Boxing - Lightning Lenny plans Italian Job on April 27

As usual, former two-time British light welterweight boss Lightning Lenny Daws (25-2-2) is in tip-top condition with just over three weeks to go before he travels to Perugia, Italy to challenge Michele 'The King' Di Rocco (34-1-1) for the European title on Saturday April 27.

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Boxing - Lightning Lenny plans Italian Job on April 27
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Lightning Lenny plans Italian Job on April 27

Opportunity knocks for the Morden light welter. He's fully focused on bringing the belt home and is relishing the prospect of defending it on UK soil.

By the time fight night comes, Daws, 34, will have celebrated ten years in the pro boxing ranks. He first picked up the British title in 2006 by outpointing Nigel Wright, and again in 2009, stopping Scot Barry Morrison. Since losing a close decision to Ashley Theophane at Wembley Arena two years ago, Daws has notched up four steady wins including an impressive display in his last outing against Finn Ville Piispanen (16-3) to win the EU strap.

This was automatically vacated in order to challenge for the European belt proper, which Russian Denis Shafikov relinquished last year, triggering purse bids in January. Daws' promoter Hennessy Sports narrowly lost out to Italian promoter OPI 2000, meaning an away day trip to Perugia for Daws and his first professional bout abroad.

Di Rocco, 30, represented Italy at the 2004 Olympics and has twice held the lesser EU light welter version. 'The King' has fought outside Italy only once - a successful trip to Finland over six years ago. Notable fights include a seventh round KO loss to fellow countryman Guisseppe Lauri in 2007. Di Rocco returned the favour last year, stopping the ageing Lauri in the first.

The judges for the April 27 fight have been now been appointed (from France, Italy and Finland), but trainer Ian Burbedge is confident in Daws' ability to make their decision clear cut.

Burbedge, who's been whipping Daws into shape at Rosehill ABC, Sutton, told iFilm London:

"Obviously, Lenny goes out there and does a job on him. The Italians must have been desperate to get it on home soil, because they might not be that confident in their boy.

"We'll go anywhere. Forget about Italy and getting robbed. He'll take it out of the hands of the judges."

Lightning Lenny's Italian Job is on, and takes place in Di Rocco's home town of Perugia. Exact venue details are expected to be announced by Italian promoters OPI 2000 shortly.

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