Dark Horse Prospects to Watch: Kober, Abell, Wach, Pianeta and Stiverne

07.05.07 - By Paul McCreath: A few days ago, I wrote an article about identifying heavyweight prospects at an early stage that many of you readers seemed to enjoy. In it, I promised to follow up with another article about some of the young heavies that I am currently tracking with interest. Today, we will look at some of those fighters. I should emphasize that this is not a list of the world's top prospects but rather a suggestion of a few rather obscure names you might want to keep an eye on.

These fighters are all men who have turned professional within the last two years and are barely now beginning to emerge from the stage of fighting tomato cans and stiffs and starting to flex their muscles against slightly better opponents. Most are in about the same position now as top prospects like Povetkin, Dimitrenko, Chambers or Arreola were a year or two ago. I will mention these boxers in no particular order.

1.) Francesco Pianeta is the hope of Italian fans around the world. He lives in Germany and fights for the major promotional firm, Sauerland. He has already appeared in six European countries while compiling a record of 10-0-0 with seven KO's since turning pro in July of '05. Francesco is 22 years old and stands 6 foot 5 inches, weighing around 245-250 pounds. He has no notable victories so far, but his connections and size mark him as a good man to watch. The next year should tell us a lot.

2.) Mariusz Wach is the pride of the Polish fans. As an amateur, Mariusz won the Polish title at super heavyweight in both '03 and '04. He turned pro in April of '05 and so far has run up a 13-0-0 record with six stoppages. While he obviously does not pack great KO power, the thing I like about Mariusz is that he is already well traveled. He has campaigned in the U.S. three times as well as having bouts in Germany and Poland. One of his victories was over the Canadian, Arthur Cook who was 12-1-1 at the time. Cook KO'd another Polish heavy, Albert Sosnowski in nine rounds in '01. This is Sosnowski's only defeat on a 39-1 record. Wach is 6 feet 7 and one half inches tall and weighs around 255. He is 27-years old. If he develops a little more power, he may have a bright future.

3.) Sebastian Kober from Germany is another former top amateur. He won European bronze in'02, following that with a bronze medal in the world championships in '03 at super heavyweight, and then took a bronze in the Olympic Games the next year. Since turning pro in April of '06, he has won eight in a row, all by KO. He is 27-years old, stands 6 foot 3 and one half inches tall and weighs around 220-225. His solid amateur background and impressive start would suggest he may be going places.

4.) Joey Abell is a young lad that American fans may soon be proud of. Joey is 25-years old, six foot five and around 245-250 pounds. Since turning pro in August of '05, he has won 14 and lost one, all by KO. If you like excitement, you will like Joey. The one loss was to an undefeated fighter, Aaron Lyons by first round KO. Some felt the stoppage was premature. At any rate an early KO loss does not mean that much at this stage. He has won several fights since and seems to be progressing nicely.

5.) Bermaine Stiverne, a national amateur champion in '05, Bermaine turned pro in July of '05 and has done all his fighting in the US, mostly on Don King cards. He has won 12 in a row, all by KO including a first round stoppage of tough old trial horse, Harold Sconiers. He also stopped Earl Ladson in three. Ladson had earned a draw with Donnell Holmes, now 26-0-2 just last July. Bermaine is 30-years old, a bit older than I would like, but is coming on fast. He stands 6 foot 2 inches and weighs in around 250 pounds. Clearly power is his main strength rather than fancy moves.

I hope these names will give you readers something to think about and perhaps some additional hope for the future of the heavyweight division.

Article posted on 08.05.2007

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