Italy has had a long storied history of producing top-notch, elite-level boxers and world champions. Over the decades the southern European nation has produced the likes of Nino Benvenuti, Gianfranco Rosi, Primo Carnera, Vito Antuofermo, Bruno Arcari, Arturo Gatti, and many others. There is now a brand new era of Italian pugilists that are carrying the torch. Names like Fabio Turchi, Guido Vianello, and Alessandro Rigunnaci have all made a name for themselves in their homeland and abroad. However, perhaps no brighter prospect has come from the peninsula nation than November’s Fighter of the Month, undefeated Super Middleweight prospect Ivan Zucco.of Piemonte, Italy. Zucco in a step-up fight scored a sensational third-round stoppage of Pavel Zgurean to improve his record to 12-0 (10).
Matchroom and DAZN have made a large investment into Italy. Looking to cultivate and grow the nation’s young talent. Guys like Turchi, Dario Morello, and Orlando Fiodigglio may have hit a snag and been exposed as limited fighters on the European level. Zucco, on the other hand, has had his stock soar due to the international attention he has received. Entering his bout with Zgurean, Zucco a 6’1 southpaw was thought to be perhaps the most skilled fighter and the hidden jewel of Matchroom Italy and he did not disappoint. The southpaw started quickly scoring with scorching counter left hands that caught his opponent’s attention almost immediately and then hurt him with another straight left with about 40 seconds remaining in the opening round. After a dominant opening round, Zucco had found the range and seized control of the bout in the second. Coming out quick and picking up the tempo he stunned his opponent with a left hand–right hook combination just seconds into the round and then switched to the conventional stance and staggered his opponent again with a left uppercut. The Italian continued to switch-hit and dominate the round. Landing at will, the writing was on the wall as the undefeated Italian continued to batter his opponent throughout the third stanza with laser-like power shots down the pipe that jolted Zgureans head back one after another. After three one-sided rounds, Zgurean’s corner decided they had seen enough and called a halt to the bout. Giving Zucco the TKO at 3:00 of round three.
Zucco still has a ways to go until his name is in the conversation with the great Italian names mentioned earlier and he still has a ways to go until his name is in the mix with the elite in the crowded super middleweight division. However, the performance against Zgurean put the division on notice and established Zucco as a legitimate talent and prospect that belongs on the European level and most likely on the world level in the not so distant future. 168 is a prospect loaded division. Names like Edgar Berlanga, David Morel, Bektemir Melikuziev, and Lerrone Richards have put together solid wins and grabbed the attention of the fight fans. Zucco is trending in that direction and should take another step up in his next fight. A win against a name like Mike Gravonski, Vaughn Alexander, or Deandre Ware would put him on the radar of the American fight fan and in that group of elite-level super middleweight prospects.