Magnificent seven - Trento, next stop for OPI & Matchroom

Luca Rosi
08/10/2019 8:33pm

Luca Rosi speaks to Christian Cherchi about the next joint promotion between OPI Since 82 and Matchroom Boxing, which takes place this Friday night...

Following a night of high drama in Florence on 19 September, during which the ‘Savage’ Sam Eggington brutally put an end to Orlando Fiordigiglio’s world title dreams, the OPI Since 82 and Matchroom Boxing partnership has a new venue for its seventh show.

Another night of championship boxing that promises fireworks in the ring is in store at the PalaTrento on 11 October. As part of the annual sports festival organised by the Gazzetta dello Sport in Trento, fans will get to see all the action for free. And topping off a great night of fighting, they will also be able to rub shoulders with two legends of the sport: Roberto Duran and Julio Cesar Chavez.

Christian Cherchi spoke to Boxing Monthly about the key fights and protagonists.

“We have another stacked card with Fabio Turchi headlining and defending his WBC international cruiserweight title against Northern Ireland’s Tommy McCarthy. Turchi had to pull out through injury last time, but there’s no doubting that this is a step up for him and his biggest test since Tony Conquest back in November. McCarthy is full of confidence, especially as he’s already fought and won in Rome on our last show. This should be a tremendous fight.

“Matteo Signani who as mandatory challenger was due to face Kamil Szeremeta [the Pole recently vacated his belt to fight on the Golovkin-Derevyanchenko card at MSG last weekend] will now be fighting the Armenian born Dutchman, Gevorg Khatchikian for the vacant European middleweight title.

"Khatchikian is ranked three by the EBU, is very experienced and has only two losses [against Gilberto Ramirez and James Degale] in 31. He’s on a six fight winning streak, so he’ll be full of confidence to cause an upset. Signani is 40 now so it’s a golden opportunity for him to grab the title that eluded him in 2016, when he dropped a close split decision to Blandamura.

"Then we have another Italy-England face off with Italian champion Francesco Grandelli taking on Watford’s Reece Bellotti for the WBC international silver featherweight title in what again has the makings of a very entertaining contest.

“Light middle, Mirko Natalizi, who has been a regular on our shows will be having his seventh professional contest and light heavy Valentino Manfredonia will be fighting again after his Rome debut. Samuel Gonzalez, a Venezuelan light welter who is based at the OPI Gym in Milan is also on the bill.

“I cannot emphasise how important being part of the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Trento Festival of Sport is and as ever working with our broadcasting partner DAZN to raise the profile of boxing in Italy.”

British viewers can watch all the action from Trento live on Sky Sports Arena (ch. 408)

And it doesn’t stop there! Another sell-out in Milan is expected (Allianz Cloud, 25 October), featuring fans’ favourite and exciting unbeaten super middleweight, Daniele Scardina. Francesco Patera will also be defending his European lightweight crown. More to come!