Boxing


Amir “Hardcore” Mansour To Face Epifiano Mendoza, Dec. 2nd

By James Slater: One of the best kept secrets in today’s heavyweight division, is 39-year-old Amir Mansour. The unbeaten, 15-0(11), contender is now ranked in the top-ten of a couple of organizations, and the hungry southpaw has won seven in a row since being released from prison last summer.

Next up for the well conditioned, defensively sound fighter (forget about Mansour’s age: he is no average 39-year-old!) is a Dec. 2nd bout against Epfiano Mendoza of Colombia. The 35-year-old known as “Diamante” is coming off two stoppage wins, his most recent being an upset of the promising Carlos Negron, who was 13-0 at the time.

Mendoza, at 32-12-1(28) doesn’t have a great record, but those 28 KO’s attest to the fact that he can crack. Not a big heavyweight (in fact Mendoza began his pro career, way back in 1999, as a light-middleweight), Mendoza had better make sure he gets his shots home first against the fast Mansour or else face a losing night. The Colombian does figure to be dangerous early on. Stopped six times, Mendoza has been in with good names, Chad Dawson, B.J Flores, Lateef Kayode and Beibut Shumenov.

Mansour, however, is aiming for the very top. Very much wanting bigger names to fight, “Hardcore” cannot afford a slip up next month. At just 5’11,” some fans claim the Delaware native is too small to be able to stir up the division the way he says he will, but Mansour is certainly a heavyweight to keep an eye on. And he wants the Klitschkos; as he told me over the phone a while back:

“I think that in my last six fights, I’ve proved I’m not facing bums,” Mansour said. “I’m taking chances right now, because I wanna rise through the rankings fast. These [other] American heavyweights today, they’re all recycled guys. They’ve all had their shot and they’ve been lacklustre. It’s not fair that these guys get a second shot ahead of fighters like me. Fans want to see good boxing skills, the kind of skills that I have.”

Mansour is well aware of the negativity he is getting in some quarters doe to his age. The contender, however, says his age means nothing.

“If any critic brought up my age, I’d tell them this: if you were to stand all the world’s heavyweights, either active or retired, next to me, you’d see how I compare, appearance-wise, physique-wise, speed and power wise - everything. I’d be in the top five of the entire planet! My age doesn’t mean a thing. And I’ll prove it. There is no-one out there who is as fast as me, as powerful as me and as defensively adept as me. I’ve never ever been beaten up, I’ve barely been hit in any of my fights.”

Mansour has natural punching power, good speed of hand and foot, and he also has an unmarked face which he puts down to his defensive skills. The 39-year-old believes this combination of assets will see to it that he achieves plenty

“My best asset in the ring is definitely a combination of my speed, my power, my defence and my athleticism. My speed and power are overwhelming. Honestly, we have developed an offense where there is literally no defence against it. I’ve not come close to showing all I have yet - I’ve not been in a war and needed to yet. These guys out there, they don’t know what I’m capable of!”

Next to find out will be Mendoza. I can’t see this one going too many rounds, but it could be lively while it lasts. I like Mansour by KO in around three or four-rounds.

Article posted on 11.11.2011



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