Boxing


Oleg Maskaev-Nagy Aguilera - A Risky Tune-Up Fight For "The Big O?"

by James Slater - Former WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev isn't done yet. Though Russia's former champ is now 40-years-old, he could perhaps be just two wins away from challenging for his old belt. "The Big O" returns to action this December 11th, when he will face New York's 23-year-old Nagy Aguilera, in what will be the veteran's third fight since his KO loss to Sam Peter back in March of 2008 (when he lost the WBC belt.).

The word is, if Maskaev can get past the much younger Aguilera, 14-2(9), and if Ray Austin can get past DaVarryl Williamson this Saturday night, the two will meet in a "final eliminator" for the WBC crown now held by the all-conquering Vitali Klitschko. And though a fight with "Dr. Iron Fist" looks far more like a punishment as opposed to a prize for either Maskaev or Austin, both ageing warriors will, according to the WBC, have earned the fight.

But is Maskaev, 36-6(27) taking a risky tune-up fight by going in with the never-stopped Aguilera? Set to face the 23-year-old in Sacramento (where Oleg resides these days), the slow but hard-hitting Russian will be having just his second fight this year. Though Maskaev will be the bigger man - at 6'3" and approx 250-pounds, to 6'3" and approx 230 for the man born in The Dominican Republic - he may well have trouble with the New York man's speed and youth.

Then again, Aguilera has never met anyone of the quality of Maskaev. A pro only since August of 2007, Aguilera failed, in his last-but-one fight, to win the New York State title. Going up against a former world champion, even one as old and as rusty as Maskaev, is quite a big ask.

In truth, nobody really wants to see Maskaev get in there with Vitali Klitschko, but if he beats Aguilera and then Ray Austin (providing "The Rain Man" gets past "The Touch of Sleep" this Saturday) it could happen. So, the ambitious and so far durable Aguilera will be spoiling a lot of plans if he can upset Maskaev in December.

Will he do so? At this point in his career, and after all the injuries and layoffs he's had, defeat is always lurking for Maskaev, but he should have enough left to be able to see off relative novice Aguilera. It could go to points, though. Also, the fight could well turn out to be an exciting little battle with plenty of good action. The fight is pretty much a no-lose situation for Aguilera, who will make a real name for himself even if he comes up short but acquits himself well. Sure enough, all the pressure will be on Maskaev.

Article posted on 27.10.2009



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