Ellis Zorro successfully defended his WBO European title with a unanimous decision victory over Luca D’Ortenzi at York Hall. Zorro proved he could box by cruising through a one night Boxxer tournament last year and his back-to-back victories over Dec Spelman and former British light heavyweight champion, Hosea Burton, showed that he could dig in and fight. He also displayed knockout power to get rid of Burton in seven rounds.
He started out in controlled fashion against Italy’s D’Ortenzi. The sturdy Italian planted himself directly in front of Zorro, soaking up the Londoner’s jab and body attack and waiting for his own opportunities. He did land a heavy looking left hand in the opening round but his slow feet meant that he needed to be in the perfect position to land anything serious.
Midway through the third, an innocuous looking jab from D’Ortenzi landed directly on Zorro’s left eye and hurt the champion, sending him back into the ropes. Zorro quickly regained his faculties and made it through the round safely.
Zorro was boxing well but choosing to dispense with the jab and trade. To his credit, whenever he took a shot he fired right back but he was making the fight far harder than it needed to be. A left uppercut- right hook combination bought blood from Zorro’s nose and suddenly, by the sixth round the Italian had gained a foothold in the fight.
Zorro had never previously been beyond eight rounds but handled the distance comfortably enough. Zorro’s jab was effective when he used it and he was the neater, more organized fighter throughout. D’Ortenzi was dangerous with single shots but lacked the gears to put together any sustained attacks.
After ten rounds, the judges scorecards read 97-93, 98-92 and 96-94, all in Zorro’s favour.
Karol Itauma continued to rebuild his career by outpointing Dymtro Fedas over eight rounds. Itauma was shocked by Ezuquiel Maderna in a real upset in January but this was his second victory since.
There remains an air of vulnerability around the light heavyweight but this was a routine, confidence boosting victory. When Itauma get into his rhythm and sets everything up behind a quick southpaw jab, he looks like a talented, slick operator but for a couple of rounds, Itauma held his feet inside a little too long and gave the Ukrainian a glimmer of hope he should never have had. The man from Chatham was never in danger but it does feel like an unnecessary risk.
By round four Itauma was in total control, dictating the range the fight was fought at and picking some nice body shots. As the rounds went by Itauma became more aggressive and began to look more and more comfortable up close. This was a good confidence boosting win for Itauma. The score was 80-72.