Local contender Jean Pierre Bauwens, 42-4-2 (24), is the main attraction when promoter Claude Van den Heede presents the 20th anniversary show of the Gentboksgala, Friday December 1 at the Topsporthal Vlanderen in Ghent, Belgium.
In a rematch of a 2010 draw, Bauwens will face extremely experienced Spain-based Dominican, and former Spanish and European Union Champion, Ruddy Encarnacion, 37-26-4 (18), for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Lightweight title.
A pro for ten years but still only twenty-nine, Bauwens is himself also a former European Union Champion, and has only tasted defeat on points in title fights against quality opponents Ruben Nieto (12-0), Manuel Lancia (12-1-1), Steve Jamoye (19-3-1) and Isa Chaniev (10-1).
He will now get a chance to set the record straight against Encarnacion, seven years after the Madrid-resident put the first blemish on his record in a ten-rounder at the same venue where they will go again on December 1.
Encarnacion (38) has faced some of the absolute best boxers Europe has to offer between Featherweight and Light Welterweight, and anyone would be foolish to look at his many losses and assume they are in for an easy ride.
From current WBF World Champion Patrick Kinigamazi and former WBC World Champion Vitali Tajbert, to top-contenders Kevin Mitchell and Martin Joseph Ward, everyone has had a hard time with “El Lobo Negro”, just as Bauwens had in their original meeting.
And promoter Van den Heede is well aware of the risks for his charge, recently telling Belgian media:
“Just this past June, Encarnacion went twelve hard rounds in France for the European Super Featherweight title against Guillaume Frenois, who has forty-four victories and only one loss. To do that at thirty-eight years old, shows that he is super-fit and super professional. This is a very dangerous fight for Bauwens!”
The five-bout card will also include a bout for the Belgian Welterweight crown, between reigning champion Meriton Karaxha and challenger Jean Pierre Habimana.