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Boxing In France: Thomas Challenges Cruz For IBF Belt In Saint-Quentin

Former two-time European Featherweight Champion Cyril Thomas gets a long awaited world title bid tonight at the Palais Des Sport in Saint-Quentin, France when he challenges Mexico's IBF titlist Cristobal Cruz.

31 year old Cruz, 37-11-1 (23), of Tijuana, has faced tough competition over his 17 year career but bounced back from two losses in 2007 to win the IBO and IBF crowns in a lively 2008 for the big-hearted veteran.

Local man Thomas, 33-2-4 (10), hasn't lost a contest in nearly three years and the 32 year old stylist comes into the clash as the reigning IBF International beltholder.

Cruz is known for throwing a tremendous number of punches and simply outworked Thomas Mashaba and Orlando Salido in big fights last year but the results were very close.

The Mexican tourist fought both bouts on neutral ground in America but tonight will be in Thomas' backyard and that could spur on Cruz to press hard for the stoppage victory.

Both of Thomas' losses have been by knockout and the Frenchman could have a very hard time against Cruz as it will be difficult to either outhustle the busy champion or put a dent in his iron chin.

The undercard looks to be a good one as South African former world lightweight title challenger Phillip N'dou, 31-3 (30), makes a return to the ring after a nearly five year hiatus to meet hard as nails French light welter Rachid Drilzane, 15-6 (1), in a six rounder.

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