World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Heavyweight Champion Tony Averlant retained his title on Friday night, March 6, with a unanimous decision over American challenger Shawn Miller at the Salle Du Palais des Sports in Saint Quentin, France.
In a sometimes messy encounter, promoted by Pascal Cordier and Bleu Ciel Production, Averlant and Miller each tried to apply their tactics, but it was the boxing of the champion which prevailed over the pressure and brawling of the challenger.
Miller, who was deducted a point in round ten due to a head-but, was always dangerous and determined, but never really managed to get a hold of the clever-boxing Averlant, who did what he had to do to score points and win a majority of the rounds.
In the end, judges Sergio Sotelo (Mexico) and Brahim Ait Aaid (Belgium) both scored the fight 116-111, while judge Jean-Marcel Nartz (Germany) had it a little closer at 115-112, all in favor of Averlant. Referee was Christophe Hembert (France).
31-year-old Averlant, who won the WBF world title last May by defeating German Serdar Sahin, improved his professional record to 21-8-2 (4), and Miller (32), the current WBF North American Champion from Troy, New York, falls to 14-2-1 (5).
Also on Friday March 6, on a show televised live throughout Europe on Eurosport from the Bruno Gehrke Halle in Berlin, Germany, Algerian Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf captured the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Cruiserweight title, beating Hungarian Gabor Halasz.
Having won the WBF Intercontinental title in a mediocre performance last December, Benmakhlouf made something of a statement by coming out determined from the first bell, and impressively stopping the usually tough Halasz in the very first round.
After cutting off the ring nicely, a perfectly placed over-hand right from Benmakhlouf knocked Halasz out cold, and referee Zbigniew Lagosz immediately waved the fight off without counting as the Hungarian dramatically crashed to the canvas.
This was the fourth straight victory for Benmakhlouf, since dropping a decision to legendary former WBF world Champion Roy Jones Jr. in December 2013, and the crowning moment of a professional career that started almost eleven years ago.
The new world champion, based in and fighting out of France, is now 21-4-1 (11), while Halasz lost for the first time in ten fights and drops to 36-16 (15).