Peter vs. Maskaev: Breakdown, Prediction and Outcome

By Ted Sares: Samuel Peter’s stock has fallen badly as a result of being put on “Queer Street” by McCline. Oleg Maskaev is coming off a solid TKO win over Hasim Rahman in which he surprised by taking the Rock's bombs without noticeable effect. But that was several months ago. Let's break it down..

Experience: Maskaev is a seasoned professional with 38 fights and his record stands at 33 (26-KO's)-5. Peter has fought 29 times and has won 28. Oleg is the more experienced with more quality rounds and more fightst. The overall experience nod goes to Maskaev, though Peter is catching up by getting quality rounds under his more ample belt. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has gone the distance in five of his last six fights, but therein is the rub, for his much celebrated power has now become suspect.

Quality of Opposition:: Maskaev has fought Rahman twice, David Tua, Kirk Johnson, Derrick Jefferson, Sinan Sam, Oliver McCall, Alex Stewart, and many other tough opponents. Peter, on the other hand, has fought Wladimir Klitschko, James Toney twice and Jameel McCline. Prior to the Toney fights, he KO'd limited Julius Long in one round. Charles Shufford Jr, Taurus Sykes and Jeremy Williams have been decent opponents. “The Nightmare” was extended to the round limit by Robert Hawkins. Interestingly, Maskaev KO'd Hawkins in 4 rounds 1995. Edge to Oleg.

Boxer’s IQ: Maskaev's is good; Peter's is getting better. While Peter still has a
tendency to use clubbing, back-of-the-head shots (which can get him disqualified), these are shortcomings that can be corrected. Being able to hold his own with James Toney twice is impressive. Oleg gets the edge here, but the gap has closed.

Conditioning: Peter carried 257 pounds for 12 competitive rounds against Toney and 250 pounds against Jameel and still threw punches with bad intentions at the end. As he demonstrated Against Rahman, Oleg can go the distance as well. Given the question mark around Maskaev’s injury, I call this one a wash.

Chin: Peter's chin has lost its granite reputation. Maskaev's is questionable and that was plainly evident in his knockout losses to Oliver McCall, Tua, Johnson, feather-fisted Lance Whitaker and Corey T-Rex Sanders. Prior to the McCline fight, Peter would have had a compelling advantage in this important category. Now, it’s a thin one.

Power: Oleg is known for a powerful punch. Unlike Toney, Maskaev has the power to hurt the “Nightmare.” But unlike Rahman, if Peter lands flush on Oleg, things could end right there and then. This might boil down to two suspicious chins vs. a now suspicious puncher. Peter has never been concussed; Oleg has. Still. this one is a wash with a imperceptible lean towards Peter.

Intangibles: Has Oleg recovered from his training camp injury? Has Peter recovered from his near disaster against Jameel McCline? Was there any truth to his claims that his hands were hurt? Will the opportunity to become the first non-interim Nigerian Heavyweight Champion of the World provide incentive for Peter to take his game to a new level? If Oleg hurts Sam, can he close the show given Peter’s ability to survive?

Prediction: Peter over Maskiev. This one could go either way now that “The Nightmare’s” less than stellar chin has been exposed. “The Big O” has the punch, but will he get the opportunity to use it? As for Peter, it’s been a while since he has iced anyone. Oleg and his sometimes questionable chin may just be what the KO doctor ordered. This is an intriguing match up and venue. I wish I was in Cancun to see it.

Outcome: After an interesting six rounds in which Samuel Peter demonstrated focus and resolve, things exploded in the sixth and Peter ended matters decisively with a number of concussive shots to The Big O’s head driving him into a corner forcing him into a corner and forcing a halt to matters at the 2.56 mark.

Oleg seemed a bit ponderous during the fight, though he did land some good shots which Peter took well and always seemed to counter with his own equally heavy thunder. All in all, a great win for “The Nightmare” which puts him in a spot to call out Klitschko.

Article posted on 09.03.2008

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