Showtime Championship Boxing Kicks Off The New Year On Saturday With An Intriguing Doubleheader From Foxwoods Casino

02.01.04 - By Marc Abrams: Showtime Championship Boxing kicks off the New Year on Saturday January 3 with an intriguing doubleheader from The Foxwoods casino in Connecticut. The main event features Brazilian sensation Acelino Freitas vs. WBO Lightweight Champ Artur Grigorian (Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime*) of Germany by way of Uzbekistan. Also on the bill is a 154 pound eliminator between Kassim Ouma and the tough JC Candelo.

The highly popular Freitas is moving up from the 130 pound division where he sported an undefeated record of 34-0 and 31 knockouts, takes on another undefeated fighther in, Grigorian who has a very impressive 36-0, 21 knockout record.

Grigorian is making his 1st appearance in the U.S and the 36 year old is in by far his biggest fight of his career as he has fough a bunch of undescript opponents with very few recognizable names. Most insiders would say that his best win was a knockout of former belt holder Raul Balbi, but that was February of 1997. His lat fight was almost a year ago when he won a majority decision over Matt Zegan last January 18.

The Charismatic Freitas is one of if not the most popular athlete in his native Brazil and is building a big fan base here in the states. This sensational knockout artist is the WBA and WBO Super Featherweight champion. He wont the WBO portion by stopping Anatoly Alexandrov in August of 1999 and made 6 defenses of that crown before unifying the WBA championship away from Joel Casamayor in a highly controversial unanimous decision January 12, 2002. Since that bout he has scored Knockout wins ove Juan Carlos Ramirez last March and then highly entertaining 12th round stoppage of Jorge Barrios in fight which Freitas was floored twice, but showed character and resiliency by forcing the late round stoppage.

This is a fight of the star to jump to the next level while acquiring a belt in Freitas as opposed to the 36 year old Grigorian who bring a impressive undefeated mark into the bout, but simply will be too old and really not in the same league as the younger, stronger Star from South America. I see Freitas wanting to set the tone for a the year scoring a spectacular 6th or 7th round stoppage.

The co-feature is a eliminator to see who steps in line for a possible matchup for the winner of the March 13 the Shane Mosely/Winky Wright Undisputed 154 Pound Championship.

Ouma, from West Palm beach by way of Uganda comes into the fight with a record of 18-1-1 with 1 no contest with 12 inside the distance (photo: Tom Casino/Showtime*) is on an 11 fight unbeaten streak since losing by knockout November 11 1999 to Agustin Silva. He has fought good competition such as wins over Angel Hernandez, Verno Phillips, Tony Marshall, James Coker, and Alex Bunema.

Candelo; 29 years old, 27-5-3, 19 knockouts. Is from Denver Via Colombia is coming off a Tko over Julio Garcia in July. He fought and lost a Unanimous decision to Winky Wright an his attempt to capture the world tile last March 1. Should he win hw would jump right back in line for another possible attempt at the gold. He split 2 decisions with Angel Hernandez and lost a split decision to Alex Bunema back in 2000.

Both fighters should be hungry which should make for an intresting fight. Both are somewhat of guys who like to take the fight into the late rounds which is where I see this fight going to with Ouma pounding out a decision.

* "King" Artur Grigorian (left) weighed 134 pounds and Acelino "Popo" Freitas tipped scales at the divison-limit 135 pounds Friday for their eagerly anticipated 12-round fight tomorrow / Saturday on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT). IBF No. 2 contender J.C. Candelo (left) weighed 154 pounds and IBF No. 1 contender Kassim Ouma tipped scales at 151 pounds Friday for their 12- round IBF
junior middleweight elimination fight tomorrow/Saturday on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT). All photos (C)TOM CASINO/SHOWTIME

Article posted on 02.01.2004

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