The European Boxing Union celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. It all began in war torn Europe in 1948 with seven - Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain - members and has since grown and remains strong and active even today despite strong competition from other organizations and their countless International, Continental and Inter-Continental titles.
The annual General Assembly was held this weekend in Malta. It was decided to disband the EU and EE-EU titles and they will be replaced by an EBU Silver title.
Armenia and Moldova became full members while Albania and Turkey entered as provisional members.
Olena Pobyvailo becomes the first female official in the EBU.
Promoter of the year. Eddie Hearn, Matchroom.
Fighter of the year: Chris Billam-Smith
Fight of the year: Jordan Gill vs Karim Guerfi February 27, 2022 (Gill scored a come from behind knockout to win the EBU featherweight title).
Fighters and officials from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to participate in EBU title fights.
Correction: Ukrainian lightweight Denys Berinchuk did not relinquish the title. He was stripped of it for not going through with his mandatory defense against Emiliano Marsili.
Heavyweights Felix Langberg (12-0) and Peter Kadiru (15-1) headlines P2M Box Promotions show at the Town Hall in Rostock June 24.
Langberg, a local hero, will defend the WBA Continental title against an opponent to be announced.
EBU super middleweight Kevin Lele Sadjo (19-0) meets German Sven Elbir (12-1) on May 28 in Creteil (France) with the vacant WBO Intercontinental title at stake.
Lele Sadjo's mandatory defense of the EBU title against Italian Giovanni De Carolis goes to purse bids on June 6.
May 14 marks the 80th birthday of Spanish heavyweight Jose Manuel Ibar Urtain. He was a late starter when he was discovered at the age of 24 in a stone throwing contest in the north of Spain. He turned pro and fought 20 times in his first year as professional fighter and quickly became a big star and was even on the cover of Ring Magazine in 1969.
However, many of his wins were against soft touches and there were rumors of fixed fights as well. But Urtain made it to the top in Europe and it wasn't until Henry Cooper stopped him in London in 1970 that he suffered his first real loss (he did lose one on a disqualification for a low blow earlier in 1970).
Urtain battled on and scored some good wins but was never a top class fighter. His career came to an end in 1977 after a loss to Alfredo Evangelista.
In retirement just about everything went wrong for Urtain, who had a bad divorce, alcohol and financial problems when he committed suicide in 1992.