Tonight, Jamie Moore could realize the potential he first saw come to fruition with a British and Commonwealth title win in 2003 as he contends for the European title.
Moore, 30-3 (21), meets Italy’s former IBF Welterweight Champion Michele Piccirillo, 50-4 (21), for the vacant European Light Middleweight title on a Frank maloney promotion at Robin Park Arena in Wigan, England.
For Moore, it’s been an excruciating wait for a chance to win the Continental crown as the Salford southpaw has seen scheduled clashes for the belt go down in flames through a kaleidoscope of injury, business politics and just plain bad luck.
The 30 year old Manchester area hero first shot to prominence in 2003 when he put the first loss on towering Liverpool man Michael Jones’ record, winning Jones’ Commonwealth title along with the British belt in a masterful display of educated pressure and sheer toughness.
Title defense stoppages of Gary Logan, Andrew Facey and Adam Katumwa followed suit and by June of 2004, Moore looked to be an unstoppable express bearing down on the European title and the world rankings.
But it was during that month that disaster struck in a Commonwealth defense against tough Accra, Ghana resident Ossie Duran.
Moore had injured a leg in training camp leading up to the bout and carried on with the scheduled bout anyway but suffered a re-occurrence of the injury during the bout.
The Englishman fought on anyway, but with only one good leg was a sitting duck for the African, who stopped Moore in the third.
Eight months later, Moore’s troubles were compounded when he was disqualified in the return bout against Michael Jones, losing the British title when he was determined to have hit Jones during a break by referee Dave Parris.
Undeterred, Moore got back in the ring with Jones straightaway and despite hitting the canvas twice in the third, regrouped to return the favor to Jones twice in the fifth before stopping the scouser in the sixth to recapture the British belt in July, 2005.
After stopping David Walker in a title defense and cruising through three stay busy bouts, Moore again put the British title at risk and this time was involved in perhaps the UK Fight of the Decade with Matthew Macklin in September, 2006.
In an unbelievable show of will, Macklin and Moore tore into each other in an astonishingly brutal contest that didn’t slow down until Moore KO’d the exhausted Macklin in the tenth round.
Moore has since won all five of his contests, waiting for a European title opportunity that seemed to pop up and disappear in a completely unpredictable fashion, besting former world welterweight title challenger Sebastian Lujan, Andrew Facey, Esau Herrera, Mugural Sebe and most recently, Ciaran Healy to add the Irish title to an already impressive trophy cabinet.
But can Moore step up to true world class at light middle for the first time in his career and turn back the comeback aspirations of Michele Piccirillo?
At 39, Piccirillo doesn’t seems to have lost a step and the former European Welter and Light Middle Champ has been in the ring with far better opponents than Moore has ever met.
The resume of Piccirillo reads very well, containing the names of Cory Spinks, Vernon Forrest, Ricardo Mayorga, Rafael Pineda and many other quality fighters.
The Italian will have likely seen many times over anything Moore can bring into the bout, but whether or not the Modugno resident can stop Moore from finally realizing the long awaited dream of winning the European title is another matter.