By Marco Bratusch
The awaited contest for the vacant European Union (EU) cruiserweight title will be finally disputed between co-challengers Tervel Pulev (11-0, 10 KOs) and Leonardo Damian Bruzzese (19-5, 6 KOs) on October 27 in Sofia, Bulgaria, on a show promoted by Epic Sports Entertainment. The unbeaten local man, who was fast-tracked since in Pro debut less than two years ago, was expected to face Italian prospect Fabio Turchi but the negotiations fell apart as Turchi opted to take a different path. Boxe Loreni accepted the challenge for their boxer Bruzzese, a 35-year-old born in Argentina with Italian citizenship, currently ranked #16 by the EBU.
As already known to the boxing fans, two-time European champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) vacated his continental belt earlier last week. The almost 32-year-old Finnish boxer, who defended his belt for the last time on August 11 in a voluntary defense against Frank Urquiaga in Savonlinna, Finland, was then expected to take on mandatory challenger Marvin Petit (23-1-1, 11 KOs) next. Looking at the current status of major sanctioning bodies’ rankings, he may likely be involved in some important IBF bout, being now the #4 positioned boxer in the 135-pound ranking that presents an empty spot at #2 and whose champion Mickey Garcia doesn’t look to defend it any longer. In any case, the EBU was then expected to call for the other co-challenger to be matched with Petit in order to fight for the vacant belt, when surprisingly Petit agreed to step aside and let the vacant title to be disputed between Belgian Francesco Patera (19-3, 7 KOs), a former European champion, and Lewis Ritson (16-0, 10 KOs), a strong fighter aged 24 who stole the show on several occasions in 2018, stopping three solid domestic opponents inside two rounds respectively. Matchroom Boxing is going to include the bout in their October 13 show in Newcastle, which is Ritson’s homeland.
Frenchman Samir Ziani (28-3-1, 5 KOs) and Spaniard Juli Giner (23-3-1, 8 KOs) will battle for the vacant European junior lightweight belt, with the purse bid deadline already set for September 10 by the EBU.
The European clash between champion Marc Vidal (11-1-5, 5 KOs) and former world champion Kiko Martinez (38-8-2, 28 KOs) is going to be pushed back to October 27 according to Spanish venture Rimer Box which will be staging this awaited rematch in Madrid.