By Scott Shaffer
It looks like the distinguished career of Stefano Zoff has finally come to an end. Zoff lost his second straight bout, this one against Juan Carlos Diaz Melero for the vacant European lightweight title that Zoff has owned for most of this century. With his 40th borthday rapidly approaching, Zoff went to Spain to face undefeated but completely untested Juan Carlos Diaz Melero. Zoff struggled for ten rounds and then retired with an arm injury. Zoff had one good round, the sixth, but Melero got stronger with each passing round after that. He now claims the European championship at 135 pounds to go along with his record of 30-0. Zoff briefly held a WBA world lightweight title in 1999, a feat few Italians have ascended to lately. He also held European titles at least three times and arguably deserved a sceond world title in 2002 when he dropped a close decision to Artur Grigorian in a contest judged by three Germans. He lost a final title shot to the late Leavander Johnson earlier this year. On the same show in Leganes, Spain Francisco Castillejo returned from his loss against Fernando Vargas with an eight-round decision over Venezuelan import Present Brito.