Micki Nielsen (21-0, 14 KOs) overcame his toughest career test to retain his WBC International Cruiserweight title with a unanimous points victory against former World title challenger Mirko Larghetti (24-2, 14 KOs) last night at the Albertslund Musikateatret in Copenhagen.
Headlining his first event at his hometown arena, the Danish southpaw started strongly, working well behind his southpaw jab and punishing his opponent with heavy shots to the head and body. Larghetti, suffering from a swollen eye, looked to be in trouble in the opening rounds as he failed to keep up with Nielsen’s work rate.
Larghetti was forced to absorb more punishment as the rounds went on, with Nielsen, still in total control, finding the target with a series of combinations. Undeterred, the granite chinned Larghetti kept coming forward looking for his own openings.
The Italian’s persistence paid off as he begun to enjoy more success in the later rounds. However, Nielsen was able to hold off a late rally from Larghetti to successfully retain his WBC title with the judges scoring the fight 117-112, 116-112 and 116-112 in favour of the twenty-three year-old Champion.
‘’That was definitely the toughest fight of my career. Larghetti is a very strong fighter. He took a lot of punches and kept coming forward,’’ said Nielsen.
‘’I hurt my hand half way through the fight and had to adjust my game plan, but overall I was pleased with my performance. It was a very important fight for me. I feel like I’ve past the test and proved I’m ready for the bigger challenges.’’
Promoter Nisse Sauerland was impressed with what he saw from Nielsen and says the young Dane can become a dominant force in the cruiserweight division.
‘’Micki did himself proud tonight,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’That was a big step up for him, a real test of his ability, and he past with flying colours. At just twenty-three years old, Micki has a big future ahead of him. He can rule the cruiserweight division for many years to come.’’