EBU Updates

By Marco Bratusch

At today’s EBU purse bid in Rome, French company MK Events surprisingly outbid Sauerland Event in order to stage the next European jr. welterweight title between mandatory challenger Franck Petitjean against unbeaten Swede Anthony Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs), the current champion. The winning promoter offered a rounded 50,000 Euros while the German counterpart put in the envelope 35,305 Euros. According to MK Events’ matchmakers, the fight is expected to take place on May 5th in Paris, France.

Petitjean (21-4-3, 4 KOs) was a two-time European Union (EU) 140-pound titlist but never had the opportunity to fight for the major, full Europen belt yet. The 26-year-old Yigit won the belt one year ago in Carshalton, UK, and has gone on keeping with two defenses. He was scheduled to fight with unbeaten Russian Ivan Baranchyk last Saturday in the Deadwood, South Dakota, for an IBF eliminator but had to pull out of such contest the previous week as he fell ill.

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Spanish promoter Maravilla Box, who won the related bid few weeks ago, informed that the anticipated European featherweight clash between titlist Marc Vidal (11-1-4, 5 KOs) and former IBF world champion Kiko Martinez (38-8-1, 28 KOs) is set for May 19th in Alicante, in Spain’s south-east, which is Martinez’s hometown.

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Two voluntary defenses will be put together on the same Europrom promoted bill on May 11th, and they are going to be Zakaria Attou (26-6-2, 7 KOs)’s European jr middleweight title defense and unbeaten Jordy Weiss (19-0, 3 KOs)’ European Union (EU) welterweight defense. Europrom’s matchmakers are working on the two doable opponents waiting to scroll down the new EBU rankings which are expected to be released later this week.

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Once-beaten 25-year-old Belgian cruiserweight Bilal Laggoune (22-1-2, 12 KOs) is going to take on Briton Simon Barclay (10-2, 1 KO) as a voluntary defense of his IBF Inter-Continental belt instead of Serdar Sahin as it was previously reported. The bout will take place on March 30th in Gent, Belgium, with the promotion of Ezzedine Laggoune. Benny Decroos will be the referee.

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As Fightnews.com reported, Brian Castano (15-0, 11 KOs) retained his WBA “regular” 154-pound belt with a twelve-round TKO victory over local boxer Cedric Vitu (46-3, 19 KOs), on Saturday night at La Seine Musicale in Paris, France.

Vitu came out strong in the opening bell, counting on his quick hands and pressure to keep Castano away. But the South American is not an easy man to scare, and responded soon mixing short hooks and uppercuts as soon as he gained the mid range. Castano used his jab in round two, confirming his skills, then let his hands go with a barrage of punches once he managed to close Vitu on the ropes.

The WBA titleholder started to cut the ring off in round three and hurt Vitu for the first time, however, the local fighter fired back at times and the final minute of this round became an all-out brawl, with both men landing flush at close quarters. By the way, the Argentinian was starting to take control over the fight. Vitu had yet to recover at the beginning of the fifth and tried to give himself a round “off” using his right jab and footwork to stay away from his foe but Castano kept following him, banging him up and down again before the bell.

From the mid rounds, the fight stuck to the same pattern. Castano coming forward with his guard high and tight, using feints and a peek-a-boo style to get inside Vitu’s defense and then throwing and landing continuously. Not only did Vitu try to survive, he also waited for the right moment to hit back and accomplished it on many occasions with well-timed body shots or accurate hooks upstairs, taking vantage of Castano’s holes in his defense because of his confident attacks.

The challenger had a good round nine, somewhat altering the course of the fight, as he let his hands go, boxing smart from his southpaw stance. Unfortunately, Vitu lacked the necessary power to hurt Castano or to earn a considerable amount of respect, as the titleholder appeared to be very solid too and did not slow down in his action.

In the early part of round ten Vitu was suffering a hard punishment and was one punch away from being stopped by the referee because Castano came back strong throwing dozens of accurate punches, then he lessened his attack and Vitu could somehow take a breath although his way to his corner and the end of it.

The eleventh round provided an opposite evolution, with Vitu doing well at the beginning landing some good shots then suffering under another flurry of punches by Castano, who stole the round.

The last round was not particularly tough nor telling until the final minute when Castano landed a couple of hard blows to Vitu’s midsection and the local man went on the verge again. The Frenchman looked to walk backwards to find some fresh air but Castano was on the hunt and forced him to fall on his back. The former European titlist got up but he did not look good when referee Gustavo Padilla allowed the fight to continue, and Castano closed matters with another barrage a few seconds later.

Vitu fought his match showing the heart of a lion and providing his best efforts but it was not enough to handle a very complete, sharp and durable fighter who basically outworked and outlanded him from start to finish, eventually stopping him because of the accumulation of punishment. The two men put on a very tasty, quality fight anyway.

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