By Alexey Sukachev
Palazzetto dello Sport, Quartu Sant'Elena, Sardegna, Italy - Luciano Abis looked for a revenge against his bitter rival Rafal Jackiewicz but instead resurrected the Pole's lowering career with the seventh-round TKO loss of what was expected to be one of his sweetest moments, not Rafal's.
Abis fought Jackiewicz for the first time in February 2009 in Poland and lost a close and spirited majority decision to the home fighter. He bounced back with six consecutive wins but something was missing. Signs of Abis' decline were well proven a year ago, when the Italian fighter was brutally knocked out by 9-18-1 Latvian journeyman Semjons Moroseks. He answered with the second-round blowout of Frenchman Stanislas Salmon in November 2011 to acquire the EBU-EU welterweight title. But it wasn't enough, and it has been proven clearly tonight.
IBF #10 Jackiewicz, a still capable and very durable veteran at 35, took his time to adjust for aggressive Abis. The latter tried to fight effectively in spurts but his actions were sparse and well-repelled by Jackiewicz' steady block and counter aggressiveness. As soon as Pole started to move forward, it became obvious that Abis couldn't take his punch well and his defense was also non-effective. From round four the Pole started to outwork Abis, 32, and to beat him to the punch. The end came in round seven, when Jackiewicz dropped the Italian with a hard overhand right. Abis was soon down once again after the same punch. With his face badly swollen and partially cut he continued fighting, but referee stopped the contest moments later after a white towel was thrown from Abis corner to a mild protest of the Italian.
Jackiewicz effectively improves to 41-10-1, with 10 KOs, and Abis slips down to 32-3-1, with 15 stoppages.
In a battle between will and skill, the former suffered a bitter defeat when skilled and poised Italian Senegalese Mohammed Ali Ndiaye (now 22-1, 13 KOs) forced Spanish veteran Jose Maria Guerrero (29-4-1, 11 KOs) to retire in his corner after nine one-sided rounds of a bloody beating. Thus the WBC #12 and WBO #15 ranked fighter retained his EBU-EU super middleweight title for the first time since knocking out talented hard-hitter Andrea Di Luisa in his penultimate fight.
Guerrero, an aging and fading veteran at 35, who lost his last fight against Juergen Braehmer via a fourth-round TKO, was very eager to deliver some heat to the elusive Senegalese. However, Ndiaye didn't play his game, made Guerrero move in and punished him with well-placed right uppercuts and right hands behind the Spaniard's ears. The Spanish fighter tried to hang but he was unable to land clean punches despite marching forward and firing all the way through. His connect percentage was just too poor for Ndiaye to be really close to any danger.
In the second part of the fight, Guerrero skills (not his will) started to deteiorate, and his defense followed the same way. Ndiaye was fighting in spurts and was dealing much more punishment. Guerrero's nose was bleeding since the fourth, and the blood just didn't stop dripping. Ndiaye put his opponent down in the seventh with a nice left to the liver. Guerrero got up and bravely did his best to accomplish the only plan he had - and that was to move forward and to eat more and more punishment. His corner thought he had enough after the ninth and implored referee to stop the one-sided beating.