Woodendummy were invited to watch Ian Napa's bold bid to lift the European bantamweight title in Dagenham from champion Simone Maludrottu. It was always going to be a tough one against the world ranked Italian, nicknamed 'Boom Boom', however Napa went down fighting as he stood toe-to-toe with Maludrottu.

And the tactic almost worked for the 28-year-old from Hackney as he had Maludrottu in trouble in the seventh and eighth rounds, but ultimately his lack of power - Napa has yet to record a stoppage in 19 fights - told against the bigger man.The judges awarded the fight to Maludrottu 116-113, 117-112 and 117-112, and there could be little arguing with the verdict. Maludrottu, who recorded two victories over Irishman Damaen Kelly, dominated the fight from the start and although Napa came on strong in the middle rounds he lacked that killer punch. And having survived that dangerous six-minute spell in the seventh and eighth rounds Maludrottu, who seems destined to now challenge for one of the world titles, regained the initiative to see out the fight. A disappointed Napa, though, admitted the better guy had won the fight. He told Sky Sports: "It was learning curve as I fought a good guy."I was getting to him with the body shots, but I guess I lacked a bit of experience and maybe it was a bit of the strength factor as well."Napa, who from his days as an amateur has been known as an elegant fighter rather than a brawler, shocked his rival by trading punches with him. And Napa admitted that he saw enough in Maludrottu's wins over Kelly to suggest that his best hope was to force the Italian on to the back foot. He said: "Sometimes when guy a comes forward you have got to see whether he can handle it going backwards. You have to get them off the game, but he proved he could do it all. He is a worthy champion." (Photos)

Written by Conrad Howard — November 20, 2012

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