BANTAM 56 KG - THURSDAY, 19 FEBRUARY (20:30 GMT+1)
Location: Paris – Venue: Palais des Sports Marcel-Cerdan
The tenth, and final AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Inaugural Champion was crowned in Paris, and it was the fantastic French fighter Khedafi Djelkhir who clinched the Bantamweight (56 kg) belt over Argentina’s Alberto Melian.
This was a rematch of an earlier APB match which was won by Melian, and after the first round of action it looked like a repeat result was on the horizon.
South America’s superstar Melian took the first frame on all three scorecards, but spurred on by his many fans in the arena, Djelkhir struck back to win the next two rounds and assert his dominance on the high-level contest.
Before the fight started, it was suggested that due to Djelkhir’s longer round experience, and Melian’s propensity to fade towards the end of fights that the European fighter would have the advantage in the latter stages of the bout, and that proved accurate as Djelkhir took complete control and won all of the four remaining rounds in the match.
The energy, skill and flair of Djelkhir was a joy to watch, and Melian will come again in the competition.
A clearly emotional new Champion celebrated with his title belt after the match, and the jubilation will no doubt continue for a long time to come.
- 20:30: Sergey VODOPIYANOV (RUS) vs Yoni BLANCO (VEN) W.O.
(Exhibition Match: Sangmyeong HAM (KOR) W.P. (59:55/ 59:55/ 59:55) vs Yoni BLANCO (VEN))
- 21:00: Jiawei ZANG (CHN) W.P. (59:55/ 59:55/ 59:55) vs Robenilson VIEIRA DE JESUS (BRA)
- 21:30: Benson NJANGIRU (KEN) W.O. vs Javid CHALABIYEV (AZE)
(Exhibition Match: Benson NJANGIRU (KEN) vs Hakan ERSEKER (GER) W.P. (56:58/ 57:57/ 56:58))
- 22:00: Alberto MELIAN (ARG) vs Khedafi DJELKHIR (FRA) W.P. (74:78/ 74:78/ 74:78) (APB Inaugural Champion)