Viva España! Christian Cherchi interview
Ahead of Matchroom Boxing Spain’s inaugural show on Thursday, which will take place on 12 December at the Palau Olimpic Vall D’Hebron (an indoor venue created for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics), BM chatted to Christian Cherchi of OPI Since 82, the event co-promoters, to get the lowdown on another fantastic night of fight action – with two European titles on the line...
“Just to clarify, our partnership is with Matchroom Boxing Italy so that is and remains our focus," Cherchi said. "However, we were asked to organise this first event with Matchroom Boxing Spain, so it’s a great honour for us. Of course we have to underline the ongoing support of DAZN, who as always will be televising the event.
“We have a fantastic card with two European title fights, an intriguing all-Spanish clash, and the pro debut of a kickboxing sensation. Plenty to keep the fans on the edge of their seats.
Sandor Martin vs. Joe Hughes for the European light welterweight title promises to be a very competitive fight. Martin has only two losses while Hughes is a former European champion himself, having beaten Andrea Scarpa on our first Florence show. I thought he was a little unlucky to lose last time out against Robbie Davies Jr. The hard-hitting David Avanesyan, who twice defeated the much feared Kerman Lejarraga, will be defending his European welterweight crown against Jose Del Rio, who although the underdog, is a very tough, durable fighter.
“We have a very interesting match-up over 10 rounds for the Spanish lightweight title between the unbeaten Samuel Molina against local boy Ivan Tomas who lost last time out suffered a TKO loss against Devis Boschiero [for the vacant IBF intercontinental super feather title]. Tomas is now back at his natural weight, so he should be much more comfortable.
"Samuel Gonzalez, a Venezuelan based in Milan is up against London 2012 Olympian Jonathan ‘Maravilla’ Alonso, who lost to Alberto Puello for interim WBA belt in his last outing, and has fought in the US five times. This is a scheduled 10 round fight at light welterweight.
“Mohammed Obbadi, who is the mandatory challenger for the European flyweight title [held by Swansea’s Jay Harris] and ranked in the top 10 by the WBA, will also be showcasing his talents. And kickboxing phenom Artur Kyshenko will be having his first professional boxing contest. The Ukrainian, managed by Egis Klimas, will be fighting over six rounds at super middleweight.”
Hughes top of the bill
Joe Hughes will be seeking to win the European title for the second time. Although the Malmesbury light welterweight is in for a tough night against the hometown favourite, the 29-year-old remains bullish, “I’m excited to be getting another shot at the European title, travelling as the away fighter as usual, which is something I’ve become fully accustomed to. Martin is a very good fighter and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I feel good and my weight is on track nicely. We’ll be flying out to Barcelona on Tuesday morning, as there is no need to acclimatise, so a couple of days is plenty.”
The event will be broadcast live on DAZN