Sam Peter: Can Peter Regain Nightmare Status?

boxingBy Joseph Herron - It was September 24th, 2005, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in what was a very calm night with a crisp, cool breeze. The crowd was already in a frenzy after witnessing a great undercard bout between Miguel Cotto and, last minute stand-in from Columbia, Ricardo Torres. The preliminary bout was a tremendous test of wills, but nothing could steal the attention away from Big Sam Peter…this was to be his night.

Before the Klitschko fight in Atlantic City, Peter was a staggering 24-0 with 21 knock-outs. Like his moniker suggests, he was indeed a nightmare for all of his opponents knocking out victim after victim. Sam Peter looked like the heavyweight destroyer for which boxing had been clamoring.

On HBO’s B.A.D., The twenty five year old undefeated Nigerian prospect was paired with the “mentally scarred”, Wladimir Klitschko…a great letdown to the HBO brass who had suffered two unexpected and very disappointing defeats at the hands of two very unimposing heavyweights. Sam Peter was expected to make a huge statement on this night and forever put away HBO’s Ukrainian heavyweight disappointment..

On “Boxing After Dark”, Sam “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter was supposed to become HBO’s next great heavyweight.

Unfortunately for team Peter, the very opposite happened. Wladimir Klitschko showed the HBO audience and everyone in attendance that he could rise above adversity and earn an impressive victory by dominating a strong and relentless aggressor; while leaving Samuel Peter a bloody and swollen mess.

After that night, Wladimir Klitschko went on to become the universally recognized heavyweight champion of the world and one of the more dominant fighters in the sport, while Sam Peter suffered three losses to both Klitschko brothers and an unexpected majority decision loss to the underrated American heavyweight, “Fast” Eddie Chambers.

In a heavyweight era dominated by the two Ukrainian giants, very few other heavyweight fighters have stood out. Sam Peter is definitely one of those stand-outs. The former WBC Heavyweight Champion has accomplished a lot at such a young age, but has never quite captured the imagination of the boxing public as anticipated. He defeated future hall of fame pugilist James “Lights Out” Toney, not once, but twice and looked very impressive in his second victory against the former 3 division world champion. He also looked great in knocking out former champ Oleg Maskaev to capture the WBC Heavyweight title.

In fact, every time the boxing court of public opinion is ready to declare Sam Peter as a non-factor in the stagnate heavyweight division, the Nigerian born pugilist has always seemed to force his harshest detractors to redefine their opinions of the former Olympian standout.

This Saturday night in Halle, Germany, the roles from Atlantic City 5 ½ years ago have been reversed.

The “Nigerian Nightmare” takes the position of the “mentally scarred” veteran fighter, and the “Nordic Nightmare” assumes the role of the undefeated heavyweight hopeful, in a very promising co-main event bout for the vacant WBA and WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight belts.

Former champ Samuel Peter (34-4, 27 KOs) will take to the ring against undefeated prospect Robert Helenius (14-0, 9 KOs) in the co-main event at Gerry Weber Stadium. The twin billing is shared with Cruiserweight champ Marco Huck (31-1, 23 KOs), as he defends his WBO world title against undefeated Israeli fighter Ran Nakash (25-0, 18 KOs), who replaces the injured Giacobbe Fragomeni.

Like the younger Klitschko, Helenius is a 6’6 ½” fighter who fights tall and has a good jab with decent footwork. The Finnish fighter looked impressive in his last bout when he knocked out Attila “The Hun” Levin in the 2nd round, flooring the Swedish pugilist with an overhand right and then bludgeoning Attila until the referee stopped the bout at the 1:20 mark.

Although having a noticeable height advantage over the Nigerian fighter, the “Nordic Nightmare” will more than likely have to work a little harder for this victory. In fact, other than the Klitschko brothers, no other fighters have come close to stopping big Sam Peter in 38 professional bouts.

Against the giant Ukrainians, Peter is a disappointing 0-3…against all other opposition, swinging Samuel is 34-1 with 27 knock-outs.

Can Samuel Peter regain his “destroyer” status in the heavyweight division with an impressive victory over a very confident undefeated prospect?

The “Nigerian Nightmare” seems to think so.

“I will be his personal nightmare,” stated the 30 year old fighter. “I will make him look like a schoolboy when I teach him the basics of boxing. I will win on Saturday.”

One thing is certain, on Saturday night in Halle, Germany, a lot of questions about Samuel Peter will be answered when he faces undefeated Robert Helenius of Finland in the “squared circle”.

Please send your comments and questions to

Joseph Herron is the San Antonio Boxing Examiner at

For a round by round of the fight, visit Joseph Herron’s facebook page at!/profile.php?id=100002140982967

Article posted on 01.04.2011

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