Boxing

Oliver McCall and Lance Whitaker Score Friday Night Victories

oliver mccallby James Slater - Last night, whilst fighting at different venues, veteran heavyweights Oliver McCall and Lance Whitaker both collected victories in their latest comebacks. 44-year-old McCall, the former WBC heavyweight champion, hard the toughest night's work of the two big men, as he had to go all ten rounds to defeat Franklin Lawrence in Las Vegas. Winning a dull fight by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and an over the top margin of 97-93, "The Atomic Bull" improved to 53-9(37). 33-year-old Lawrence, nicknamed "Yah-Yah," fell to 12-2-2(7).

In truth, very little happened in the fight that was staged at The Orleans in Vegas, and both men fought somewhat negatively. McCall hurt his man at the end of the 7th round, as he connected with a big right hand to the head at the bell. Boxing at a measured pace, McCall did not look as impressive as he did back in May, when he flattened Australian wannabe boxer John Hopoate inside a couple of rounds.. Apparently, there were some at ringside who felt the fight could perhaps have gone the younger man's way last night, and McCall said he would fight him again if he wanted to do so. McCall-Lawrence II is not a rematch that will be screamed for though.

Still, the clean and sober former champion's latest comeback rolls on, and as tough as he is and as durable as he is (never once floored let alone stopped) McCall figures to continue winning if matched against the right opponents.

As for 37-year-old Lance "Mount" Whitaker, he had a much easier time of it against British journeyman Matthew Ellis - as was expected going in. Fighting in Redondo Beach, California, the 6'8" giant once known as "Goofi" utterly destroyed the hapless Ellis, sending him to the floor three times in less than two minutes. Looking in good physical condition, Whitaker improved to 34-5-1(28) in what was his second fight since his April, 2004 points loss to Jason Estrada. 35-year-old Ellis, who has now lost six of his last seven, fell to 20-9-2(9).

Though his second comeback win (Danny Batchelder was out-pointed last month) proved next to nothing, it will be interesting to see how far Whitaker can go. The one-time conqueror of Oleg Maskaev is certainly big enough, and Whitaker always could punch. Here's an idea; how about a McCall Vs. Whitaker clash either later this year or early next?

One thing's for sure, Whitaker needs to step it up a level if his comeback is to generate serious interest.

Article posted on 22.08.2009



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