By Alexey Sukachev
Romanian journeyman Silvio Olteanu (14-6-1, 6 KOs) continued his latest career rise by defeating Italian veteran Andrea Sarritzu (33-6-4, 13 KOs) in his second defence of the European flyweight title on his opponent's home turf. IBF #14 Olteanu, 34, looked to be a superior fighter in the first half of the fight. He was aggressive but also cautious at the same time. He easily avoided being hit and stalked the Italian around the ring.
Sarritzu, two years his senior, was also cut ove his left eye after the first, a gash that continued to be a problem throughout the whole contest. Sarritzu, a three-time unsuccessful world title challenger (he lost via SD to Omar Narvaez in 2002, fought him to a draw in 2003 and was stopped by Moruti Mthalane in 2011), got bigger as the fight progressed and landed some solid punches down the stretch. He even wobbled Olteany for a second in the closing round. However, it wasn't enough to garner him with yet another victory. The Spain-based Olteany got better on what was heard by this reporter as a majority decision in his favor (with the scores being possibly 115-114, 115-113 and 114-114).
The Romanian's strange career is currently making yet another sudden twist (this time - to the good). Olteany started with three consecutive losses (two of them to Belarussian Valery Yanchi), the won eleven fights in a row, including a dominant performance against EBU-EU titleholder Bernard Inom (who had previously stopped Sarritzu). Then, in December 2010, the Romanian was found on the wrong side of a very dubious split decision loss to Japanese star Daiki Kameda for the WBA flyweight championship.
Olteany continued his downshifting by losing another controversial nod to Mexican Wilbert Uicab in Mexico (MD 12) and the by being convincingly beaten by Spanish bantamweight Xavier Urpi. At this point he looked to be a spent bullet but Silvio refused to be dismissed. In 2011, he scored a draw against his bitter rival Yanchi and then defeated him on a majority nod in 2012 to become the EBU champion. Sarritzu was his second Italian victim after Guiseppe Lagana, whom he smoked in five in May this year.
Oppositely, Sarritzu's career seems to be heading to its final destination - retirement. The Italian warrior, who enjoyed two stints as the European champion in the second half of 00's, lost his sixth fight. He still looks competitive on the continental level but nothing proves his credibility on the world championship scale. He was ranked #12 by the IBF, #13 by the WBO and #14 by the WBC, coming into this.
Italian light welterweight Michele Di Rocco (34-1-1, 15 KOs) extended his winning streak to 17 straight victories and scored his third first-round stoppage in his last four fights by dropping Hungarian journeyman Lazslo Robert Balogh (15-13-1, 8 KOs) with a left hook late into the opening stanza. Balogh didn't look very hurt but was counted out nevertheless. A year ago Di Rocco stopped the same Balogh (on a cut) also in the first.