by James Slater - Two former "Contender" T.V stars are set to clash in a big, IBF super-middleweight title fight eliminator on May 28th, reports Dan Rafael over at ESPN.com, as Sakio Bika and Jesse Brinkley will meet in Quebec, Canada. The winner of the 12-rounder will earn a shot at Lucian Bute, the undefeated warrior many people see as the world's best at 168-pounds. The Bika-Brinkley clash will be the co-feature to Librado Andrade(the last man to have faced Bute) against veteran Eric Lucas. The card will go out live on ESPN2..
Article posted on 03.04.2010
Of course, Bika, 28-3-2(19) has met Bute before; dropping a twelve-round decision to the Romanian-born southpaw in a June, 2006 elimination bout. But the teak-tough Cameroon-born "Scorpion" will be hungry for another crack at the man who goes by the nickname of "Le Tombeur." Bika, now aged 30 and based in Australia, has complained bitterly in recent months at how he has been unable to land the big fights. If he can defeat Brinkley in May, he will get himself another big opportunity.
Winner of six bouts in a row since the points loss to Bute, Bika has beaten some good men; such as another former "Contender" in Peter Manfredo Junior. Can Bika defeat Brinkley also?
33-year-old Brinkley of Nevada, won a significant fight last time out, when he out-pointed Curtis "Showtime" Stevens over 12 tough rounds in January. That fight was an eliminator for the IBF's #2 spot at 168-pounds, and if Brinkley can beat Bika he will be closer than he's ever been to becoming a world champion. On a roll right now, Brinkley has not lost since being out-pointed by Britain's Robin Reid back in March of 2007. Wining a straight nine outings since, Brinkley has shown some of his best stuff in the ring.
Unlike Bika, though, Brinkley, 35-5(22) has been stopped - twice. Still, both TKO's (to Concepcion Gutierrez, TKO by 2 and Joe Spina, TKO by 11) were a long time ago. Brinkley messed up Stevens' KO prediction back in January, and maybe he can also mess up Bika's plans to face Bute for a second time.
With so much at stake and with both fighters being hungry and in good form, the May fight figures to be a very good battle - while it lasts. I may be wrong, but I feel Bika, the taller and longer-armed fighter of the two, will prove to be too strong, too hard-hitting and too reliably-chinned for Brinkley. Brinkley is tough, no doubt, but he is not that hard to hit and against Bika his leaky defence will cost him in my opinion. Both guys have a ton of experience at world level, but here again the edge goes to Bika. Having been in with Bute, Joe Calzaghe and Sam Soliman and Markus Beyer, Bika's resume is more impressive than is Brinkley's.
This one is a good match-up, though, and a case can be made for either fighter winning. I go for "The Scorpion" to get a mid-rounds stoppage as he lands a second date with the superb Bute.