By Per Ake Persson
Rudy Encarnacion (39-28-4) lost last night in Rome to Italian prospect Michael Magnesi (14-0) in a fight for the IBF Mediterranean super featherweight title. "El Lobo Negro" from the Dominican Republic but residing in Spain for a number of years announced his retirement afterwards after 20 years as a professional fighter. Encarnacion fought on the road a lot taking on all comers but always giving a good account of himself.
German heavyweight Michael Wallisch has again signed with EC Boxing. Wallisch was last seen losing to Christian Hammer and there where reports of a positive doping test but the suspension was reduced to three months.
Wallisch was previously promoted by EC for a few years but they parted ways in 2013 and Michael was then with SES and later with Team Sauerland. He is now back with EC and promoter Erol Ceylan sees some good matchups in Germany for Wallisch (18-1).
Swedish heavyweight Attila Levin (34-4) makes a comeback of sorts on April 19 in Gothenburg. The 42-year old last fought in 2010 when he was stopped by Robert Helenius but have stayed in shape and of lately been sparring with newly crowned RBO champ Pezhman Seifkhani. The comeback is a four-rounder against an opponent to be announced and things go well there might be more.
Attila was a fringe contender around 2000-2004 and was promoted by Cedric Kushner fighting out of Pembroke Pines, Florida. He beat the likes of Ray Austin and Fernely Feliz but lost to Jeremy Williams and Nikolay Valuev. As an amateur a young Attila had the misfortune of walking into either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko in all major championships.
Hungarian jr heavyweight (that is how the WBO calls cruiserweights) Imre Szello is now # 1 in the WBO ratings. With Oleksandr Usyk moving up to heavyweight it´s likely that interim ruler Krzystof Glowacki will be named full champ with Szello as mandatory.
#2 ranked is now 48-year old Firat Arslan, still going strong but probably not as strong as he once was.
Belgian welter Meriton Karaxha ( 24-5-2) takes on Renald "Le Lion" Garrido (24-21-3) May 10 in Gent with the vacant WBFed world title at stake. The title might be small but it´s a solid matchup and "Le Lion" always make them work all the way win, lose or draw.
Norwegian light heavyweight Tim-Robin Lihaug (20-4) won the vacant WBO Europe and IBA I/C titles Saturday night in Straume with a close unanimous decison over Finland´s Timo Laine (24-12). It was in fact so close that the paper VG wrote that if the fight had been in Finland Laine would have won. It was scored 96-94 twice and 97-93.