Doghouse Boxing breaks down McCline-Brock
By Bobby Jones (April 23, 2005)  
Photo © German Villasenor
On ESPN’s inaugural pay-per-view card on April 23, Calvin ‘The Boxing Banker’ Brock and Jameel ‘Big Time’ McCline will square off in a meaningful heavyweight match-up, where the winner will likely get a shot at one of the four world heavyweight champions.

McCline has already had two chances at attaining one of those belts. First, he fought Wladimir Klitschko in December 2002 for the WBO championship. Klitschko handled the retreating McCline fairly easily, defeating him in the 10th round and scoring a shutout on two out of the three judges’ cards up until this point in the fight. In Klitschko’s third fight after beating McCline, Klitschko was defeated by little known Lamon Brewster. It’s hard to say if McCline had used more pressure against Klitschko he could have achieved the same result as Brewster, but it is open for speculation.

After defeating Charles Shufford, Cedric Boswell and Wayne Llewelyn rather handedly, McCline was granted a shot against IBF champion and close friend Chris Byrd. McCline fared much better in this fight than he did in his first title challenge, losing by questionable split decision. However, McCline did slow down in the championship rounds after knocking Byrd down in the second round. If McCline hopes to have one more chance at the ‘Big Time’ he needs to pull out a win against hot prospect Calvin Brock.

Brock sports an impressive record of 24-0 with 20 KO’s, which suggest that he has big knockout power. Brock’s most impressive win comes against one-time hot prospect Clifford Etienne in Brock’s last fight. Etienne, after being torched by Mike Tyson in 1, had gone undefeated in his six fights leading up to the Brock bout. Brock’s other semi-noticeable wins came against the likes of Terry Smith and Jim Strohl. Brock, at age 30, is four years younger than McCline but also four inches shorter and, come fight time, 40 to 50 pounds lighter.

With McCline’s bodybuilder frame one would assume he has huge knockout power, but that simply isn’t the case. Of McCline’s 31 victories, only 19 have come by knockout. With that said, McCline’s three opponents between the Klitschko and Byrd fights were all counted out before hearing the final bell. Brock also seems like he has a lot of power with all but four of his victories coming via the short route. The truth is that while he may have a little more power then McCline, his knockouts have come against less than stellar opponents. If ‘The Boxing Banker’ hopes to cash in this Saturday night his best bet is probably to try to get the fight into the later rounds, where McCline has shown he has a tendency to wear down, and try to knock him out late or steal a decision much like the way Byrd did.

McCline does have fairly impressive boxing skills for a very big man and his best bet probably would be to stay outside, where he can use his height and reach advantages to full effect. When they do get tied up though, his weight advantage should wear down the smaller Brock. This fight is truly a pick ’em with McCline enjoying a slight edge at Vegas odds at the time of this article. Needless to say, the winner of this fight has a bright future ahead of them but the loser is probably not going to see the light of another championship opportunity for a very long time, if ever.

McCline has the most to lose in this fight. Through his fights with Klitschko and Byrd his name has become pretty familiar in the boxing world and also semi-popular in the general sports world. A win here will give him either a rematch with Byrd, or perhaps even a chance at Wladimir’s older brother Vitali’s WBC heavyweight strap.

Brock has everything to gain in this fight. Speaking to DoghouseBoxing’s Benny Henderson Jr. recently, Brock claimed that the fight won’t even come close to going the distance. If Brock is prophesizing correctly he will indeed become one of the true contenders to watch as he makes his run for a version of the heavyweight title. Brock does have the tools to win this match, but McCline simply has more big fight experience.

While this isn’t a championship fight, it will have the feeling of one because both boxers know that a win on this night will almost surely catapult them into a big money fight against one of our four heavyweight champions.
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