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Forgotten Champions: Mauro Galvano

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Mauro Galvano was another splendid technician in the middle divisions of the 90's that came from Italy. He was not a hard hitter but was tough and game and liked a good scrap. Being rather tall at just under 6 feet, he used his height and reach well and also had good movement. He won the WBC super middle title in late 1990 and held it for 2 years almost, losing it to the great Nigel Benn due to an injury. He was only knocked out twice in his career, both times late. Along with Vincenzo Nardiello, Michele Piccirillo and Agostino Cardamone, Galvano was one of the best Italian boxers of the 90's.

Born 30 March 1964 in Fiumicino, Lazio province of Italy (where Rome lies), he also grew up in the same town and lives there today. Galvano was the 1984 Italian amateur middleweight and 1985 light heavyweight champion, before starting his pro career in February 1986. He went 11-0-2 before losing surprisingly for the first time against the 11-6-3 Mwehu Beya from Congo, in a light heavy fight. This obviously convinced him to fight at 168 and things went much better after that. On 31 March '90, he faced Mark Kaylor, a hard-hitting former middleweight hope from West Ham, and beat him convincingly to win by UD and win the European title at 168. On 15 December that same year, he got to fight for the vacant WBC title against Dario Walter Matteoni of Argentina, who back then had a record of 26-1. It was in Monte Carlo that Galvano became the first Italian super middle champion of the world when he won by the scores of 117-113 and 114-113 twice. 

He made two successful defences on points, against Ron Essett of USA and Juan Carlos Gimenez of Paraguay, before facing Nigel Benn in the third one, 3 October '92 in Marino, Italy. There was a lot of clinching and holding in the fight that lasted 3 rounds. Galvano had some success boxing and moving, but was hurt by a Benn uppercut in round 3, before putting Benn through the ropes with a counterattack-however, it was ruled as a slip by Joe Cortez. The shorter Benn then hit him with some clean punches that opened a bad cut under his left eyebrow. The fight was then stopped  and so, his championship reign had come to a sudden halt, the worst way possible. He got a rematch with Benn and fought him again 6 March '93 in Glasgow; this time he lasted the distance but lost by a clear UD. That was pretty much the end of his true success. He lost to compatriot Vincenzo Nardiello  by UD in a fight for the European title, 26 November same year that he fought Benn in a rematch. 

In 1994, he won the IBF International light heavy title against the debuting Yuri Klestov by RTD6, and then vacated it and won the WBO Inter-Continental super middle title by UD against the 0-1 Vladimir Evstratov. On 8 July '95, he fought again for the European title against the hard hitting Leeds man Henry Wharton in York and was knocked out for the first time in his career in round 4. After failing to capture the European title twice more, first losing to Frederic Seillier on points in 1996 and finally getting stopped by Andrey Shkalikov by TKO 8 in 1997, Galvano retired. His career had started so promisingly, but his lack of power made it difficult for him to maintain his success. He did however show his worth by giving Benn problems in both their fights with his boxing skills. One might say he did get unlucky in their first fight, but knowing how dangerous Benn was back then, it was probably inevitable that it ended like it did. 

Few outside of Italy remember and talk about Mauro Galvano today and it is therefore that he qualifies as FORGOTTEN CHAMPION!


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