By Alexey Sukachev

In an important cross-roader between two recently damaged fighters, the younger one came as a narrow victor as former two-time WBA/WBC cruiserweight king Jean Marc Mormeck, 42, was outpointed by Mateusz Masternak, of Poland and 15 years his junior, with a majority decision at Palais des sports Robert Charpentier in Asnieres-sur-Seine, France. Scores were announced in French.

WBA #6 Masternak (now 34-2, 24 KOs) was just a fight away from his split decision loss to Youri Kayembre Kalenga this June and five fights away from a career-derailing TKO loss to reigning WBC champion Grigory Drozd, just a contender at the time - a year ago.

For Mormeck, situation was even more shaky, as he fought just once since a crushing defeat from world heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. WBO #7 and WBC #12 Mormeck was fighting just for the sixth time (in over seven years) since being dethroned of his titles by David Haye.

Mormeck started the bout aggressively stalking cautious Masternak all along the way. The Pole was effective with his block and moved well to prevent Frenchman's wild swings to land on his chin. Disposition was the same in the second but Mormeck was more aggressive... and successful. In the third, the Pole landed a huge right hand to the

chin that saw Mormeck reeling, but then he get back with several shots of his own near the ropes to snatch the stanza. Round four was Masternak's on a twist.

Both combatants did some effort to edge one another in the mid rounds but the Pole was slightly more effective, as his punches were well felt by the former champion. Mormeck had his share of success but Masternak was... well, more masterful, yet also fatigued after the seventh. Masternak's aggression got more and more visible in the ninth. He then hurt Mormeck with a sickening right hand to the chest, which wobbled the veteran. However, he fought well off the ropes to remain in business. Round then was mostly for the Pole.

Mormeck falls down to 37-6, 23 KOs, his career nearing its inevitable end. BoxingScene had it 97-93 - for the Polish fighter.



Frenchman Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (20-4-1, 10 KOs) got his first career title at the age of 37, though hardly a meaningful one. Benmakhlouf outpointed traveling Croatian Tony Visic over twelve rounds of monotonous action for a vacant World Boxing Federation Intercontinental cruiserweight title.

Visic is now just a notch below the 1.000 limit with a new record of 15-16-1, 4 KOs. His opponent is best known for a draw with then-champion (interim) Steve Herelius in 2007 and for a one-sided loss to Roy Jones Jr. in December 2013.