By James Slater – In what could turn out to be a good, entertaining under-card bout, light-heavyweights Adrian Diaconu and Omar Sheika will clash on the Lucian Bute-Jesse Brinkley show set for October 15th in Montreal, Canada. While the main event looks like a reasonably straightforward win for the excellent and undefeated IBF 168-pound king (no disrespect to Brinkley, a guy who is as tough as they come and who will give it his best shot), Diaconu and Sheika may put on a lively affair for a few good rounds..
How long the fight goes will likely depend on how much the 33-year-old Sheika, 30-9(21) has left. After a long career, in which he has both taken and handed out a lot of punishment, the former four-time super-middleweight title challenger could be one fight away from retirement. Four wins removed from his last loss, a 5th-round TKO at the hands of the once great Roy Jones Junior, Sheika’s last big opportunity could well be the fight against “The Shark.”
Diaconu, only a year younger than Sheika at 32, is nevertheless the fresher, less-worn fighter. A former WBC interim champ, the Romanian-born warrior, in picking up a 26-2(15) pro career, has been beaten only by reigning light-heavyweight king Jean Pascal. Dropping two reasonably close decisions to Pascal (the first fight, in June of last year, as well as being a fine action fight, was the closest of Diaconu’s two rumbles with the Haitian-born ruler) is nothing to be ashamed of; especially when considering Pascal’s recent triumph over Chad Dawson. Diaconu may be a few leagues above Sheika.
Sheika, though, knows just one way to fight, and he always comes in and looks to go to war. Diaconu is no master boxer himself, however, and the styles of the two men could mesh well; giving Sheika a chance of scoring the upset. Sheika has been stopped four times in his nine pro losses, and his best days came down at 168-pounds. The New Jersey tough guy was outclassed by Jones back in March of last year, but before that he hadn’t been stopped in over five years. Can Diaconu stop Sheika?
I’d be surprised to see October’s support bout go the distance, scheduled as it is for ten-rounds, and I would be equally surprised to see Sheika get the win. The older man can never be written off, though, simply because of how much heart and guts he has. Barring facial injuries, I go for Diaconu to get himself a late-rounds stoppage in what could be a nice little action bout.