By Per-Ake Persson
Spanish middleweight veteran Jorge "El Savaje" Sendra, 29-4-2, returns to action on June 28 in Castelldefels for a farewell fight. Sendra went into semi-retirement in 2006 but made comeback of sorts in 2011 and will now have a final fight. Opponent is Argentinian Juan Alberto Barsena, a veteran not known for winning but for lasting the distance.
There were many headlines some ten years ago when Sendra failed to pass the MRI scan due to the remains of a bullet in the back of his head. This led to that Jorge was unable to challenge then EBU middleweight champ Howard Eastman on British soil and eventually the fight fell through. Sendra later fought Frenchman Morrade Hakkar for the vacant EBU title but lost a split decision.
Sendra, who began his career in South Africa, also held the Mundo Hispano, EU and Spanish titles and fought Felix Sturm for the WBO I/C belt.
Rakhim Chakiev lost to WBC cruiser champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk this past weekend and thus also loses his position as mandatory challenger for EBU champ Mateusz Masternak.
With hindsight it´s easy to see that the talented Russian was in too soon against an experienced champ like Wlodarczyk. Had he instead fought Masternak first and gained some valuable knowledge on fighting long distance fights he might have pulled it off.
EBU superlightweight champ Michele Di Rocco, now have Irishman Paul McCloskey, 24-2, as official challenger.
The parties now have a period for private negotiations. If no agreement can be reached the EBU will call for purse bids.
By Per-Åke Persson
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