2005-11-26 Johnny Nelson w pts 12 Vincenzo Cantatore, Sports Palace, Rome, Italy - WBO

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2005-11-26 Johnny Nelson w pts 12 Vincenzo Cantatore, Sports Palace, Rome, Italy - WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez. Scorecards: 116-111, 115-112, 112-115. Continuing to surprise all boxing people alike the champion stayed one step ahead of Cantatore (199¼), jabbing, moving and making the latter miss more often than not before he was dropped by a big left hook in the ninth and had to fight hard to stay in the contest. With Nelson (198½) in trouble the round was timed at 4.20, something that was par for the course when an Italian fighter had an opponent on the go, and he did well to hang in until the bell. After a quiet tenth Nelson was badly hurt in the 11th by another heavy blow to the temple, but to his great credit he got through the session and held on well to the final bell to be the recipient of a split decision.

On 8 July 2006, at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Enzo Maccarinelli stopped Marcelo Dominguez in the ninth round to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title.

Following Nelson’s decision to retire after breaking down in training in September 2006, Maccarinelli was immediately upgraded to full champion status.