European Boxing Update

By Marco Bratusch

Fairly incredibly, at today’s EBU purse bid for the vacant European Union (EU) junior lightweight title at stake for Italy’s Michael Magnesi (13-0, 5 KOs) and hard-hitting Spaniard Jon Fernandez (17-1, 15 KOs), boxing ventures BBT Productions and Euskobox offered just the same amount of money, submitting two identical offers of 20,100 Euros. The unique and unusual situation left the EBU no choice but to reschedule the purse bid for next Wednesday, March 27th, at noon – Italian time.

Last week, MTK Global – in the person of London promoter Lee Eaton – won the purse bid for the mandatory defense of the European (EBU) flyweight left-handed champion Vincent Legrand (29-0, 17 KOs) against the official challenger Jay Harris (15-0, 8 KOs), offering 31,000 Euros as the only bidder to attend. That sum is going to be split 60/40 in favor of the champion Legrand. Eaton informs this title bout between two unbeaten boxers will be taking place on June 7th in Cardiff, Wales, UK, which is Harris homeland.

MGZ Promotions, the young and solid boxing venture from Bilbao, northern Spain, released they are going to promote the vacant European (EBU) featherweight title between local boxer Andoni “El Macho” Gago (21-3-3, 6 KOs) and fellow countryman Jesus Sanchez (10-1, 3 KOs), both men are former European Union (EU) 126lb beltholders. MGZ are still working on the possible date and location for such bout, which will be likely taking place early next summer. Meanwhile, the first face-off between Gago and Sanzhez is happening very soon, as they will stare-off each other officially next March 30th in Bilbao, during the Kerman Lejarraga vs. David Avanesyan European title event, another boxing night promoted by MGZ.

British hard-punching heavyweight and 2016 Olympics silver medalist Joe Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) has accepted early this week the position of mandatory challenger for European (EBU) heavyweight king Agit Kabayel (19-0, 13 KOs), for a contest that would be a definitive high-level test for both men. However, such an encounter would not see the lights before the end of next summer at the earliest, as Kabayel has been recently granted another voluntary defense to be staged by his promoter SES Boxing within July, and on the other side Joyce, co-promoted by Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports, has been busy both on the Premier Boxing Champion circuit in the US and in UK, with some rumors saying they might put him in front of Polish brawler Adam Kownacki at some point during next summer. Let’s see how both stories will eventually play out and whether they will really collide.

Two-time European champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs), from Finland, has been appointed new mandatory challenger for current European lightweight champion Francesco Patera (21-3, 7 KOs). The two boxers already had a back-and-forth affair in 2017, when Patera surprisingly dethroned the champion Tatli in Finland before losing the anticipated rematch seven months later. Now, an interesting rubber-match seems to be drawing down the line. However, the 31-year-old Tatli already has a scheduled fight in front of him, and it is a very hard one, as he will be facing hard-hitting Top Rank prospect Teofimo Lopez in the undercard of Terence Crawford’s WBO world welterweight title defense against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Patera defended his European title successfully last February against once-beaten, official challenger Marvin Petit in Belgium, via unanimous decision.

French veteran boxer Zakaria Attou (29-6-2, 7 KOs) has relinquished his mandatory position to fight European (EBU) junior middleweight champion Sergio Garcia (29-0, 13 KOs), promoted by Maravilla Box, who impressively defended his continental belt both outlanding and outboxing previously unbeaten Ted Cheeseman at O2 Arena in London, UK, last February. Attou is coming from a unanimous decision victory over StefanoCastellucci in an eight-rounder. The purse bid for the Garcia-Attou bout was expected to take place this morning at the EBU offices but it was eventually called off. The European Boxing Union will now appoint another official challenger soon.

Frenchman Cyril Loenet (15-10-3, 5 KOs) got injured days ago and he is no longer fighting Croatia’s Petar Milas (13-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant European Union (EU) heavyweight title as co-feature bout of a Petko’s Boxpromotion card in Germany on Aril 6th.

Spaniard fighter Mustafa Chadlioui (12-4-2, 8 KOs) is fighting against Mathiueu Bauderlique (16-1, 8 KOs), aged 29, in Lille, France, on March 28th with the WBA Inter-Continental belt at stake. Brahim Asloum is promoting a rich card at Zenith de Lille, televised by RMC Sport. Also on that bill, experienced Yvan Mendy is facing Hakim Ben Ali in a ten-rounder at lightweights.

For the vacant WBC youth welterweight title, Armenian-born Sirak Hakobyan (17-3-1, 5 KOs) is pitted against Tomi Silvennoinen (8-1, 4 KOs), from Finland, with these two 23-year-olds to top a Blagnac Boxing Club card at Chemin des Ramiers, France, on April 5th.

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