Exclusive by Ben Carey
Ian Napa has been handed the opportunity to regain the European bantamweight title he previously lost in March.
Malik Bouziane, who dethroned Napa on points at the York Hall has vacated, prompting the EBU to order France’s Jerome Arnould and Napa to contest the vacant European championship. Both parties have until 15 January to reach an agreement or submit purse bids to the EBU offices in Rome.
The 24-year-old Arnould possesses a record of 22-3-1 and the Frenchman is something of a puncher with 14 of his wins coming inside the distance. Arnould challenged for the WBA bantamweight title in June 2007 but was knocked out in seven rounds by Wladimir Sidorenko. He has since bounced back with eight successive wins, five by stoppage.
Napa is currently preparing to defend his British bantamweight title against Jamie McDonnell at the Brentwood Centre on 22 January and knows he can afford no slip-ups. The Hackney stylist regained the British crown in October with a majority points victory over Gary Davies.