30.06.05 – By Michael Amakor: On July 2nd at the Reno Events Center in Reno Nevada NABF and USBA Heavyweight Champion Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peters puts his titles on the line against Taurus “The Bull” Sykes in a unification bout on Showtime TV. Not much is known about Sykes, the thirty year old underdog, especially since he will tell you that some of the heavy hitters in the division have been ducking him.. However, he is the newly crowned NABA Heavyweight Champion, which he seized by besting capable, Friday Ahunanya over 12 rounds in March.
A review of his dossier shows victories over vaguely recognizable journeymen, Jovo Pudor, Sherman Williams and a badly faded former IBF Cruiserweight Champion, Imamu Mayfield.
In this fight, Sykes has his hands full against the 24 year old Samuel Peters, who possesses a ton of natural punching power in both hands. The nightmare from Nigeria currently sports an unbeaten record of 23 victories with 20 of these victories coming inside the distance, only three of his fights have gone the distance against vastly more experienced veterans like Marion Wilson, Jovo Podo, and Charles Shufford earlier on in his career. Even though Peters has never fought any real live opponents, he is being hailed by the boxing establishment as the next young great Heavyweight.
For the most part, Peter’s knockouts have been so savage and sudden you are immediately reminded of a young Mike Tyson. Boxing historians will compare him to another great Nigerian Heavyweight, “The President” Ike Ibabuchi, whose express run towards the heavyweight title was suddenly derailed after he went to jail over a rape conviction.
Against a common opponent, Jovo Pudor, both fighters eeked out twelve round decisions, which may indicate that this fight will be a competitive match up, as both fighters seem to be at the same experience and skill level. Nevertheless, both guys sport a motley collection of C-class fighters, with a couple of B-minuses on their resumes.
I’m curious to see whether Sykes confidence, and overall boxing ability, is enough for him to pull it out against Peters, who has the killer instinct and power to knock him out, long before a stamina war ensues down the stretch. What ever happens, one thing is clear, the outcome of this fight will flush out a pretender to the throne and speak volumes about the victors pedigree to become a challenger for one of the more recognizable titles down the stretch. May the best Man win.