Italian light middleweight champion Adriano Nicchi is perfectly aware that the boxing world sees him as an underdog in his upcoming European title challenge against Sergey Rabchenko in Monaco on March 30.
Rabchenko represents a serious step up in competition and will be the best opponent the Italian will have faced. A decorated amateur, the UK-based Belarussian is unbeaten in 22 professional bouts and hasn’t come close to defeat.
Moreover, he is trained by former champion Ricky Hatton, who sees in Rabchenko a future star.
Yet Nicchi (20-3-2, 9 KOs) remains convinced he possesses the tools to surprise the fans at the historic Chapiteau de Fontvieille venue.
Nicchi, hailing from Arezzo, Italy, plans to be the third boxer from that town to become European champ.
“The legendary Mario D’Agata and later on Efrem Calamati already put Arezzo on the map, but I believe in my heart I will be the third one from my hometown to raise the European laurels,” said the usually quiet Nicchi.
“I know Rabchenko and I don’t underestimate him, I know he is a champ. Still, I saw his last fight versus Cedric Vitu and I noticed some flaws in his game . . . no need to say I plan to take advantage of those flaws.”
The Italian contender is training under his father’s guidance in their family-owned gym, and doesn’t seem fazed by his opponent’s international stature: “I respect Rabchenko, I respect Ricky Hatton as a trainer and I know Hatton Promotions put their charge in the best professional environment – but I got a caring promoter as well, and I trust my promoter Rosanna Conti Cavini who has guided my career step by step in order to be ready for this title challenge. I am sorry for Rabchenko, but no way he will fight “Canelo” Alvarez next: I will derail his career in Monaco on March the 30th.”
The Nicchi-Rabchenko title fight will feature on the undercard of the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” tournament, a unique occasion bringing together four world class international boxers for a knockout event with a split purse of $1-million for the two finalists.