Weekend Fights features Mosley, Margarito, McCline & Klitschko

22.04.05 - By Kent Appel: Three years ago in 2002 Wladimir Klitschko of Kiev, Ukraine was riding high, dominating almost all of those put in front of him on the way to becoming heavyweight champion of the world. But something happened to Klitschko's ride to the top, namely two devastating knockout losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, in 2003 and 2004 respectively and suddenly Klitschko, 3-2 since 2003, has become a big question mark, possibly another talented prospect who might not live up to his potential..

Klitschko, 29 years old, 43-3, 39 by KO, is hardly taking the easy road back to regain whatever confidence he may have lost in the last two years by taking on tough up and coming former amateur star Eliseo Castillo of Miami, Florida, formerly of Havana, Cuba, 18-0-1, 14 by KO this Saturday April 23, 2005.

Klitschko returns to familiar territory when he returns to Germany, where he is a national sports hero, to fight Castillo at the Westfalenhallen Complex in Dortmund, Germany. Will the home like surroundings help Klitschko in his comeback in this fight?

Klitschko, also a former amateur star, has an edge in quality of opposition as a professional over Castillo, 29 years old, with wins over current IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, high ranking contender Jameel McCline, former IBF heavyweight champion Frans Botha, among others.

Castillo, except for a decision victory over former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in 2004, has not fought anyone of note as a professional. But he is hardly a non threat to Klitschko's comeback. Mainly Castillo's fourteen knockouts in eighteen wins is what pose the most danger to Klitschko's success.

Klitschko has a problem that can not be solved by training or any kind of teaching. He cannot take a punch well. As evidenced by his folding up when he was hit by hard punches from Sanders and Brewster. This also can be seen by the fact he was knocked down in his last fight, a five round technical decision win over DaVarryl Williamson that was stopped due to Klitschko suffering a bad cut from an accidental head butt with Klitschko having a slight lead on the judges' scorecards.

Stamina has also been a problem for Klitschko and this contributed to his loss to Brewster and a loss earlier in his career to Ross Purrity. Stamina is something that can be improved but it still doesn't solve the problem of Klitschko's brittle chin.

It is his chin that makes the fight with Castillo and any fight with someone with a punch interesting. In most of his fights, Klitschko dominates his opponents with very hard, accurate left jabs and punishing right hands but we never know how he will react when he is hit hard. One minute he can look like one of the best fighters we have ever seen and the next minute he could be staggering around trying to recover from a knockdown.

My prediction: Klitschko most likely by mid round knockout or by a judges' decision but Castillo by knockout at any time in the fight is a distinct possibility.

At Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday April 23, is a Pay For View event headlined by a WBO welterweight title fight between champion Antonio Margarito of Mexico and challenger Kermit Cintron of Puerto Rico. I see Margarito, 31-4, 22 by KO having the edge in experience and this experience should bring him to victory over Cintron, 24-0, 22 by KO. But we can't count out the power punching Cintron in this one.

The biggest name on the card, American Sugar Shane Mosley, a superstar at lightweight and welterweight, has finally come to his senses and he will be fighting back down in the welterweight division after a couple of losses to champion Ronald Winky Wright in the junior middleweight division. Mosley, 39-4, 35 by KO will be fighting fellow American David Estrada, 18-1, 9 by KO.

Mosley should win this one over Estrada and it would position him for a possible title shot against consensus welterweight champion Zab Judah.

Also on the card and for me the most interesting fight of the night, is a heavyweight shoot out between high ranking contender American Jameel McCline and undefeated slugger Calvin Brock, also an American. McCline, 31-4, 19 by KO has faced the tougher opposition than Brock, 24-0, 21 by KO but I am going out on a limb here by predicting that Brock is going to win by knockout in a changing of the guard so to speak. But this is going to be a war and when there are two powerful heavyweights fighting it out, anything can happen

Starting off the weekend on Friday April 22 at Caesar's Palace in Nevada, Las Vegas is a heavyweight contest featuring American Dominick Guinn, 25-2, 18 by KO against Friday Ahunanya, 20-3-1, 11 by KO of Nigeria.

This is a crossroads fight with both fighters coming off losses. Guinn, 30 years old, by decision to Sergui Lyakhovich and Ahunanya, 33 years old, to Taurus Sykes. The winner could be in the running for a bigger name fight while the loser takes a step back to possible trial horse status. I give the edge to Guinn on the basis of his stronger punching power.

Article posted on 22.04.2005

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