Former title-holders Hassan N’Dam and Masayuki Ito both victorious
Last week, in Calvi, France, former world champion and now campaigning at super-middleweight Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam scored a points win.
When pushing his record to 38-5, N’Jikam secured an eight-round decision over Gabor Gorbics.
Also, on the bill, middleweight Bruno Surace remained undefeated at 19-0-2 by out-scoring Nodar Robakidze.
Reporter Eric Armit picks up what took place.
N’Jikam vs. Gorbics
In his first fight for nineteen months, N’Jikam outpoints a willing but limited Gorbics. The former holder of the secondary WBA middleweight title N’Jikam took a couple of rounds to get into his stride but then looked sharp as he worked well with his jab and weakened Gorbics with some meaty body punches.
The referee automatically scored this super middleweight fight, who saw N’Jikam the winner 80-73. N’Jikam, 37, suffered consecutive losses to Callum Smith and Fedor Chudinov in 2019, so he has a rebuilding job on his hands, and there is talk of a fight with unbeaten Christian Mbilli.
Hungarian Gorbics is 0-1-8 in his last 9 fights.
Surace vs. Robakidze
French champion Surace was given six rounds of useful work by a tougher than expected Georgian Robakidze. Surace moved to 16 wins in a row as the referee scored the fight 58-56 for him. Robakidze is now 0-1-32 in contests outside of Georgia.
Over in Asti, Italy, middleweight Etinosa Oliha is now 15-0 following a points win over Francesco Lezzi (14-18-2).
Also, on the bill, 175-pounder Adriano Sperandio defeated Stefano Abatangelo.
Oliha vs. Lezzi
Hometown fighter Oliha retains the Italian middleweight title with a comfortable victory over Lezzi. Oliha was forcing the fight from the first bell, and apart from a couple of good rights from Lezzi in the third that stopped the champion in his tracks, Oliha controlled the fight.
He had Lezzi on the back foot and rocked him in the seventh and had him on the verge of going down with a right in the eighth.
Despite that, Lezzi made it the bell but was a clear loser on 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. The second defence of the title by unbeaten Oliha. Lezzi is now 0-4 in Italian title fights but blamed his poor showing on an arm injury.
Sperandio vs. Abatangelo
In another Italian championship bout, Sperandio successfully defended the light heavyweight belt with a very close unanimous decision over former champion Abatangelo.
The challenger could consider himself unlucky. He put Sperandio under pressure from the start. Sperandio had a longer reach and better skills. But Abatangelo forced the champion to spend most of the fight inside.
Sperandio created some space over the middle rounds and impressed with his greater accuracy when countering the oncoming Abatangelo. As Sperandio tired late, and with a strong finish, Abatangelo looked to have done enough to merit at least a draw but came up short on the cards with the judges scoring it for Sperandio 97-93, 96-94and 96-95.
Sperandio was making the first defense of the title. Abatangelo, 39, is 2-4 in Italian title fights.
On July 3rd in Tokyo, Japan, Lightweight Masayuki Ito moved to 27-3-1 via a TKO 8 of Valentine Hosokawa. The latter drops to 25-9-3.
Former WBO super featherweight champion Ito impresses as he is sharp from the start and outclasses Hosokawa.
Now up at lightweight Ito was finding the target with straight rights from the start.
The smaller Hosokawa could not get past Ito’s jab. As Ito began to put his punches together and connect with left hooks and body punches, only Hosokawa’s durability kept him in the fight.
In the sixth, Hosokawa was staggered by a straight right, and when a following left hook had him reeling, the referee came in and saved Hosokawa.
Ito made his initial move to lightweight after losing his WBO title to Jamal Herring in May 2019 but suffered an upset loss to unbeaten novice Hironori Mishiro.
He had questions to answer, so there was a lot of interest in how he would look in this fight under a new trainer, and he looked good.
At 40 and almost 5” smaller, Hosokawa had nothing but his grit going for him, but winning the Japanese super lightweight title in 2017 in his seventeenth year as a pro was a popular victory.