BN Preview: Emiliano Marsili, at 47, will become the oldest European champion in history if able to beat Welshman Gavin Gwynne

By Matt Bozeat

THE record books may be rewritten at the York Hall on Friday night (December 1) when Gavin Gwynne meets Emiliano Marsili for the vacant European lightweight championship.

At the age of 47 years, three months and 21 days, Marsili, a southpaw from Civitavecchia in Italy, can become the oldest to win European honours.

The record is currently held by another Italian, Gianluca Branco, who was 44 years, two months and two days old when he won the 147lbs belt in November 2014.

Marsili already holds surely the longest current unbeaten record in pro boxing. He is 42-0-1 in a career that started way back in May, 2003. The only blemish was a 10-round split draw against Giovanni Niro in November 2006 – some 17 years ago. Niro went on to retire with a 14-0-2 record, while Marsili has carried on – and on.

British fans may remember him stopping Liverpool’s Derry Mathews in seven rounds in January 2012, the only time Marsili has fought outside Italy.

He was forced out of a fight with Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC belt in June 2016 through illness and his career has peaked with his four defences of the European championship (2013-2015).

Gwynne has watched Marsili on You Tube, looked at his record and concluded: “His time’s up.”

The 33-year-old Welshman (from Treharris in the County of Merthyr Tydfil) has a good story himself, the comparative toddler became a champion at the third attempt after losses to Joe Cordina and James Tennyson.

Gwynne went on to become Commonwealth champion by breaking Sean McComb’s heart and he’s gone on to add the British title, outpointing Luke Willis for the vacant belt and defending twice, against former sparring partner Craig Woodruff.

They fought out a draw in a domestic fight-of-the-year contender last September before Gwynne won the rematch in five.

Woodruff simply couldn’t stay with Gwynne, a 6ft tall punching machine from Tony Borg’s gym who lives up to his ‘Merthyr Mexican’ nickname.

Marsili is a cagey left-hander, five and a half inches shorter than Gwynne and clearly knows how to win fights.

Gwynne says he will become the first to beat Marsili by making him work for three minutes of every round. Marsili should know enough to last the distance, but Gwynne on points is the pick.

There’s more lightweight action when Sam Noakes faces Carlos Perez, a 36-year-old former Spanish champion.

The fight was scheduled for the Joe Joyce-Zhilei Zhang rematch undercard in September before Perez pulled out through injury.

Perez, stopped only on a cut in 28 previous fights, could give Noakes some rounds, may even take him the full 10.

He’s sure to give Noakes a better work out than his last opponent.

The first punch Noakes landed on Kartik Kumar in April made the Indian glance anxiously at his corner and Noakes went on to drop him twice and record a seventh win inside two rounds.

He has only been past five rounds once, when stopping Shaun Cooper in nine two years ago.

Noakes showed then he can start fast, drop the pace and then pick it up again and we fancy he can stop Perez late as well.

Wycombe featherweight Raven Chapman meets Lucie Sedlackova, a match that was scheduled for Telford in March before the Czech pulled out through illness.

Chapman is coming off a career-best 10-round points win over Brazilian super-bantamweight champion Lila Furtado, boxing from the third with a cut under her left eyebrow to win a competitive fight unanimously.

Karina Szmalenberg (Poland) is a common opponent. Sedlackova drew with her, beat her narrowly over eight and dropped rounds in a third fight over six.

Chapman dominated her over six.

She can win on points.

There’s a good match at 122lbs between stylists Brad Strand and Welshman Joshua John. They meet over 10.

Strand had a win over Liam Davies in the 2018 Elite bantamweight final as an amateur, spars Nick Ball and, boxing behind a fast jab, he’s been faultless as a pro.

Also a quality amateur, John has a narrow loss to quality Scot Mark McKeown (6-0) on his pro record and Strand can also outpoint him.

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