TRIESTE (by Francesco De Filippo) Clean face, polite manners, thoughtful but never exuberant, graduate, speaks with appropriate and fluent language, correct to the point of generosity towards his opponent. It seems more like the portrait of a young man from the community of Sant’Egidio than that of a strong, stubborn, indomitable boxer. He doesn’t come from the slums, he didn’t save his life by exhausting himself hitting the bag in gyms that ooze blood and sweat rather than clashing with street opponents; and he has no revenge to take, no social sum to redeem. In short, he has nothing of the traditional boxer, face flattened by punches, perpetual look of defiance. Luca Chiancone, a gentle boxer from Trieste of distant origins as his surname indicates, confirmed himself as Italian middleweight champion two nights ago after the second, very tough, match with the same challenger, Yassin Hermi. And the words of the first interview were precisely for these, of a Tunisian father and a Florentine mother, who instead of the Rocky boxer has exactly everything. “Humanly we disagree on many things and on many ways of behaving, but from a pugilistic point of view for me he is a brother, a twin” even. Chiancone’s description is an impeccable photograph: “We are the same in the way we collect and in the way we fight, we both have a heavy hand; he had something to believe in, I have something to believe in; he had to honor his mother, I had to honor my grandfather and grandmother who died last week and I think we both did it in the best possible way.” It’s true: from ringside they look like brothers, a few centimeters different in height, both without hair. They stand out because Hermi, born in 2002, does not speak with his mouth but with his gaze: a blatant provocation to the world, contracted syllables and a revenge to be consumed. Concentrated on the mission Luca, almost serene; 26 years of which 11 in the ring and a marble strength of mind: “If you decide to do something there are no plan B, there are only plan A”. And this A included the demonstration of being the best. After winning the title in April by knockout in the first round, in July he defended it against Yassin, also a great boxer. A match that ended in a draw, a verdict about which he was very controversial. In his Trieste, therefore, Chiancone wanted there to be no doubts about who is in charge between the ropes. But first he had to familiarize himself with the pain: “The first time against Yassin I had never felt so much pain from the blows.” So he went to Madrid to have his face smashed by a champion, so as to respond with the habit of suffering. For the rest, equal also in emotion: both crying after the verdict, the winner in the ring with happiness, the other with anger and disappointment, in the corner, curled up on himself. Having come down from the square, Chiancone is an unstoppable river of words at the journalists’ microphones; he diffuses the tension by reeling off one emotion after another as he had done shortly before with his blows, pouring punches on his opponent and receiving just as many in return, just one less. And without ever stopping moving forward. It’s difficult to see a boxer who, after taking blows to the chin twice and ending up with his knees knocked out, finds somewhere a fury to transmit into his gloves and dominate the last three rounds of the ten scheduled. And he doesn’t end there. “I have no doubts: we will meet, maybe for the European title. It will happen very soon.” C/ S41 QBXK
An intense, very tough match, characterized by continuous reversals, but in the end Luca Chiancone retained the Italian middleweight title by beating the challenger Yassin Hermi on points. The boxer from Trieste ends up with his knee on the ground twice in the first and fifth rounds, due to two left hands to the chin in the match, he suffers two counts but recovers without consequences. Hermi, on the contrary, is cornered several times and seems close to being knocked out but manages to keep himself upright. His face is marked by frequent and strong blows but he doesn’t give in. Maybe he is stronger but Chiancone is more precise and more technical, and resists better over distances. With a bit of skill in one case too many, in the sixth round, Hermi holds his opponent back and gets a penalty that eats away the advantage he had accumulated up to that moment. The first meeting between the two, last July 26th in Ferrara, ended in a draw and the title remained with Chiancone, in his first defense since he had wrested it from Giovanni Rossetti in April with a knockout in the first round. For all ten rounds Chiancone advances without interruption, finds a wall of jeb that stuns him and slows him down but doesn’t retreat, on the contrary, he continues to move forward. And in close exchanges he always has the heavier punch than the challenger. Finally, before the verdict, Chiancone cries in front of his Trieste who he has cheered for tirelessly, but Hermi also cries.
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