1989-01-27 Graciano Rocchigiani w pts 12 Thulani Malinga, Deutschland Hall, Berlin, Germany - IBF
1989-01-27 Graciano Rocchigiani w pts 12 Thulani Malinga, Deutschland Hall, Berlin, Germany - IBF. Referee: Sam Williams. Scorecards: 117-111, 119-113, 119-112. With Malinga (165½) ducking low and keeping out of range throughout the contest, the southpaw champion, continually frustrated, failed to find a way of dealing with it. There was very little action and what there was turned out to be messy.
After the contest, although Rocchigiani (167¾) apologised to his fans and promised to put things right the next time he relinquished the IBF version of the title in September due to continuing weight problems. That announcement was followed by the IBF matching Lindell Holmes, the USBA champion, against Frank Tate to decide the vacancy.