomasto, but his action resulted to be a bit messy as he often left himself open to Lomasto’s decently thrown counters. The challenger had to move his feet and torso very little, just in order to slip Randazzo’s initiative, without need at all to go after his opponent and doing so he saved much more energy. One of those counters landed on Randazzo’s chin right at the end of the first round and he was briefly dropped. The rest of the fight was about Randazzo landing some good, looping right crosses that Lomasto absorbed, remaining calm and countering him with short straight punches. As a result, Lomasto seemed to deserve a close decision, computable no over than 2-3 points, and judges’ scorecards were 97-94, 97-93 and a maybe too wide 97-92 in favor of the 26-year-old new beltholder.