By Per Ake Persson
Albertslund, Denmark - Danish cruiser Micki Nielsen (21-0) retained the WBC Int´l title with a unanimous decision over Italian challenger Mirko Larghetti (24-2) after twelve rounds of boxing. It was scored 116-112 twice and 117-112.
Larghetti was off to an awful start, it was as if he didn´t know how to fight a southpaw and was mentally unprepared to fight at all. A stoppage was in the air as Nielsen poured it on with heavy punches from both hands. Larghetti was cut on the left cheek and an ugly swelling developed around the eye - but he survived and while he lost rounds he did better and better.
Nielsen worked behind his southpaw jab and scored with his heavy left but Larghetti took it all and after losing the first seven rounds he was taking over the fight as Nielsen tired and needed space to load up on his punches. Larghetti kept coming but was outboxed in the eleventh but his moment came in the last when he hurt the Dane with a left hook. Exhausted and hurt Nielsen looked unsteady but got some time when referee David Irving called for a timeout to fix Larghetti´s gloves. Nielsen was a spent force but survived and won a well deserved decision after a hardfought, exciting fight.
Lightweight Rashid "the Dream" Kassem (11-0) won over capable Italian southpaw Vincenzo Finiello (14-3) after eight rounds of boxing. Finiello gave the flashy and undefeated Dane a good fight and had he packed a better punch the result might have been different. As it was "the Dream" was on scores of 78-74 twice and 79-73. Kassem is in the Prince Nasem school of boxing but Finiello stayed close to him and gave him no space for showboating. Kassem won fair enough though and is a good prospect.
Female super bantamweight Dina Thorslund (6-0) knocked out Georgian Sopio Putkaradze (billed as 12-6-3) at 1.05 of the first round. It was scheduled for eight two minute rounds. Putkaradze was overrun by Thorslund´s non stop punching and was finally nailed by a left hook.
Norwegian cruiser Kai-Robin Havnaa (6-0, 5KOs) stopped Hungarian Miklos Kovacs (1-3) in the second of a scheduled six-rounder. Kovacs was floored early in the round and under pressure and the referee stopped it at 2.24. Kovacs was a very late sub and had little to put up against Havnaa, who´s worked hard in the gym and is developing well.
Middleweight Landry Kore (6-0) took on late sub Andrei Reimer, a Russian based in Germany, and won a unanimous decision after six. Reimer was down in the third but did well fighting in a tricky switchhitting style and worked well on the inside against a much bigger opponent. It was scored 60-53 on all cards but that doesn´t tell the full story. Kore, in excellent shape, is a big middleweight while Reimer is a welterweight and that pretty much decided the fight.
Reimer is now 10-13-2 in a misleading record. He´s a much avoided journeyman and at his own weight he can give most a good run for their money.
Middleweight Abdul Khattab (14-1) knocked out Hungarian Attila Koros (8-4-1) at 0.37 into the seventh of a scheduled eight-rounder. Khattab had some problems in the early rounds and was stunned in the third but took over the fight as it went on and Koros looked tired and worn in the fifth and sixth. Early in the seventh Abdul scored with a hard jab to the body and Koros, in his own corner, was hurt and Khattab jumped on him with a three punch combination and Koros went down on his knees and the referee counted him out.
Swedish super welterweight Daniel Hartvig moved to 7-0 with a second round knockout over another Georgian in Valeri Karelidze (record unknown). Karelidze fought without a cup protector and was hurt by bodyshots in the first.
In the second he went down from two right hooks to the body and was later nailed hard to head by a right and went down and out with referee Jan Christensen stopping the count midway to stop the fight at 2.46. It was scheduled for six. Hartvig, back after a long layoff late last year, looked good fighting in an aggressive take no prisoner style.
Lightweight contender Richard Commey (24-0) opened up Sauerland Promotion´s show at the Music Theatre with a second round stoppage of outclassed and overmatched Georgian Anzor Gamgebeli (win at home - lose on the road). Gamgebeli was floored in the first and twice more in the second before it was stopped at 2.02. If this is the kind of tuneup that a boxer needs before a world title fight is an open question.