Switzerland has a new world champion, after 26-year-old unbeaten Zino Meuli, 13-0 (6), won the World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Welterweight title on Wednesday night, December 26, at the Bodensee-Arena in Kreuzlingen.
Following in the footsteps of prominent names such as Greg Haugen, James Hare and Humberto Soto, Meuli captured the vacant crown with a hard-fought majority decision over Josef Zahradnik, 10-1 (5), from the Czech Republic.
Meuli started well, using his longer reach to keep the aggressive Zahradnik at bay while connecting with well-timed straight punches. Halfway through a very competitive fight it appeared that the local man had gained control, but the visitor never gave up and finished stronger.
Zahradnik did well in the closing stages to get in close and land with hooks to body and head, but Meuli showed great will and determination by coming back in spurts to win enough rounds in the second half, eventually emerging as a deserved winner.
Swiss Judge Joerg Mangott saw the fight completely even at 114-114, but he was overruled by 115-113 and 116-112 scores in favour of Meuli from Germany´s Alexander Plumanns and Howard Goldberg from South Africa.
World Boxing Federation (WBF) President Goldberg, a veteran of over one-hundred world title fights as a judge and referee but in Switzerland for WBF meetings, stepped in on short notice to save the day when another judge fell out.
Also on December 26, Abdallah Paziwapazi scored a sixth round knockout of former WBF World Champion Francis Cheka in a local grudge-match to win the vacant WBF Intercontinental Super Middleweight title in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Still only twenty-five years old and on a nine-bout unbeaten-streak, Pazawapazi is coming into his own and proving to be a very dangerous puncher, taking his professional record to 25-6-1 (22). Cheka (36), who also held the WBF Intercontinental title in 2016, drops to 34-13-2 (18).