European champion Luca Rigoldi talks imminent Gamal Yafai title defence
On December 17 at historic Allianz Cloud in Milan (Italy) European super bantamweight champion Luca Rigoldi (Italy, 22-1-2 with 8 KOs) will defend the EBU title against official challenger Gamal Yafai (U.K. 17-1 with10 KOs) in the co-main of the show event promoted behind closed doors by Opi Since 82, Matchroom Boxing Italy and DAZN which will stream it live.
It’s the third defense for Rigoldi who won the vacant title defeating Jeremy Parodi in France and defended it against Anthony Settoul and Oleksandr Yegorov. Talented Gamal Yafai had a good amateur career winning the bronze medal at the European championships in Moscow in 2010.
As a pro Yafai became British Commonwealth and WBC International super bantamweight champion. He lost only against Gavin McDonnell, who had superior experience having fought twice for the world title.
Luca, did you watch Gamal Yafai’s fights?
“No, I never watch my opponent’s fights. I leave that job to my coach Gino Freo. I trained as usual with my friend Devis Boschiero, former European super featherweight champion.
I started training last June because this fight had been scheduled for March, but the lockdown canceled it. When the lockdown was over nobody knew when promoters would have been able to promote events again. I knew that I had to fight in December about one month and half ago, but I was already training and in top shape.”
Gamal Yafai had a nice amateur career. What about you.
“I became regional champion in 2013 and 2014. I won the bronze medal at the Italian championships in 2013 and 2014. I won the silver medal at the tournament Les Ceintures in Paris in 2014. I took part to an event promoted at legendary Gleason’s Gym in New York. I never competed for the Italian national team.”
How much do you train when you fight for the European belt?
“it depends, I train one or twice a day. In the morning I do athletic work while in the evening I go to the gym for my boxing training.”
While you train do you have a famous fighter in mind that you would like to emulate? Or did you have it in the past?
“I don’t try and I never tried to copy the boxing style of a famous fighter. As a human being, I like Manny Pacquiao because he still is an humble man who makes charity and who likes to stay among common people.”
In the main event Devis Boschiero (Italy, 48-6-2 with 22 KOs) will fight Francesco Patera
(Belgium, 23-3 with 8 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver lightweight title. Also on the card, IBF world super featherweight champion Maiva Hamadouche (France, 21-1 with 17 KOs) will defend against Nina Pavlovic (Serbia, 6-3-1 con 1 KO). Euro super lightweight champion Sandor Martin (Spain, 36-2 with 13 KOs) will fight Nestor Maradiaga (Nicaragua, 8-9-1, with 4 KOs) in a non title affair on the 8 rounds distance. Roman super welterweight prospect Mirko Natalizi (8-0 with 5 KOs) will fight Manuel Largacha (Panama, 9-9-6 with 4 KOs) on the 8 rounds distance. Opening the show, Samuel Gonzalez (Venezuela, 22-7 with 13 KOs) will fight Nicola Henchiri (Italy, 8-3-2) on the 6 rounds distance.