By Alexey Sukachev
At the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, a stunning shocker took place when little-known and totally unheralded Belgium-based Italian, Ermano Fegatilli (23-4, 5 KOs), 26, got his biggest win so far with a huge upset of defending European champion Stephen Foster (28-3-1, 18 KOs), 30, in twelve sensational rounds. Fegatilli dropped his opponent five times in rounds nine, ten and eleven en route to a rather thin unanimous decision with scores 114-110 and 114-109 (twice) to take this prestigious belt.
Foster, who came back into worldwide contention after his thrilling win over Leva Kirakosyan last October, was ranked #8 by the IBF, #10 by the WBA, #11 by the WBC and #15 by the WBO, coming into this fight. Fegatilli barely scored any notable victories and the only title he held for a short span of time was EBU-EU super featherweight belt.
In round one it looked like an easy night for the champion as Ermano was nothing more than just a shooting practice for the champion. A major but not a final change occurred in the second stanza. It was when Fegatilli started to use body punches to hurt Foster in succession. The British enforcer, who has reportedly struggled to make the weight limit, was doubled soon and stood crouching under heavy fire to lose rounds two and three.
Foster came back to his best in the fourth and continued to deliver punishment for the next three rounds. It was a war of attrition between two horrific bodypunchers and in the midst of the fight the local boy had an upper hand over seemingly hurt and fristrated Belgian challenger. But the see-saw collision wasn't over.
It started all-a-new in the seventh when Fegatilli came back to his basics and started to deliver heavy bombardment - once again to Foster's body. He repeatedly hurt the home fighter in rounds seven and eight despite surviving several desperate moments of his own. Late in round nine, the challenger delivered a major left hook to the liver to have Foster down for the first time. In the tenth, the champion went in for kill... and was floored three times more. Each one came as a result of fascinating bodybreaking blows of "Il Dottore", the intelligent boxer and five-language polyglot from Belgium. In round eleven, he repeated the same trick once again.
It looked like Foster's corner was just moments from stopping it during the final break but Foster convinced referee Giuseppe Quartarone he was ready to give it one final desperate run to save his title. And he tried his best and had some mild success to take the final round. Ultimately, it wasn't enough as all three judges had it for the challenger: 114-110 (Franco Ciminale) and 114-109 (Soren Saugmann and Arnold Golger). BoxingScene had it 115-108 - for the new EBU super featherweight champion Ermano Fegatilli.
A fan-friendly scrap between two top English bantamweights Craig Lyon (12-0-1, 4 KOs) and Josh Wale (11-3-1, 5 KOs) ended in a major disappointment late into the third round, when both boxers suffered bad cuts over their left eyes simultaneously, due to an accidental headbutt. That led the fight to a technical draw which was a minor setback for both battlers.
Early into the contest, it was bigger Josh Wale who had an upper hand. Wale, coming down in weight, was eating punches but also mauled smaller Lyon in the opening stanza. Both fighters were competitive in round two but Lyon was just a notch more successful with his precision and punch efficiency. Wale and Lyon got it on in the third, producing quite a thrilling brawl up until an accidental headbutt saw blood pouring all over the ring. Referee John Keane halted the bout, asked ringside physician to do his job and then waved the contest off at 2:39 of the third stanza. Lyon's cut was a bigger case than relatively easy mark on Wale's eyebrow. Craig Lyon retained his BBBofC English 118lb belt in process.