Saturday night at DM-Arena in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, interim WBA World super middleweight champion Vincent Feigenbutz (21-1, 19 KOs), from Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, retained his title with a razor thin majority decision over unheralded Giovanni De Carolis (23-6, 11 KOs), from Roma, Lazio, Italy.
All three judges scored the fight 115-113.
Thirty-one-year-old De Carolis, fighting out of the red corner in gold and black trunks, is currently ranked #13 by the WBA. But he was a more difficult opponent for the 20-year-old Feigenbutz, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks with white trim, than anyone expected.
Feigenbutz may have had a bad night. Everyone has the occasional bad night, fighter and noncombatant alike. He is strong. He is tough. But his defense left a lot to be desired. He holds his hands high to protect his face, but he does not feint or move his head. Instead, he takes several steps backwards, often awkwardly and often to the ropes, which made counterpunching impossible, assuming Feigenbutz knows what counterpunching is.
The sturdy German seemed willing to take three or four punches to land one of his own in the hope of scoring a knockout. That is evidence of a good chin. It will not, however, be mistaken for defense. De Carolis, who succeeded in dropping Feigenbutz in the opening round, threw and landed more punches than the reigning and defending champion. He may lack Feigenbutz’s power, but his looping right hand, hardly a textbook punch, landed repeatedly. Rather than adapt, or perhaps unable to adapt, Feigenbutz was nailed with that shot throughout the fight.
Feigenbutz had his moments. He rocked De Carolis several times. But it wasn’t a performance to inspire confidence, not when he’s in line to fight the winner of the rematch between WBA World super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov and Felix Sturm.
Feigenbutz is young. There is time to correct the flaws in his game. Rushing him into a world title fight might be a mistake, a costly mistake from which there’s no turning back.
In his defense Feigenbutz said, “I was ill last week with the flu. But I thought I clearly won.”
Feigenbutz may have won, but the victory wasn’t as clear as he thinks.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.