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Schembri faces Briton Horabin in two-day boxing event at Montekristo

Christian ‘Coqqos’ Schembri will face Briton Michael Horabin. Photo: Christopher Mifsud Photography

By Mark Wilson Smith

Boxing fans in Malta are in for a major treat this coming weekend as Gladiators Promotions are staging a double event on Friday and Saturday at the Montekristo Estate.

Gladiators, fronted by Noel Mercieca and Mariana Azzopardi, have established themselves as the leading kickboxing and Muay Thai promoters on the island, but in recent years they have added boxing bouts to their exciting fight cards.

This has culminated in Friday’s show which will feature 16 amateur boxing matches sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Federation – an organization dedicated to helping young Maltese boxers progress and represent the nation at international tournaments.

Saturday’s event will focus more on professional boxing, with it also being the first outing of the year for fan’s favourite Christian ‘Coqqos’ Schembri.

In terms of results, 2023 proved to be a mixed bag for Schembri.

Although he challenged for the Maltese Middleweight title, he was unable to capture the belt and finished the year with a win, a draw, and a loss.

Eager to do better this year, he said: “It’s great to be back in the ring so soon, I love to be active, and I feel I’m at my best when I’m fighting back-to-back fights, every three months or so.’’

With it becoming more challenging to make the middleweight limit, Schembri feels the time is right to move up in weight if he is to recapture the great form he displayed earlier in his career.

“It also feels good moving up to Super Middleweight, since making Middleweight was becoming quite hard, having to cut 3kg on the weigh-in day,” Schembri said.

“Fingers crossed I can work my way into contention for some Super Middleweight belts, beginning with the national one.’’

His opponent on the night will be Britain’s Michael Horabin, an experienced fighter with 26 bouts to his name, but not someone who should cause ‘Coqqos’ any problems.

After fighting in Portugal last December, this will only be Horabin’s second bout outside the United Kingdom.

Promising talent

Making his professional debut on the night will be promising boxing talent Cleavin Falzon, who will be facing Kevin McGowan from the UK.

Falzon said: ‘’It’s my first time as a professional. I worked really hard for it with my coach and team. I hope I win. Hard work and dedication equal success.’’

Aside from boxing, the event on Saturday will feature over 20 kickboxing, K-1, and Muay Thai bouts – among them five Gladiator Promotions title fights and two European World Kickboxing Network title bouts.

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