The birthing of a new heavyweight standout will likely occur on Saturday night, but who that shining light will turn out to be depends on who you ask. Tom Loeffler, director of K2 Promotions, thinks his Cuban bigboy, Mike Perez, has the array of skills to get the better of Magomed Abdusalamov, the Russian advised by Sampson Lewkowicz, who believes his punching power is the sort to excite the masses.
We shall see whose inkling proves correct Saturday evening, when the prospects rumble at The Theater in Madison Square Garden, in a scrap which will also be shown on HBO.
So, then, maybe a star will be born on Saturday night, I queried Lewkowicz during a promotional workout and press gathering at MSG on Wednesday. “Not maybe,” he said. “There will be a newborn star on Saturday night. It will be Mago. He’s the old style kind of heavyweight, Tyson style. Everyone will love Mago.”
Loeffler begs to differ. “This will probably be the fight of the night,” he told me. His man Perez (age 28) is 19-0, with 12 KOs, while the 32-year-old Mago brings an 18-0 mark, with 18 stoppages, to NYC. “I give the edge to Perez, the better boxer,” Loeffler told me. “He has a great amateur background. A lot of undefeated heavyweights would never take this risk.”
The winner of this fight, Loeffler said, vaults upwards in the rankings and in the eyes of fight fans, always on the lookout for legit heavyweight talent in this dreary era.
Here is some footage of Mago, a predator sort who wants to land his left hand and hurt you, and will not be keen to take a step backwards as long as the fight continues. Perez, more of a deliberator, in the Cuban style, is very relaxed as he looks for openings; he might assimilate what worked for Jameel McCline in this bout. I do wonder if Mago's power edge will be able to be exploited, as the Cuban pays attention to keeping his chin out of harm's way pretty well. Check Perez out here.
Sampson agrees, this fight will vault the winner. No, not into the Klitschko mix right away, perhaps, but close to that: “The winner, which will be Mago, should fight an eliminator to get a chance at the WBC title.” Lewkowicz strongly believes that political aspirations will remove Vitali from the mix, and leave his crown up for grabs. He has announced he will seek the Presidency of the Ukraine in the 2015 runoff; does Sampson think he will sneak in another bout before campaigning begins, or no? “Never,” he said, meaning he thinks Klitschko has fought his last in-the-ring scrap.
You can see for yourself what these XLs bring to the table; HBO will televise the faceoff.
Follow Woods on Twitter.
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?