Amin Asikainen – back in business and in need to deliver

by Ville Niemonen - Popular Finnish middleweight banger “Idi” Amin Asikainen (25-2) is set to start his battle to get back to the top this Saturday, when he faces Argentinean journeyman Valentin Antonio Ochoa (20-12-1) in an eight-rounder in Helsinki, Finland.

Asikainen suffered a major setback last November, when he was stopped in seven rounds by tough Khoren Gevor in a see-saw battle for the vacant European middleweight title.. That loss left many wondering how much fuel does Asikainen still have in the tank and there were rumors he was actually considering retirement. For the delight of many Finnish fans, such plans were denied in a press conference earlier this year. Though he came up short against Gevor, Asikainen is still highly ranked among the middleweights: #4 by the IBF and #9 by the Ring magazine.

Many observers felt that weight-making affected Asikainen’s performance against Gevor. Asikainen himself would admit that getting down to 160-pound limit wasn’t easy, but took nothing away from Gevor’s marvelous achievement. However, even Asikainen himself admitted that his days as a middleweight may not be far from over. Last week Asikainen told the decision was yet to be made whether to stay at 160 pounds or move eight pounds north into the deep waters of super middleweight. It’s easy to see why both options are pretty attractive. Asikainen feels that he still hasn’t completely settle the score with the middleweight elite while at the same time moving up to super middle could provide a breath of fresh air to his career. Whichever the final decision is, one thing’s for sure: not only must Asikainen win this coming Saturday, but he must do so in convincing fashion to get back the confidence and the hype that was surrounding him a year earlier after a sensational stoppage victory over former world champion Yory Boy Campas.

Asikainen, who’s already a household name in his native Finland, is certainly not looking past his Argentinean opponent, but by the time he’s done with Ochoa, the Finn will have all the major players in the middleweight and super middleweight rankings on his radar.

Article posted on 18.04.2009

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