Mirko Natalizi (Rome, now 12-0, 7 KOs) defeated on points Rico Mueller (Germany, now 28-5-1) for the vacant WBC International Silver super welterweight championship after 10 rounds. It’s the first title for Natalizi who is considered one of the most talented Italian fighters. In the featherweight division, former Italian champion Francesco Grandelli (now 16-1-2) beat on points Kane Baker (UK, now 17-9-1) after 10 rounds. The fight was entertaining with Grandelli knocking down Kane in the first round and Kane returning the favor in the second round. In the super welterweight division, talented Samuel Nmomah (now 17-0) defeated on points after 8 rounds former French champion Fouad El Massoudi (now 17-18-1). It’s the second victory against a national champion for Samuel Nmomah who stopped in three rounds Irish champion Craig O’Brien last October in Milan (O’Brien’s seconds threw in the towel).
former Italian super middleweight champion Ivan Zucco demolished in two rounds Serbian Marko Nikolic to win the vacant WBC International title. Zucco is now 16-0 (14 KOs) while Nikolic is 28-2 (12KOs). It was a spectacular fight with Nikolic hitting hard Zucco at the end of the first round and Zucco assaulting Nikolic at the start of second round, dropping him with a straight left to the chin and then again with a right hook to the jaw. After the second knock down, the referee looked Nikolic into the eyes and stopped the fight. “After Nikolic hit me hard to the face at the end of the first round I went back to my corner – Zucco said – and my father/trainer Andrea told me to calm down, to keep my hands up and don’t trade punches immediately, but I was too angry with Nikolic and wanted to hit him hard. After I sent Nikolic to the mat with that straight left to the chin, I realized that he was hurt and that I could try to knock him out. That’s what I did with that right hook to the jaw.”
For Zucco this is an important win that gives him a title that carries a lot of weight in the WBC. Many great fighters won and defended the WBC International title before becoming world champions. The three legendary fights between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales were for the WBC International title. Now Zucco will be rated among the first 15 super middleweights in the world by the WBC and this will open new doors for him. In Verbania, Zucco was supported by his hometown fans who chanted “Ivan, Ivan, Ivan” like fans in Italy do at the football stadium but not so often at boxing events. That’s how popular Ivan Zucco is in his hometown, a beautiful touristic place on Lake Maggiore. The show was promoted by Opi Since 82-Matchroom-DAZN, was streamed live by DAZN and is now avalaible on-demand.
Verbania Boxing Night: Tony Dixon out, Rico Mueller will fight Mirko Natalizi on April 22 in Italy
Milano, 16 April 2022 – On April 22 in Verbania, Piemonte region in Italy, Tony Dixon should have fought Mirko Natalizi (11-0 with 7 KOs) on the ten rounds distance for the vacant WBC International Silver super welterweight title. Dixon will be replaced by Rico Mueller (Germany, 28-4-1 with 19 KOs). Mueller won two IBO championships in the welterweight division being a former Youth and Intercontinental champion. In the super lightweight division he fought against Jeremias Nicolas Ponce for the vacant IBO World title on 14 September 2019 in Berlin (Germany) and lost on points by MD (118-110, 116-111 and 114-114). Mueller last fought on 31 July 2021 as a super welterweight losing inside the distance against Anthony Fowler. All in all, Rico Mueller represents a serious test for rising star Mirko Natalizi. The card will be streamed live by DAZN.