Akinwande decisions Oleinyk

henry akinwande01.07.07 - By Fritz Drexel: 41-year old heavyweight Henry Akinwande (50-3-1, 30 KO’s) won an impressive 10-round unanimous decision on Saturday night, beating Andriy Oleinyk (12-8, 10 KO’s) in a mostly one-sided affair at the Olympisky Sport Hall, in Moscow, Russia.

Fighting on the under-card of Povetkn-Donald, the 6’7” Akinwande, looked a lot closer to 30-years-old than his current 41, as he showed that he still has most of his excellent offensive tools – jab, hooks and uppercuts – that he had in his youth, as he was able to easily control the fight with his Russian counterpart Oleinyk, hitting him at will with a staggering number of varied shots, while not taking much in return. The final judges’ scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 100-90, all for Akinwande.

Akinwande set the pace in the first round, with his long left jab - assisted by his incredible 86” reach - which he doubled up constantly to snap back Oleinyk’s head. For the most part, Akinwande rarely used his right hand in the first few rounds, instead allowing his jab to do most of the work for him as he gave a clinic on how to throw a jab. Even now, at 41, there’s perhaps no other heavyweight in boxing that can throw a jab as well – or as often – as Akinwande.

In the fourth round, Akinwande hurt Oleinyk with a beautiful right uppercut that caused the Russian to back up immediately to the corner to try and escape more punishment. Akinwande followed after him and landed several good right hand shots, but unfortunately, he was unable to finish the iron-chinned Oleinyk.

In the 6th round, Akinwande again hurt Oleinyk with a huge right uppercut that snapped his head back violently, but just as before, Akinwade was unable to connect with anything meaningful after to put him away. However, Akinwade would continue to periodically land his trademark left uppercut every now and then, and each time have Oleinyk backing away in retreat to avoid similar blows.

In the 9th round, Oleinyk landed a few rare punches, which Akinwande appeared to allow as the fight was firmly in hand and he was beginning to ease off on the hopelessly overmatched Oleinyk.

In the 10th and final round, Akinwande went back to his jab, connecting with 40 of them and completely controlling the last round.

For Akinwande, the bout showed that he still has a lot left despite his advanced age, enough possibly to be a top-10 challenger if he were so inclined. That said, he’s had an odd career to say the least, having only lost three fights in the past 10 years, a disqualification to Lennox Lewis in 1997, and 10th round stoppage loss – a bout that Akinwande was dominating up to the point of the knockout – to Oliver McCall in 2001, and a controversial split decision loss to Russian Oleg Platov in 2006, another bout fought in Moscow. He still appears to have a lot left from my estimation, but he needs to be fighting better opposition than he has in recent years.

Article posted on 02.07.2007

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