Scintillating ‘Bavarian Sniper’ Serge Michel outpoints Abdelhafid Benchabla in heated Hamburg battle01 August 2015
Serge Michel (GER) produced a fascinating and thrilling performance in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday night when he defeated Abdelhafid Benchabla (ALG) in their brutal AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Cycle I Round 2 Light Heavyweight (81 kg) clash.
Michel entered the ring to great support from his German supporters in the arena, and began the contest by attacking strongly on the front-foot.
Benchabla improved well after his slow start to win the second round across the board by utilising his stiff left jab often and effectively.
The momentum swung back to the German fighter in the third round when Michel started to unleash a variety of power-punches, including a devastating series of combinations to the body.
Round four proved to be another prosperous three minutes for the 28-year-old Benchabla, but it would be the last defining success he would enjoy in the contest.
After four rounds of action, the scores were even on all three scorecards, yet as the early rounds faded and the fierce intensity of the middle stages began to materialise, Michel quickly took control of the action.
Excellent head movement and footwork enabled the 26-year-old German to move in and out of range at will, and the quality of his shots frequently stunned his Algerian rival.
Michel had previously beaten Benchabla over five rounds in the World Series of Boxing in 2012, and relished the opportunity to fight across three further rounds in Hamburg.
His stamina was remarkable throughout the sixth and seventh frames, while his rival seemed to be struggling with the intensity of proceedings.
A huge ovation greeted the boxers at the start of round eight where Benchabla needed a knockout to win, but it was Michel whose power was more potent, and he lived up to his nickname of the Bavarian Sniper in the final seconds of the bout when he dropped and hurt Benchabla with a well-timed overhand right.
Showing tremendous courage, Benchabla got off the canvas from the devastating punch and survived until the end of the round, before Michel was awarded the unanimous decision victory by scores of 78:73, 78:74 and 77:75
A second Light Heavyweight match also featured in Hamburg, where Dzemal Bosnjak (BIH) outpointed Alexandru Machedon (ROM) in a six round exhibition.
- Dzemal BOSNJAK (BIH) W.P. (59:55/ 59:55/ 59:55) vs Alexandru MACHEDON (ROM)
- Serge MICHEL (GER) W.P. (78:73/ 78:74/ 77:75) vs Abdelhafid BENCHABLA (ALG)