To kick off a busy weekend of World Boxing Federation title fight action, new WBF champions were crowned in Brazil and France on Friday night, December 5, as local fan-favorites fended off tough opposition in impressive performances.
With Brazilian legend Acelino Freitas officially on his support-team, and fighting in front of a sizable crowd at the Hangar Convention Center in his hometown of Belem, Isaac Rodriguez (30) went toe-to-toe with Mexican co-challenger Jose Pinzon to win the vacant WBF World Middleweight title in thrilling fashion.
Promoted by UC Promocoes Ltda., the fight was all action from the start, with neither fighter willing to take a backwards step. Both had their moments, and since both showed considerable punching-power it was a fight that could end at any moment.
The end didn’t come until round eight, at which point the crowd had been treated to some ferocious exchanges and a few shaky moments for the hometown-hero, when Rodrigues landed a beautiful left uppercut, right hook combination that send Pinzon hard to the canvas and referee Juan Jose Ramirez stopped the fight at 2:31 of the round.
The new WBF World Middleweight Champion improved his professional record to 21-2 (17), and is now due to fight Interim champion Gevorg Khatchikian (21-1, 9 KOs) from the Netherlands next year. Jose Pinzon falls to 25-8 (16), but is young enough at 27 to rebuild and come again.
At the Palais des sports Robert Charpentier in Issy Les Moulineaux, France, Algerian-born Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf captured his careers first professional title by defeating Croatian Toni Visic for the vacant WBF Intercontinental Cruiserweight crown.
With Benmaklouf attempting to be the aggressor in the fight, Visic was doing his best to counter-punch, and both managed to succeed, while not a lot. It was at times a sloppy fight, and none of the boxers was able to take full control.
Benmakhlouf was cut on the cheek in round ten after an accidental foul, but managed to pull through as Visic became more aggressive at the end. In the final round the visitor tried his best to find the punch to stop Benmakhlouf, but it was too late.
Judges Jacquy Vaillant and Mufadel Elghazaoui both scored the fight 115-113 for Benmakhlouf, while Smail Alitouche had it slightly wider at 115-112.
Benmakhlouf, who’s only defeat in the last six years was on points to the legendary Roy Jones Jr., can now celebrate Christmas with a 20-4-1 (10) record, while Tony Visic drops to a misleading 15-16-1 after winning five of his previous six bouts.
The Benmakhlouf vs. Visic WBF Intercontinental Cruiserweight title fight was part of a big show promoted by Nasser Lalaoui, which also included the second fight back for former world Cruiserweight Champion Jean Marc Mormec since losing a world Heavyweight title-challenge to Wladimir Klitschko.