European Union featherweight champion Mauro Forte (14-0-1 with 5 KOs) will be back in the ring next April 16 against Nicaragua’s Cristan Narvaez (16-24-6) on the six rounds distance (no title on the line of course) in the show promoted at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy, by Opi Since 82-Matchroom-DAZN and streamed live by DAZN.
In the main event, Fabio Turchi (18-1 with 13 KOs) will challenge French champion Dylan Bregeon (11-0-1 with 3 KOs) for the vacant European Union cruiserweight belt on the 12 rounds distance.
Francesco Patera (Belgium) and Vladislav Melnyk (Ukraine) will fight for the vacant WBC Silver lightweight title on the 12 rounds distance. Undefeated supermiddleweights Ivan Zucco (12-0 with 10 KOs) and Luca Capuano (11-0 with 2 KOs) will fight for the vacant Italian title on the 10 rounds distance.
Born in Rome 27 years ago, Mauro Forte had a good amateur career wiining the Italian Golden Glove tournament, a silver medal at the Italian championship and making it to the national team. He debuted in the professional ranks on April 2016 and became Italian featherweight champion, WBC Mediterranean champion and IBF International champion. Mauro Forte recently signed with Opi Since 82 ran by Salvatore Cherchi and his sons Alessandro and Christian.
“We signed Mauro Forte because we believe in him – said Alessandro Cherchi – and we think that he will go a long way. Right now, he is number 5 in the EBU ranking, he was n.3 but he moved down two spots because an injury forced him to stay inactive since December 2019. As European Union champion, he has the credentials to challenge the European champion and that’s what we all want to do.”
The current European featherweight champion is Andoni Gago (24-3-3. Spain) who will defend the title against Gavin McDonnell (22-2-2, U.K.) next April 23 in Barcelona (Spain).
Mauro, how long have you been training for this fight?
“I started training one month and half ago, but only in the evening. I work from 08.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and therefore I go to the gym at 05.30 p.m. For a six-rounds fight, three weeks of intense training are enough. So, two weeks ago I quit the job and started training twice a day: one hour and half in the morning and one hour and half in the evening. In the morning I work with athletic coach Massimiliano Gasperini. In the evening, I go to the Golden Power gym in Rome, to prepare with boxing coach Emiliano Filippi who is with me since I was an amateur.”
Who are your sparring partners?
“Pro-fighters Carmine Tommasone, Vincenzo La Femina e Daniel Spada. I consider sparring a very important moment of the training. I spar almost every night.”
Do you know Cristian Narvaez?
“Yes, I saw him fight against Francesco Grandelli. I consider Cristian Narvaez a good boxer who moves a lot and counterpunches. He can take a punch too. I don’t underrate him.”
Do you consider yourself a boxer or a fighter?
“A boxer but I like to always move forward and put pressure on my opponent.”
Do you have any champion as a role-model?
“I like Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford and Vasily Lomachenko for their boxing skills and their speed. As a fan, my favorite fighter was Miguel Angel Cotto. I also liked Mike Tyson who was considered a knock out artist but who also had great defensive skills (at least in the early phase of his career).”
Who will win between Andoni Gago and Gavin McDonnell?
“I consider McDonnell the favorite. I saw them fight and I consdier both of them beatable. Fighting against Gago or McDonnell is the same for me, I want to become European champion.”