By Marco Bratusch
Last Saturday in Magdeburg, Germany, Stefan Haertel (18-1, 2 KOs), aged 31, dethroned his countryman, stablemate and former European super middleweight champion Robin Krasniqi (49-6, 17 KOs) after twelve rounds, winning the continental title in one of the best EBU sanctioned bout of the year so far.
The fight headlined a SES Boxing promoted night at Stadhalle arena, and was broadcasted live on MDR in Germany. The challenger entered the bout as a voluntary opponent for Krasniqi and as a slight underdog for the bookies.
However, Haertel proved to be a very live opponent soon as he began marching forward, using his jab and short combinations to force the champion on his back foot. Krasniqi looked surprised and had to reorganize his gameplan, as he was also cut at the edge oh his right eye from a legal punch. Both men battled strong either at long and mid distance, landing big shots and having their respective moments at times without backing off, but Haertel looked to have gained a slight edge after six rounds. The challenger got a firm control over the fight as he loooked to be the more accurate and powerful man – something quite unexpected watching the low K.O. ratio of his record – and boxing very orthodox, with a stabler balance on his feet.
Also the second part of the fight was close, with Krasniqi finding a second wind, throwing more punches from personal angles and using his signature uppercuts from the inside more. Haertel lost his mouthpiece twice and looked very tired in the championship rounds, but he managed to remain in the game until the final bell, as basically every round appered to be very two-sided. Judged had a unanimous decision for the new champion Haertel, with scorecards of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113. We had a closer take on the contest, but all in all the best man won the title in a hard fought championship contest.
According to an OPI Since 82 press release, European lightweight titlist Francesco Patera (21-3, 7 KOs), from Belgium, will put his belt at stake in a voluntary defense against Paul Hyland jr (20-1, 7 KOs), from Belfast, Northern Ireland, on June 28th at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy, topping a Matchroom Boxing Italy and Opi Since 82 co-promoted card to be streamed live on DAZN Italy. Also on that bill, unbeaten Daniele Scardina (16-0,14 KOs) will take on Alessandro Goddi (35-4-1, 17 KOs) who will step up in weight to get a crack at Scardina’s IBF International 168-lb belt. An official press conference is set for May 20 in Milan, Italy, in order to present the show.
The European Union (EU) junior lightweight contest at stake for co-challengers Jon Fernandez (17-1, 15 KOs) and Tuomo Eronen (21-6, 9 KOs) – who replaced in such position Italy’s Michael Magnesi – will face each other on June 22nd in Torrelavega, Spain. Maravilla Box will promote the rich card which will be headlined by the European (EBU) junior middleweight championship between the champion Sergio Garcia (29-0, 13 KOs) and veteran puncher Sergey Rabchenko (29-4, 22 KOs), from Belarus. Plus, another EBU sanctioned bout has been added to the big Maravilla Box show, which becomes now a triple-header, as Carlos Ramos (10-1, 7 KOs) and Razaq Najib (10-2, 2 KOs) are matched to fight for the vacant European Union (EU) featherweight title.