News October 2007

09.10.07 Holyfield Vs Ibragimov, My Thoughts.

By Pete “Hitman” Bamforth

If you were to ask me a year ago what i thought the chances of Evander Holyfield becoming a 5 time World Heavyweight Champion were, i would have probably said slim to none, that’s after I had stopped laughing of course. Back then I was with the majority of people who thought that Evander’s ramblings of Heavyweight glory were just the jaded dreams of a man bored in early retirement, fast forward to the present day however and my view has changed dramatically.

The one thing I admire more than anything in the bronze medal winning 84 Olympian is his discipline, you see it takes a hell of a lot of it for a 44 year old man to get up every morning and run, spar, hit the pads, the heavy bag and eat the right foodstuffs to keep his “past its prime” body in good nick. It also takes immense amounts of the stuff to set your sights on a target and see it through to the bitter end, something which Holyfield has being doing for the past 14 months. These things combined with the 4 straight wins that Evander has amassed since his return in August of last year, not only make me believe that Evander can win but they actually make me WANT Evander to win that record breaking 5th world title.

Evander Holyfield

As I mentioned previously Holyfield is on somewhat of a winning streak at the moment having won all 4 since his audacious return, 2 inside and 2 that have gone the distance. The quality hasn’t exactly been stellar but lets face facts, Holyfield is 44 yrs old and back in the ring after a 2 year sabbatical brought on by the beating he took from Toney and the suspension of his license by the NYSAC, plus the heavyweight scene isn’t exactly busting at the seams with talent now is it? Having said all that Evander has been looking good, sharp, moving well albeit a little slower than he used to be but still showing the odd glimpse of magic that allowed him to rule the Cruiserweights and Heavyweights for so long. This however is a step up, Ibragimov may not have faced the same calibre of opposition in his short career than Holyfield but Sultan is still the WBO champion and with it brings a big punch which in turn brings a real danger to Holyfields dreams of that 5th crown.

Sultan Ibragimov

Sultan Ibragimov the Russian born southpaw with heavy hands, is in my opinion, the favourite in this one. Saturday will be his first defence of the WBO Heavyweight Title that he snatched from another big hitter, Shannon Briggs, in July of this year. Although I expected that fight to end inside the distance given both Sultan and Shannon are both heavy handed, Ibragimov won via a UD in a fight which exposed a few flaws in Sultans game, he plods forward almost mechanical and has that very “Eastern block” style that is so common amongst the current crop of soviet heavys BUT Sultan can bang 17ko‘s in 21 wins. This one is a tough call.

Realistically Ibragimov looks like knocking Holyfield out, im not so sure, for me Evander hasn’t been given the due credit he deserves since coming back onto the scene and if he manages to sneak past Sultans bombs early on then I don’t think its too unrealistic for him to hustle the young and inexperienced champion and nick this on a slim decision, then again Sultan may just land the dream shattering punch……….

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