By Alexey Sukachev
Italy - Michel Soro (27-1, 17 KOs) followed up his biggest career win (the fourth-round road TKO over American Glen Tapia a month ago) with another demolition and now his biggest title. This time a hard-hitting Frenchman ventured a move up in weight to knock out Italian veteran Emanuele Blandamura (23-2, 5 KOs) and to seize a vacant EBU middleweight title.
TBRB #9 and WBO #3 154lber Soro, 27 and formerly the WBA International, WBO European and French national light middleweight champion, was fighting on his opponent's home turf for the second consecutive time - but this time as the favorite, following his own impressive destruction of Tapia and Blandamura's bitter defeat to Billy Joe Saunders for the very same title a year ago.
Soro's advantage was on display from the very beginning. He was smartly pressing the Italian, allowing him just occasional bursts with no real danger and limited dynamite in his gloves. In the second Soro dropped Blandamura with a left hook but referee Terry O'Connor ruled that a slip. The Italian was elusive, sneaky and he also popped his jab well into Soro's face but impression was that he was just trying to avoid the inevitable. Soro didn't lose energy, maybe some points and rounds closely (due to Blandamura's reflexes) but not his fuel, and was looking for one shocker punch. He found one midst into the eighth, landing a major left bomb and then a right hand, when Blandmaura was already going down.
The French fighter lost only once in his career - to then-WBO/IBO light middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov. It's not yet known if he continues to compete at the middleweight limit or comes back to 154 pounds.