Finally after 16 years as a pro, with significant stretches both in and out of the ring, undefeated heavyweight Amir Mansour, 19-0, 14 KOS, is ready for his coming out party. The touted power puncher gets his big chance to make some real noise in the heavyweight division Saturday night when he meets Kelvin Price, 14-1, 6 KOs, in the 10-round main event at Resorts International Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The fight will be nationally televised by NBC Sports Network on their highly-rated Fight Night live boxing series. This edition of the program is titled the “Road to Redemption”.
With his crushing power and trail of knockout victories, the Delaware-based Mansour has lately been the talk of local boxing fans in his home state, as well as in the Philadelphia and Atlantic City areas. However, few outside his immediate home turf know much about him.
All that can change Saturday night when he headlines his first TV bout. The broadcast will also include a 10-round light heavyweight fight between Ryan Coyne, 21-1, 9 KOs, and Lionell Thompson, 14-1, 9 KOs. Past Fight Night telecasts have attracted throngs of boxing fans, and helped spark the careers of fighters like Sergey Kovalev, Curtis Stevens, Czar Glazkov, and others.
With this, his biggest stage to date, the pressure will be on Mansour to show the world what all the fuss is really about. Although he remains undefeated and boasts a 74% knockout ratio, some questions still exist about whether “Hardcore” can perform at a world class level.
Such is the plight of any rising star battling his way to the top. However, Mansour must prove that he is ready to step up to the next level right now. If he can register another showy stoppage Saturday night against Price, a Klitschko-sized, name opponent, Mansour may find himself on a fast track into the heavyweight title mix.
When asked what he thought about Price, Mansour said, “I’m from a place where just because you were a little taller and a little bigger, it meant nothing. I don’t worry about these guys’ size or height, you know? Everybody comes in with a game plan against me until they feel my power. When they feel my power they feel like they’ve just been hit harder than they’ve ever in their life been hit. Their whole game plan goes out the door.”
Mansour added, “A guy like Price? I don’t think that he’s prepared to go to the extremes that I’m prepared to go to in terms of getting the win in the ring. I’m a very fair fighter, I’m very respectable, but I’m prepared to die every time I walk into that ring, and I’ll go through a brutal, brutal, brutal fight if need be. I won’t give up, I won’t quit, I’ll continue to go forward…I know in my heart of hearts that Kelvin Price doesn’t have the guts and the will that Amir Mansour has.”
With the current world champions getting on in age, and no single heir to the title emerging at the moment, Mansour has as good a chance as any other fighter presently on the scene of taking a giant step forward in the heavyweight race.
After all, the world loves a puncher, and if Mansour proves that his credentials and his punch are for real, a ride into the boxing mainstream is his for the taking.