Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy scored a narrow twelve round split decision over previously undefeated prospect Fabio Turchi on Friday night at the Festival Dello Sport in Trento, Italy. The fight was a tactical chess match with Turchi attempting to use his aggression to break McCarthy down. McCarthy however, was effective in landing counter punches throughout and seemed to generally get the better of the action between the two fighters. Although the combat was fought at a measured pace and at times was not the most entertaining fight to watch, McCarthy’s overall consistency was enough for him to earn the split decision and Turchi’s WBC International Cruiserweight championship. Official scores were 116-112 (Turchi) and 115-113, 116-112 in favor of McCarthy. Tommy McCarthy advances to 16-2, with 8 Knockouts. Fabio Turchi falls to 17-1, with 13 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In a fight for the vacant European Middleweight championship Matteo Signani scored a twelve round split decision to regain the European championship he formerly won in 2014, over Gevorg Khatchikian. A fight that was not the best meshing of styles where both fighters just had trouble getting into a consistent rhythm, Signani was able to squeeze out a narrow decision win by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while the third judge scored the fight for Khatchikian 115-113. Matteo Signani advances to 29-5-3, with 10 Knockouts. Gevorg Khatchikian falls to 29-3, with 14 Knockouts.
In a battle for the vacant WBC International Silver Featherweight championship, Italian Featherweight champion Francesco Grandelli scored a hard-fourth ten round split decision over Reece Bellotti. This fight saw several ebbs and flows. The first half of the fight seemed to be dictated by Bellotti’s combination punching and ability to land the cleaner punches. Grandelli however, was able to bounce back over the second half of the fight by being the more active of the two fighters and landing combinations to the body and head. The World Boxing Council (WBC), which uses open scoring throughout the fight indicated that the fight was close after eight rounds with the fighters being separated by a single point on all three scorecards. At the conclusion of ten rounds two judges had identical scores separating the fighters by a single point 96-95, with the judges being split between the two. The third judge turned in a score of 96-94 in favor of Grandelli giving him the split decision win. Francesco Grandelli advances to 13-1-1, with 2 Knockouts. Reece Bollotti falls to 14-3, with 12 Knockouts.
Jr. Welterweight Samuel Gonzalez scored a six round majority decision over Jayro Duran. Duran was predominantly the aggressor throughout most of this fight and had sporadic success in landing wide looping hooks to the head of Gonzalez and did connect with some thudding body shots early on. Gonzalez’ more rounded skill set and sharper offense was enough to earn the decision on two scorecards. Samuel Gonzalez advances to 22-5, with 13 Knockouts. Jayro Duran falls to 14-5, with 13 Knockouts.
Also in the Jr. Welterweight division, undefeated Dalton Smith scored a six round decision over Marko Radenovic. Dalton Smith advances to 3-0, with 1 Knockout. Marko Radenovic falls to 0-2, with 0 Knockouts.
Undefeated Super-Middleweight Valentino Manfredona scored a six round unanimous decision over Milos Jankovic. This fight frankly resembled a workout between two sparring partners as Manfredona outworked Jankovic to earn the victory. Valentino Manfredona advances to 2-0, with 0 Knockouts. Milos Jankovic falls to 1-8-2, with 1 Knockout.
In a Jr. Middleweight bout, unbeaten Mirko Natalizi scored a sixth round stoppage over veteran Alexander Benidze. This had all the look of a workmanlike perfect for Natalizi against a tough, but awkward opponent that was relatively uneventful until Natalizi connected with a right hook, left hook combination to the head that sent Benidze down in the closing seconds of the six round bout. Benidze gamely staggered to his feet, but the referee ruled that he could not continue. Official time of the stoppage was 2:52 of round six. Mirko Natalizi advances to 7-0, with 4 Knockouts. Alexander Benidze falls to 13-27-3, with 6 Knockouts.
While this card did not necessarily produce the best meshing of styles, many of the bouts were competitive and as promoter Eddie Hearn continues his global expansion with this card being promoted under Matchroom Boxing’s Italian promotional branch, we may see at least two rematches from this card. Those two rematches are a second encounter between Tommy McCarthy and Fabio Turchi and a return encounter between Francesco Grandelli and Reece Bellotti. In regard to McCarthy and Turchi, the Cruiserweight division is traditionally one that does not have many lucrative fights due to many top fighters in the division using it as a way to elevate themselves into the Heavyweight division. The most recent example of this is former unified Cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk, who coincidentally will be making his Heavyweight debut on Saturday against longtime contender Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago, Il.
Although a rematch between McCarthy and Turchi may not be viewed as lucrative in the eyes of some, the fight between the two was competitive and a second encounter between them could provide the winner a potential opportunity to springboard himself into a world championship fight before possibly settling their sights on the Heavyweight division. A rematch between Francesco Grandelli and Reece Bellotti meanwhile would be a second encounter of a fight that was well received by the crowd in attendance at this card and could likewise provide the winner with a potential shot at a world championship in what is a talent-deep 126lb. Featherweight division.
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