Boxing


Former heavyweight title challenger "Big" Michael Grant to fight again?

by Charles C. White - According to boxrec, former heavyweight contender "Big" Michael Grant is set to fight again this Friday, May 7th, at the Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY against little known Kevin Burnett, who sports a 13-3-1 record with 8 knockouts. Grant last fought way back in November of 2008 against Paul Marinaccio (24-3 at that time), but has been inactive since then despite being on a nice little win streak versus respected journeymen Billy Zumbrun, Demetrice King, Kevin Montiy and the aforementioned Marinaccio..

Most remember Grant for his war with former world title challenger Andrew Golota (w tko 10) and a losing effort against the former undisputed heavyweight king Lennox Lewis back in 2000 (ko 2). After the Lewis fight, Grant attempted to regain his status as a formidable contender by taking on equally massive former title contender Jameel "Big Time" McCline, but had to retire from the fight after a first round knockdown in which he suffered a broken ankle. Then, after a string of wins against limited opposition, Grant took on then-prospect Dominick Guinn in 2003 and was subsequently tko'd in the 7th round. Yet many forget that Michael Grant also had some decent wins over tough challengers Lionel Butler, former IBF cruiserweight world champion Alfred Cole, former amateur standout and heavyweight contender Jorge Luis Gonzalez, David Izon, Obed Sullivan, Ahmed Abdin, and former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese. It is difficult to say how well the 38 year old Grant will fair in today's heavyweight landscape, but with his 6'7'' 250-260 lb frame, athleticism, and knockout power, it is within the realm of possibility that Grant could pick up some wins against top 20 opponents and then work his way into the top 10 for a shot at one of the current champions. But time is not exactly on Grant's side, and so if he plans on making noise in the heavyweight division again, he must stay active, fighting once a month if possible, and gradually increase the quality of his opponents.

There is a lot of ring rust that needs to be shaken off first, so a couple of fights against guys like Burnett are acceptable for now, but Grant should step up the competition level soon thereafter if he is to do anything relevant in heavyweight boxing again. A fight against the 6'6'' Burnett, who weighs in at the 260-290 lb mark will not tell us much about what Grant may have left in the tank, but at least he is getting back in the ring and shaking off some rust. Burnett's only recognizeable opponents are Horace Ray Grant (15-2) and Olympic Gold medalist and top 10 heavyweight Odlanier Solis (16-0 with 12 ko's), and he was tko'd in the 8th round by the latter. If this fight does indeed go ahead, expect a rusty Grant to outhustle Kevin Burnett to a decision or late round stoppage.

For questions and comments, Charles C. White can be reached at cwhite1078@mysvc.skagit.edu

Article posted on 03.05.2010



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