Timur Ibragimov Wins Wide 12-Round Decision Over Oliver McCall - What Next For Both Men?

boxingby James Slater - Last night in Hollywood, Florida, Uzbekistan heavyweight contender Timur Ibragimov won a convincingly wide 12-round unanimous decision over a returning Oliver McCall. The younger many by a decade at age 35, Ibragimov got the win due to his superior work rate; prevailing via scores of 119-109 and 117-111 twice. Now 28-2-1(15), the durable Ibragimov could possibly go on to challenge for a major title.

McCall, having his first fight back since being arrested on the charge of drug possession back in February of this year, is now 54-10(37) and, having lost in such a clear fashion, the long career of "The Atomic Bull," the former WBC heavyweight king could be over; at least at anything like top level.

McCall's granite chin was as sturdy as ever last night, and he did land his left jab and some right hands to the head on occasion, but he was simply not busy enough. Looking slow at times, the 45-year-old who was in good physical shape at a solid 256-pounds, was never able to really hurt Ibragimov and his punch output was generally poor..

The younger man, who also has a reliable chin (Ibragimov has never been stopped as a pro either) appeared to simply "want it more," and his own left jabs and rights to the head landed far more frequently than did the former champion's. Neither guy was in danger of being stopped, and the man who set the pace knew he'd won even before the cards were read out.

It was a decent enough win for Ibragimov to be sure, but was it more a case of McCall finally showing his age, as opposed to Ibragimov finding his best form at age 35? It will be interesting to see where both men go next. There will be no calls for a rematch, that much is sure, and perhaps McCall will sit down and have a good long think about whether or not he should carry on fighting. Yes, McCall is still a capable fighter and there are very probably a few decent pay days out there for him, but his chances of ever again getting as far as challenging for a world title have now passed.

The 66-fight veteran can hold his head up high in the knowledge that he is the only heavyweight champion in history not to have been put on the canvas once, and this, it's sad to say, may be what McCall's will be best remembered in future years.

Ibragimov, meanwhile, is almost certain to call for a shot at one of the three reigning heavyweight champions; wanting to build on what is arguably his biggest win thus far as a pro (name-wise, certainly). Now having won seven bouts in a row since dropping back-to-back decisions to Calvin Brock and then Tony Thompson, the 6'3," approx 230-pounder (Timur weighed-in at 229 for last night's fight) may feel he has the size, the strength, the chin and the experience to be able to take a belt from one of the all-conquering Klitschko brothers.

Sure, he'd be made a big underdog if he actually got a fight with either Wladimir or Vitali; but who wouldn't be seen as a sure loser against either "Doctor" today?

Article posted on 16.06.2010

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