By Marco Bratusch
Former titlist Alexander Dimitrenko (40-3, 26 KOs) has been appointed by the EBU board as the new mandatory challenger for European heavyweight champion Agit Kabayel (17-0, 12 KOs), who successfully retained his belt outpointing British brawler Dereck Chisora via majority decision after 12 rounds in Monte Carlo, providing a smart and tactical fight from his part during his first high-profile test of his career. Dimitrenko, who is now 35, already held the major continental title from 2010 until 2011, and is coming from a first-round stoppage over formerly undefeated Swede Adrian Granat last March in Malmoe, Sweden. However, before the negotiations with Kabayel’s people are set to begin, Dimitrenko is scheduled to fight on December 22nd in Germany.
In few hours of time, Spaniard co-challenger Juli Giner (21-2-1, 8 KOs) will take on unbeaten local boxer Martin Joseph Ward (18-0-2, 8 KOs) at York Hall in Bethnall Green, London, UK, with their bout valid for the vacant European junior lightweight title. Ward, younger and taller, is the bookmakers’ heavy favorite although Giner, a former European champion, can be considered a good test for the Briton, who defended the British title thrice in a one-year span. The boxers both tipped the scale yesterday at 129.3 pounds. The Ward vs. Giner fight will play as the chief support for Katie Taylor (7-0, 4 KOs)’s first world title challenge against very active Jessica McCaskill (5-1, 3 KOs) for the WBA belt. A parade of Matchroom Boxing prospects as Lawrence Okolie, Conor Benn, Josh Kelly (4-0, 3 KOs) and hard-puncher Ted Cheeseman (11-0, 8 KOs) will fill the bill, with Kelly stepping up his opposition facing experienced Frenchman Jean Michel Hamilcaro (25-8-3, 6 KOs).
A few days ago in Rome, Italy, French boxing company Europrom won the bid to promote the vacant European Union (EU) welterweight title for 24-year-old Jordy Weiss (18-0, 3 KOs) versus Spaniard co-challenger Aitor Nieto (21-4-1, 8 KOs). Europrom offered a rounded 30,010 Euros, topping another offer of 19,125 Euros made by Nestor Dominguez Promotions, from Spain. The winning promoter intends to stage the bout in the middle of February, but the specific location is yet to be determined.
Experienced light middleweight Howard Cospolite (16-6-2, 6 KOs) is the new mandatory challenger for European Union (EU) title holder Maxime Beaussire (25-1-1, 9), a 26-year-old boxer from Caen, France, who won the vacant belt halting former undefeated Jeoffrey Jacob in two rounds last month in Calais, France.
Bantamweight Goerge Ory (8-2-1, 1 KO) and Razmik Grygoryan (9-3-2, 4 KOs) have been designated as the new co-challengers for the European Union (EU) 118 lbs title, with the representatives of the two boxers to have time until January 8th to write down a private deal.
In other worldwide news concerning European boxers, former WBA super middleweight champion Giovanni De Carolis (24-8-1, 12 KOs) is expected to take on unbeaten Australian Bilal Akkawy (16-0-1, 14 KOs), according to a Roundzero promotion press release, on February 24th in Sidney, Australia. The antipodean journey would not be the first for De Carolis, who at the beginning of 2017 was hired for three-week overseas to work as a sparring partner for local fighter Zac Dunn in preparation for the David Brophy bout. The Italian has won only once in the last two years, when he stopped Vincent Feigenbutz early in 2016, followed by a draw and a TKO loss against current WBA titlist Tyron Zeuge before suffering an uncanny unanimous decision loss to Viktor Polyakov in Rome, Italy, last July. That’s why if the Akkawy bout really happens to take place, it could be seen as a sort of the last call for the 34-year-old Roman, and at the same time, it would represent a first solid test for the 24-year-old Akkawy.
Former WBC Silver middleweight titlist Domenico Spada (43-6, 19 KOs), aged 37, is appointed as the new official challenger for IBF Inter-Continental champion Ronny Mittag (30-2-2, 15 KOs), from Germany, who won the vacant belt one year ago at Wembley Arena, UK, edging previously undefeated Conrad Cummings via split decision over ten rounds. Spada, who won the Italian 160 lbs belt last June for the second time in his career, accepted the designation by the IBF and he is willing to take the fight against Mittag although he is currently under house confinement, serving an aggravated assault sentence in wait for the trial appeal. In addition, Spada appears to be scheduled to defend his national belt against Roberto Bassi (10-3-1) on January 26th in central Italy, with such pretty vague situation expected to be sorted out soon.