Boxing

Moore vs Piccirillo For Vacant European Light-Middleweight Belt - Who Wins?

by James Slater - Exciting southpaw Jamie Moore of Salford, UK finally gets a crack at the European light-middleweight title in March. Last year, the 30-year-old had to twice suffer the annoying postponement tactics then European champ Zaurbek Baysanguro employed, and wound up getting nothing but a load of frustration in the end. Postponing once, okay - but twice? It seemed to many concerned, not least Moore, as though the 23-year-old Russian was playing games and was hell bent on avoiding the Brit. This view holds water when one considers how Baysanguro eventually decided to vacate his title and fight an international bout with Cornelius "K-9" Bundradge back in December of 2008 - a fight which the Russian was beaten via 5th round stoppage..

After having wasted Moore's precious time, the Russian is now well and truly off the southpaw's radar, and Moore can focus his attention on the man he will now meet for the belt Baysanguro gave up - Italy's 38-year-old Michele Piccirillo. The two men will meet in Lancashire, UK on March 6th. After waiting so long for his shot, the man who has held the Commonwealth, British and Irish 154-pound titles, will be in no mood to fail now. Can he become only the fifth man to beat the former IBF welterweight and former European welterweight and light-middleweight champion?

Moore, 30-3(21) is the younger, fresher man, and he will also enjoy home country advantage. Winner in his last ten fights, or since his avenged DQ loss to Michael Jones, Moore is as ready as can be for his move into European, and, hopefully afterwards, world title level. However, though he may be 38, the Italian boxer remains a class act. Losing a spirited effort against defending WBC 154-pound king Vernon Forrest via an 11th round TKO back in December of 2007, "The Gentleman" proved he is still decent enough. Piccirillo will also arguably be Moore's most accomplished foe to date. As such March's fight is no gimme for the man who is best friends with Ricky Hatton.

The Forrest TKO aside, the Italian veteran has a clean sheet when it comes to KO losses. Both durable and good at the defensive side of the game, Piccirillo is not a guy Moore will be able to steam into and hit at will - far from it. The former champion's game-plan will surely be to out-box and maybe frustrate his younger rival, and for at least a few rounds he may well do so. Before Moore's sheer desire and physical strength begins to take over.

Piccirillo, 50-4(29) has won two six-rounders in a row since the Forrest loss, both this year, and he remains hungry. Moore, though, is absolutely starving! This writer feels Moore's youth and determination will be served with a late stoppage win. Hopefully, and not to tempt fate, there will be no postponements involved in this match-up!

Article posted on 06.01.2009



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