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Sebastian Sylvester To Defend IBF Middleweight Belt Against Roman Karmazin In May?

sylvester vs lorenzoby James Slater - There was a time, a few years back, when Russia's Roman "Made In Hell" Karmazin was one of the best light-middleweight, if not even pound-for-pound, fighters around. Some people even suggested the then once-beaten 154-pounder (beaten on points by the crafty Javier Castillejo in Spain, in a bid for the WBC's interim light-middleweight belt) was being avoided by some of the more well known U.S light-middles in 2004/2005.

However, though Karmazin did manage to become a "world" champion when he won the IBF 154-pound belt with a wide UD over the dangerous Kassim Ouma three years on from the loss to Castillejo, Karmazin was to lose the belt in his first defence, being decisioned by Cory Spinks a full year after he'd won the title. Since then, the now 37-year-old Russian has been stopped by Alex Bunema (TKO by 10) and made the move up to middleweight, where he now campaigns..

Still hoping to become the special fighter many felt he would be, "Made In Hell" looks set to get the chance to become a two-weight titlist this coming May, when, according to BoxRec, he will challenge Germany's reigning IBF middleweight king Sebastian Sylvester. Even better news for Karamzin (again according to BoxRec) is the fact that the May 8th fight will take place in his homeland; in Saint Petersburg, Russia to be exact.

Now 40-3-1(26), the 37-year-old is coming off an exciting win over Dionisio Miranda, who he stopped in a fight that also saw Karmazin in trouble, back in January - with the Russian eventually getting the KO, in quite sensational style, in the 10th-round. Can Karmazin now go on and dethrone 29-year-old Sylvester?

Though he has not yet looked an exceptional fighter, the 33-3(16) champ has shown how he is a solid, respectable boxer who gets the job done. Having won the Arthur Abraham-vacated IBF strap with a close points win over Giovanni Lorenzo in September of last year, Sylvester has made one retention; the 10th-round stoppage of late replacement challenger Billy Lyell in January of this year. Not a huge puncher, Sylvester will certainly be a fighter Karmazin looks at as beatable.

The IBF ruler has, like Karmazin, been stopped before in his time; twice. Amin Asikainen TKO'd him in the 8th-round of the first of their two meetings, back in June of 2006 and way back in his pro debut, "Hurrikan" was KO'd in one-round by Yury Zaytsev. Sylvester has come a long way since those two fights (avenging the Asikainen loss with a TKO win of his own) and he is probably at his peak right now, or close to it.

Indeed, age and wear and tear (on the part of the challenger) may well have a lot to do with how this fight winds up - and the older man's punch resistance may not be what it once was either. Then again, Karmazin can punch well himself, as he showed last time out, and he is also unbeaten at 4-0(3) in his recent run as a middleweight; while his home advantage cannot be dismissed. But despite these factors, the younger man must be made favourite in my opinion. No, it wouldn't be a huge upset if the veteran managed to take the title, and this fight could conceivably go either way - I just feel the fresher, younger man will have enough to keep his belt.

Karmazin will look good in rounds, probably pulling ahead on the cards at some point, before Sylvester comes on strong to either get a late stoppage or win by a fairly close decision.

Article posted on 12.03.2010



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