By: Ste Rowen
Midweek boxing is always a strange event in Europe. It confuses the consumer because many end up wondering if the promo material has made a mistake with the dates printed on its posters or whether there is something other than waiting for the weekend to do, but then again maybe that’s just me.
Either way, tonight at Tuscany Hall in Florence, IBF ‘International’ junior middleweight champion, Orlando Fiordigiglio takes on former European 147lb titlist, Sam Eggington for another Opi Since 82 & Matchroom Italia promotion.
35-year-old, Fiordigiglio resides in Arezzo, just over an hour from Tuscany Hall and, but for one bout, has fought exclusively in Italy building a record of 31-2 (13KOs). Last time out, Orlando claimed the vacant minor 154lb belt with a split decision victory over Stephen Danyo, a win that arguably stands as the Italian’s only second standout win alongside his 2014 7th round knockout of a then 42-7, Ruben Varon for the EBU strap.
17-0 at the time of the 2014 victory, Fiordigiglio kept to the fringes which almost definitely negatively affected towards his two defeats; the first in 2015, an 11th round stoppage by Cedric Vitu and then four bouts ago, the Italian dropped a split decision to 25-6-2, Zakaria Attou on away turf in France. But four wins on, Orlando is confident he and his trainer will adapt to arguably they’re most high-profile event yet,
‘‘He likes to brawl. I’m ready for him. Me and my trainer, Meo Gordini have found the right strategy to beat Eggington. My coach needs only a few minutes to understand a fighter’s style, strengths and faults.’’
Sam Eggington on the other hand has had a pretty rough time of it since moving up to 154b after his successful career run at welterweight. ‘The Savage’ 26-6 (15KOs) is still only 25 but has already been through the ringer since deciding to campaign at junior middle. Five wins and two stoppage losses, Sam was overmatched in March of this year when he was put in with former WBO champion, Liam Smith in a domestic bout that was never going to be competitive and played out as such when Smith took just five rounds to take his less experienced foe out.
Since then, Eggington has fought and won twice; decision victories over opponents with a combined record of 14-160-4 (2KOs), and his biggest performances have certainly been at the weight division below, and the Birmingham native, whilst recognising that, seems to be leaving his talking for Thursday’s bout once he’s in the ring,
‘‘I didn’t see Fiordigiglio, I never watch my opponent’s videos. That’s my coach’s job. At this level there are no easy fights. I’m well prepared and as I’ve already fought four times this year…I’m always in the gym. I’m ready for Fiordigiglio and I want to win the ‘International’ belt.’’
The second fight of note taking place, and most likely to be fight of the night will see welterweights Dario Morello of Calabria step into the ring with Luther Clay. The ‘Spartan’ Morello, 15-0 (2KOs) whilst being complimentary of his opponent in the build-up is already looking ahead to bigger nights fighting for the continent’s notable belts, as he told World Boxing News,
‘‘Luther is a good fighter, but we know how to defeat him…When I watch the fights of European champion, David Avenesyan I imagine myself in the ring against him, I know that I can beat him.’’
23-year-old Luther ‘Black Panther’ Clay was born in South Africa before moving to Bracknell in England at the age of six. The measured, but quick-hitting 147lber made a subtle challenge to stand and fight when the two meet,
‘‘Morello is a busy switch hitter, calls himself the ‘Spartan’, so let’s see if he’s going to fight or run. It should be a very interesting fight.’’
Morello currently sits 15th in the WBO’s rankings, so victory tonight should see the winner next in line to face the winner of the Avenesyan vs. Kerman Lejerraga rematch which takes place next week.
Tuscany Hall attendants will also be treated to another IBF minor belt matchup, this time at super-featherweight for the vacant Inter-Continental strap between Italian, Devis Boschiero, 47-6-2 (21KOs) and Ivan Thomas, 9-0-1 (3KOs) of Spain.
Forza Thursday boxing!