Belgian cruiserweight Joel “Big Joe” Tambwe Djeko, the actual WBC #31, showed a lot of improvement with a hard-fought and entertaining unanimous points decision last Saturday in Forest National, the mythical music temple of Brussels, over unbeaten Ricardo Snijders from the Netherlands. It was scored 117-110 by Matteo Montella and Olena Pobyvailo. While Giulio Piras had it a little closer with 116-111. At stake was the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title.
Both started very cautiously with the local boy snatching the first 3 rounds with long left jabs and turning around the visitor. Snijders came alive and took more initiative from round 4 on winning the next 4 with the 5th the most intensive so far. He was bullying forward working a lot to the body and Djeko was at the receiving end. Big Joe, feeling the fight was going the wrong way, started to use his height and reach and was scoring much more to head and body from round 8 on and did not lose any round from that point. When Snijders came in, he smartly clinched to neutralize the attack of his opponent. In the 10th, referee Jean-Robert Laine did very well to pick up a count when Snijders was in big trouble and went down into the ropes from the two-handed bombs of the local guy. Cheered on by his fans he went on to control the last 2 rounds to secure a well-deserved and important win.
Big Joe improves to 16-2-1 (7) handing Snijders his first defeat in 18 fights, 17-1-1(7).
The show was promoted by Yassine Maatala while Philippe Verbeke represented the IBO as supervisor of the main event.