Slovenia got a rare turn on the word stage tonight as favorite son Jan Zaveck returned home from Germany to put his IBF welterweight championship up for grabs against heated rival Rafal Jackiewicz at Sportpark Arena in Ljubljana.
These two met before and there was still bad blood on tap from their initial November, 2008 encounter in which Jackiewicz retained the European title via controversial split decision in his Polish homeland.
Zaveck never got a rematch with Jackiewicz but went one step better by stopping Isaac Hlatshwayo for the IBF belt just two fight later in December of last year.
After halting challenger Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez in the 12th round five months ago to get the often tricky first title defense out of the way, Zaveck bid his time in order to turn the tables on his nemesis.
But Jackiewicz rode a five year, 21 contest wave of victory into Ljubljana and was difficult to dissuade from repeating his previous winning effort against the Slovenian.
Zaveck managed it however, once again going neck and neck with Jackiewicz for most of the fight but this time the outcome was reversed as Zaveck swept the championship rounds to post a 117-111, 117-111 and 114-114 majority decision victory.
Zaveck retains the IBF crown while improving to 30-1 (17). The 34 year old Magdeburg resident's top challenger is now American power puncher Randall Bailey, who represents a credible threat to Zaveck's reign.
Jackiewicz loses for the first time in half a decade, dropping to 36-9-1 (18).