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Boxing In Europe: Saturday Night Preview

There are a few good shows on the continent tonight, with the bill at Burg-Waechter Castello in Dusseldorf, Germany taking centre stage.

The card is headlined by a European Union Heavyweight title battle between Germany based Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta, 18-0 (11), and England based Pole, Albert Sosnowski, 44-2 (27).

Pianeta has been on a good winning streak over the last year, putting the first loss on American prospect Mike Marrone's record for the WBC Youth title before winning the EU crown when Welshman Scott Gammer injured a hand in the eighth frame.

The 24 year old Gelsenkirschen resident spoiled another perfect record while retaining his belt by decisioning Johann Duhaupas in December.

30 year old Sosnowski comes into the bout on the strength of a shocking eighth round stoppage of former world title challenger Danny Williams of Britain in November but will be the underdog against the younger champion in the bout.

The most important contest on the card will be the continuing matriculation of 2004 Olympic Gold Medal winner Alexander Povetkin, 16-0 (12), who meets America's Jason Estrada, 15-1 (3), scheduled for ten rounds at heavyweight.

Russia's Povetkin has made great strides in his young career and holds wins against Eddie Chambers, Chris Byrd and Taurus Sykes in his last three contests.

The 29 year old from Moscow is pencilled in to meet heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the near future, should Klitschko defeat David Haye this summer.

But ready to spoil Povetkin's world title plans is former American Olympian Estrada, who has been clamoring to face Povetkin since they were never able to meet in the amateurs.

Chambers showed that a fighter with a good jab and quick hands can give Povetkin real problems and there lies Estrada's best hope in pulling off an upset in Dusseldorf.

But Povetkin showed a good chin and stamina in the Chambers fight, winning the bout because he could fight at a decent pace for all 12 rounds and that could be a real issue for Estrada in the bout.

The American has never been past 10 rounds, nor has faced as a professional an opponent of Povetkins caliber. With three stoppages over 15 wins, Estrada likely won't have the pop to keep Povetkin off and to win this one will have to outhustle and outbox the Russian in every round.

At La Cubierta in Leganes, Spain, 41 year old former WBC light middle and WBO middleweight champion Javier Castillejo, 62-8 (43), returns to the ring after a year out to face 33 year old Madrid rival and Spanish light middle titlist Pablo Navascues, 23-1 (16), over ten rounds at middleweight.

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