By James Slater – According to a number of boxing web sites (I read it on FigoSport.com), unbeaten Russian banger Magomed Abdusalamov will face experienced former four-time heavyweight title challenger Jameel “Big Time” McCline on the under-card of Vitali Klitschko-Manuel Charr in Moscow on Sept. 8th.
Southpaw “Mago” has entertained fans with his raw power and his heavy hands, and the 15-0(15) slugger has also seen his fan base grow. Some people are now starting to believe that the 31-year-old can go on to become the biggest, most serious threat to the all-conquering Klitschko brothers. Yes, Abdusalamov is crude and his defence is leaky at times, but he has such lethal firepower in either hand that one shot landed flush on anyone’s chin could equal lights out. As I’ve written before, it sure will be fun watching Abdusalaov as he continues his rise through the ranks, on his way to a hoped for title shot.
Next up, though, will be 42-year-old McCline; a fighter who is past his best but experienced and, as he showed last time out, when busting the jaw of unbeaten Artur Spizka in dropping a ten-rounder, still dangerous. McCline is also a giant of a man (6’6” and approx 270-pounds to Abdusalamov’s 6’3” and around 225) – the biggest, tallest fighter so far in the pro career of the Oxnard-based Russian. If McCline comes in in shape and if he’s as determined as he was against Spizka, we might, just might, have an interesting fight on our hands.
However, with “Mago” and his punching power, we could be in for another short and sweet night. McCline, 41-12-3(24) has been halted four times (KO by 1 against Gary Bell way back in 1995, RTD 10 against Wlad Klitschko in 2002, RTD 3 against Nikolay Valuev when McCline’s knee gave out in 2007 and KO by 4 against Chris Arreola in 2009), so it won’t be a shock if Abdusalamov scores his 16th KO win next month. It will, though, be something of a statement if Abdusalamov bangs McCline out in ultra-quick time.
Yet to be taken past the 4th-round and not yet having his own chin tested, Abdusalamov has question marks next to his perfect record. If McCline comes in meaning business, we may get a few answers to these questions (chin, stamina, heart) on Sept. 8th.
That said, I have to go with Abdusalamov, and I have a feeling he may end this one inside a couple of rounds.