British heavyweight Matt Skelton won the vacant European title last night with a tenth round stoppage of former beltholder Paolo Vidoz at the Pala Lido in Milan, Italy.
In a battle of aging heavyweights, 41 year old Skelton, 22-2 (19), rebounded from his failed bid to unseat WBA Champion Ruslan Chagaev in January with a characteristically vigorous effort to outwork the 38 year old Vidoz over the early rounds.
When the local hero finally started boxing, the skills that won Vidoz the Olympic Bronze Medal in 2000 were evident and the Italian seemed to be on his way to a points decision.
But Skelton never stopped trying and the sheer effort of fending off his mauling, wrestling style proved to be too much for Vidoz, who quit after nine rounds to hand the European title over to Skelton.
38 year old Gianluca Branco, 42-2-1 (22), continued his second reign as European Light Welter Champion, stopping Finnish challenger Juho Tolppola, 21-5-1 (9), in the ninth frame.
European Union Light Welter titlist Giuseppe Lauri, 47-6 (28), retained his belt for the second time with a sixth round stoppage of Finland's Ville Piispanen, 12-1-1 (4).
There was another good bill last night in Italy as former European Super Bantam titlist Emanuela Pantani, 9-0 (2), caged the vacant WBA Female Bantamweight crown with a ten round points ruling over Argentina's Betina Gabriela Garino, 10-5-1 (2), at the Palasport Di Via Austria in Grosseto.
On the undercard, ex-European Union and Italian Light Welter kingpin Michele Di Rocco, 21-1-1 (9), won his fourth in a row by outpointing Hungary's Janos Petrovics, 14-21 (7), after six rounds at welter and Sven Paris, 26-3 (18), belted out Romanian southpaw Leonid Smetanca, 5-6 (0), in the second at welterweight.
Boxing News Tags: Betina Gabriela Garino, Boxing Results, Emanuela Pantani, Gianluca Branco, Giuseppe Lauri, Janos Petrovics, Juho Tolppola, Leonid Smetanca, Matt Skelton, Michele Di Rocco, Paolo Vidoz, Sven Paris, Ville Piispanen