05.09.05 - By Jim Amato: Why is Byrd fighting Williamson ? This contender lost a technical decision to Wlad Klitschko and was flattened by Joe Mesi. This was the same Joe Mesi who was pushed to the limit by Monte Barrett and Vassily Jirov. I would imagine how Mesi must feel with his career on the verge of a medical knockout and then seeing someone he left prone on the canvas getting a title shot. It would be enough to make a grown man cry.
I'm not sure who John Ruiz is fighting next but out of pride he should fight David Tua. I'll bet Ruiz still has nightmares about that knockout loss. That was just plain brutal. How could John call himself a champion without reversing that loss? When Lennox Lewis was bombed out by Hasim Rahman, he wasted little time getting Rahman back into the ring. He "rocked" Rahman and regained his title and his pride. That is what a champion does.
Rahman was unimpressive in beating Monte Barrett. Still you have to give him a puncher's chance against Vitali. To this point in his career though Vitali has shown that he has world class whiskers.
Wlad and Sam Peter... I see two very clear scenarios. Wlad is a very good technical boxer. I can see him clearly out boxing and out classing thelumbering Peter. OR... Wlad's china chin is again exposed and, if nothing else, Peter is a puncher. Peter puts me in mind of a big John Mugabi. I expect to see the first scenario but I fear we'll see the latter.
James Toney WILL be back ! Dominick Guinn was a very good opponent choice for him. Guinn has not lived up to his early hype but he's no stiff either. Hopefully James will come to the bout in decent shape. If so he should have little trouble out foxing Guinn and again becoming a major player in the division.
Ray Austin's recent win over Owen Beck coupled with his draws in bouts with Larry Donald and Lance Whitaker have brought him to contender status.
I still have high hopes for Calvin Brock and Sergei Liakhovich. Ray Austin would be a good opponent for either boxer but Austin-Beck II would not surprise me if the fight was made. Beck has good skills but his chin seems a little weak. Monte Barrett who is no Earnie Shavers had him down and took him out. Austin hurt him early and that may have changed the whole tempo of the fight. Still I see Beck getting another chance to prove himself.
Brewster-Krasniqi is really hard to get excited about. Beating Lance Whitaker is hardly the coronation of a future champion. Krasniqi may be a rugged customer but the pressure is really on Brewster. Is Lamon Brewster really the dynamo that destroyed Andrew Golota or is he the fighter that struggled with the journeyman Kali Meehan?