Boxing


Samuel Peter: The Next Foreman?

14.02.05 - By Darrell La Montre: Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (22-0, 19 KO's) is making some deafening noise in the anemic Heavyweight Division these days, and for good reason. Firstly, people are desperately looking for someone to liven up the sport’s flagship division, and help bring boxing back to the forefront.. Secondly, he just might have the tools to be the new millennium’s version of George Foreman. You can’t help but be reminded of big George when you watch Peter fight. He’s not quite as tall as Foreman was, but he certainly makes up for his lack of height with his sizeable width. Plain and simple the man is a monster! At 6’2 and nearly 250lbs with a neck like a tree trunk, this hulking giant makes a young Foreman look like De La Hoya.

Peter’s fighting style is strikingly reminiscent of Foreman. Once the bell rings, he assumes the role of predator, stalking his opponent with a heavy jab, and attempting to cut off the ring. Once he succeeds in cutting off the ring, he lands wide swinging, clubbing shots on his unenviable foe that appear to carry Foremanesque power.

We have yet to see whether Peter has the chin that Foreman possessed, but from merely looking at his neck (and body in general), it sure looks like he can. It would be hard to imagine Peter being hit and crumbling ala Michael Grant—who incidentally made the phrase “glass chin” a compliment.

Peter’s destruction of Jeremy Williams was frightening. While motionless on the canvas, you really worried about Williams’ safety and whether he would live or die. When is the last time you found yourself that worried about a heavyweight after being knocked unconscious? He followed up that victory with another impressive knockout performance against Yanqui Diaz, knocking down his hapless opponent 5 times in the process. Peter is slowly building an aura of invincibility. At the very least a Foremanesque aura that leaves opponents on the verge of crapping their trunks at the thought of being hit by this tank. I’ve always wondered why a guy would get into boxing if he’s afraid of being hit? Isn’t this kind of like someone who hates math becoming a C.P.A.? Just a thought…

Peter seems to possess pretty decent speed for a man his size --- something Foreman was never accused of having. If Peter loses about 10 pounds of baby fat, his speed would increase along with his mobility, and then he might really be a terror. He also needs to tighten up his punches and improve his defense, but at 24 he has plenty of time to improve. His ring intelligence appears to be above average, as you can feel him analyzing his opponents and really breaking them down both physically and figuratively. However, increasing his speed is a must, because Peter does appear to be very slow and pondersous in the ring, which can come back to haunt him if he faces up to a quick boxer, such as Chris Byrd, who he might not be able to knock out so easily, if at all.

He’s being brought along perfectly in my opinion by his management team, slowly increasing his level of opposition. Some might argue with that, but at 24 what’s the rush? I know the public can’t wait to have a dominant Heavyweight, but let’s not rush the man. He clearly needs to become more polished. If Foreman could take up boxing at 18, win the gold at 19, and be Heavyweight Champ at 24, surely Peter (who turned pro at 22) in today’s anemic state of Heavyweights could be champ by age 26. Now, being champ again at 45 and making 150 million dollars selling a grill is a whole different story. Peter might find it a tad difficult to sell a grill in Africa, but with his crippling power he might make enough dough to feed the continent.

At this point, it's still to early to tell how good Peter is, due to his lack of serious competion. An early indication might have been when Peter fought against veteran fighter, Charles Shufford in May, 2004. In that bout, Peter looked ackward and untalented, as he was unable to put away Shufford, who had previously been knocked out easily by Wladimir Klitschko and Jameel McCline. Although, Peter was able to rally in the 2nd half of the fight to pull out the win over Shufford, he still looked average, as he lunged with every punch, trying to score a knockout.

Article posted on 14.02.2005



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