Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Munroe's mission with Maludrottu

RENDALL MUNROE will have home advantage when he defends his European super-bantamweight title against Simone Maludrottu later this year. The Leicester binman's promoter Frank Maloney won the purse bids yesterday and plans to stage the contest in the Midlands in late November. Maloney has also applied for the fight to be given eliminator status for the WBC 122lb held by Toshiaki Nishioka. Munroe (19-1) is ranked second by the governing body for the Japanese star's crown, while the Italian is eighth in the latest published ratings. Maludrottu (29-2) is one of the most experienced campaigners on the continent having previously held the European bantamweight title and fought for the WBC crown in the same weight class. The Sardinian won the European 118lb crown in September 2004 and made eight unbeaten defences before relinquishing three years later. Maludrottu is familiar to British fans having made seen off challenges from Damaen Kelly and Ian Napa while European champion. In April 2006 he was considered lucky to get a points verdict over Kelly in Belfast, but when they fought a rematch in Maludrottu's hometown Olbia seven months later, the Irishman was stopped in three rounds. Napa was next up in March 2007, but was no match for the accomplished champion going down clearly on points. In January 2008 Maludrottu was handed his world title chance, but like so many before him found winning in Japan a bridge too far, losing on points to brilliant Hozumi Hasegawa. Since then he has won three non-title fights and promises to be Munroe's toughest challenger to date. Southpaw Munroe, 29, has moved into world title contention since shocking Kiko Martinez to win his European belt in March 2008. He had made four defences including a repeat win over the Spaniard in February. He last boxed in May when he unanimously outpointed Ghana's Issac Nettey to claim the Commonwealth crown.


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