29.03.07 – By Jim Amato: On April 5th, former heavyweight boxing contender Lou Savarese will have his third fight since 2004 when he meets Matt Hicks ( 10-1 with 10 KO’s ) in Houston, Texas. Hicks’ only loss was by knockout to J.D. Chapman in 2006. Big Lou will turn 42 in July, and has a very respectable 45-6 record, with 37 knockouts.
Savarese turned pro in 1989, and quickly racked up 36 straight wins. His most important victories were kayos over Olian Alexander and Buster Mathis Jr. In 1997, Savarese met linear heavyweight champion George Foreman for the WBU version of the title. Savarese lost a hard fought split decision. It was Big George’s last win. That was the beginning of phase two of Savarese’s career. Counting the loss to Foreman, Savarese would go 9-6 for the rest of his boxing career up until now.
After his loss to Foreman, Savarese was surprisingly halted in five by David Izon. Two fights later in 1998, Savarese flattened former champion boxing James “Buster” Douglas to win the IBA version of the heavyweight crown. Next came a split decision win over Lance Whitaker. Following that, Savarese would then lose a decision to unbeaten Michael Grant. Next up…Mike Tyson.
This was the year 2000 and although Tyson was no longer the “Tyson” of lore, he still had something left. He caught Savarese early and stopped him in the first round. It was a very disappointing boxing loss for Savarese but he came back with a four fight win streak that included a five round demolition of former champ “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon.
Just when it looked like Savarese’s boxing career was back on track, he was savaged in four rounds by the talented but under achieving Kirk Johnson. In Savarese’s next contest, he was outscored by the then undefeated Leo Nolan, in 2004. Savarese has since knocked out Marcus Rhode and Travis Fulton. Those wins hardly sent a ripple through the almost stagnant heavyweight ranks, however. A win over Hicks will not shake up the division either, but it will keep Lou on a path that he hopes will lead to the heavyweight title.
How far will Savarese go on the boxing comeback trail? Hard to tell. Good match making could prolong it and if he racks up enough wins to get ranked you just never know. He might end up in the right place at the right time. Less deserving boxers have received heavyweight title shots in the last couple of years. My guess is that it won’t happen although I could see Savarese paired with guys like Andrew Golota, Tommy Morrison, Joe Mesi or Michael Moorer. What about Holyfield-Savarese? Lou has been in with former champions Foreman, Douglas, Tyson and Witherspoon. Why not add Moorer or Evander to his list?
The bottom line is that I can not for see Savarese ever putting together enough solid wins to earn a title shot. I like Lou. I’ve always been a fan of his because he always came to fight. I hope he makes some money and that he does not get hurt.