Oliver McCall, Now a Free Agent, Is Eyeing Big Name Heavyweight Opponents
Pavel Yakovlev - (August 2, 2011) – Former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall is a now a free agent and looking for fights. Last week McCall was released by his promoter, The Heavyweight Factory, which is apparently closing operations. Now 55-11 (37 KO’s), the 46 year-old McCall has been fighting professionally since 1991 and is easily the most experienced heavyweight in the world.
Article posted on 03.08.2011
McCall reports that he is training hard and is currently in better shape than he was in March, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Cedric Boswell. “I weigh about 245 lbs now. I definitely came in overweight for Boswell. They put down 259 lbs, but I was really in the 260s,” he explains. “I’m just letting my manager do his job, and see where I go from here. I’m training hard, staying in shape, and staying focused..”
Despite his age, McCall has several qualities going for him as a heavyweight. His right hand is still regarded as one of the most powerful in the division. Even in sparring, wearing headgear and 16 oz gloves, he is known to have hurt and even kayoed reputable fighters. McCall is possibly the most durable active heavyweight: he has never been knocked down in his career.
Many insiders rate his chin as equal to that of the legendary George Chuvalo. And, of course, McCall’s experience translates into ring intelligence. Much like other over-40 year-old greats such as Archie Moore and George Foreman, McCall possesses a repertoire of tricky moves that can befuddle all but the savviest of fighters.
Recently, WBA #11 contender Kali Meehan stated his interest in facing McCall. The former heavyweight champion is happy to oblige, stating “I would love to fight him. If he calls me out, I’m available now. Let’s sign on the dotted line and get it on.”
British Commonwealth champion Tyson Fury is also on McCall’s mind. “I’d love to get a hold of Fury. I’ve finally seen him fight and I’d knock him out. I watched his fight against Chisora, and I wasn’t really impressed. Fury had nice combinations, but no real power. Given the bad shape that Chisora was in, Fury should have knocked him out.”
There are also rumors afloat that McCall may be face WBO #11 and WBC #8 contender Chauncy Welliver. “Right now, it’s just talk,” McCall states. “I’m being patient and staying in shape. But I’m waiting for someone to send me a contract.
The opponent that intrigues McCall most of all, however, is Franklin Lawrence. Two years ago McCall beat Lawrence by a close unanimous decision. Since then, Lawrence has embarked on a winning streak, scoring impressive stoppage wins over Lance Whittaker, Jason Estrada, and Jason Gavern. Lawrence also signed recently with powerhouse promoter Gary Shaw, which signals that Lawrence will probably appear high in the ratings in the near future.
“Lawrence is one of my major targets,” says McCall. “I think he deserves a rematch, to see if he can reverse that loss. He’s got a good record, and he’s beaten some good guys. I’d like a chance to prove that I could knock him out. I’d stop in within five rounds. I wasn’t in the best shape for the first fight because I couldn’t do roadwork, but I still beat him. In the seventh round of our fight, I hurt him with a nice body shot. But I was fighting with a groin injury, so I couldn’t really track him down and finish him off. Now, I’m ready. I’m in better condition now and I’d let my hands go. I’d knock him out.”
McCall is not deterred by the prospect of fighting Lawrence in the latter’s home arena. Any possible rematch, naturally, would be promoted by Shaw, thus making Lawrence the “house” fighter. Asked whether he would feel comfortable fighting under these conditions, McCall was straightforward. “I’d love to fight Lawrence on one of Gary’s cards. I respect Gary as a promoter and a gentleman. I would like to show him that I can beat his fighter.”
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