Francesco Patera (24), from Limburg, became the EBU European Lightweight champion in Turku, Finland, on Saturday evening. He belongs to GMG Cheratte.
He is also the Belgian Lightweight champion and holds the WBC Mediterranean title in his category. He beat the outgoing European champion, Edis Tatli from Finland, on points. Tatli, originally from Kosovo, had up until then only been beaten once in 30 fights. He was beaten by Cuban Richar Abril in a WBA world title fight.
Patera was ranked 8th in Europe when the fight started at the Gatorade Center in Turku. He has now won 18 out of 20 fights. He is the 5th GMG Cheratte Promotion boxer to win a European title.
The jury was divided. One judge gave the victory to Tatli with a score of 116-112. The two others awarded the fight to the Belgian (115-113 and 116-112). Patera’s opponent thought he had won for a brief moment, and raised his arms in the ring to celebrate. He was then told the Belgian had been declared the winner. “I really surprised. I was clearly better, it’s daylight robbery. I am still the champion”, the 29 year old from Finland said.