It was a double disaster for the loyal boxing fans of Douai, France, as popular local favorites Farid Chebabha and Mohamed Merah both came up short on Friday night, March 20, in World Boxing Federation (WBF) championship fights at a packed Salle Gayant.
Chebabha, making his second defense of the WBF International Light Welterweight title he won in April 2014, boxed wisely in the first round and got off to a perfect start when he knocked down Italian Challenger Marco Siciliano with a right to the temple.
But Siciliano brawled his way back into the fight, and on several occasions it was toe-to-toe action and a great fight for the fans. Siciliano conclusively took over in the second half of the fight, and finished with a very strong last round to put an extra stamp on what was likely the best performance of his career.
Judges Jean-Marcel Nartz and Jacqui Vaillant both scored the ten rounder 95-94 in favor of Marco Siciliano, improving his record to 11-3 (5), while Christophe Hembert had it 95-94 for Chebabha, who drops to 16-3-4 (1). Referee was Mufadel Elghazaoui.
After forfeiting the crown last year when he lost a challenge for another organizations title, Mohamed Merah failed to regain the vacant WBF International Light Heavyweight championship in the co-featured bout against tough co-challenger Tomas Adamek from the Czech Republic.
In another good, hard and close fight, the local man got the short end of of a majority decision, as judges Jacqui Vaillant and Mufadel Elghazaoui scored it 98-92, which seemed too wide, and 96-94 for Adamek, and judge Jean-Marcel Nartz had it all even at 95-95. In charge of the action was referee Christophe Hembert.
New champion Tomas “Jumbo” Adamek improved his professional record to 22-10-2 (8), and Mohamed Merah falls to 12-3-3 (4). The show was promoted by Douai Boxing Club and Rani Fellouki.