Amir Mansour TKO’s Epifiano Mendoza In 6th, Improves To 16-0(12)

By James Slater: 39-year-old heavyweight contender Amir “Hardcore” Mansour improved to 16-0(12) last night in Dover, Delaware, as he scored a dominant 6th-round TKO over Colombian slugger Epifiano Mendoza; 32-12-1(28) coming in.

In charge right from the opening bell, southpaw Mansour had the 36-year-old in big trouble in the 3rd and 5th rounds. The end came in the 6th, as Mansour landed with a sharp uppercut to the head and then a flurry of follow-up shots that left Mendoza stuck in a corner, unable to throw anything back. The Colombian’s corner had seen enough and threw the towel in. The official time was 1 minute and 17-seconds. With the win Mansour won the lightly regarded WBF Intercontinental belt.

Happy with his win, Mansour now needs top face a top contender so we can find out how good the self-proclaimed “best conditioned heavyweight on the planet” really is. Time is not on Mansour’s side (he had almost ten years out of the ring due to a long prison term) and fights against the likes of Mendoza are unlikely to improve his skills too much.

Remarkably fresh and youthful-looking for a man of almost 40, Mansour has a good defence and he has good speed of hand. “Hardcore” also has respectable punching power, as Mendoza found out. Early in the fight, in a show of defiance, Mendoza pointed to his chin and dared Mansour to hit him. The show of machismo proved to be quite short-lived, as the older but faster man obliged - on two occasions hitting Mendoza right on the bell (drawing the wrath of Mendoza’s corner-man).

“He was trying to provoke me and he made a mistake,” Mansour said of the man he had beaten. “I think he did that because he was hurt. He surprised me with his strength and his head positioning. I just have to listen to my corner. I did as they told me in the 6th and I made it happen.”

How far can this intriguing heavyweight story go? A fight between Mansour and an Oliver McCall, a Michael Grant, a Fres Oquendo, a Chazz Witherspoon or a Kevin Johnson would give us some idea.

Article posted on 03.12.2011

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