“Where Have All the US Heavyweights
Gone?” Is Amir “Hardcore” Mansour , 18-0 (14), the exception
to the rule? Mansour and Maurice “Mo Bettah” Harris, 26-17-2
(11), of NY battle for the vacant USBA heavyweight title this Friday
at the Dover Downs Casino in Dover, DE.
The heavyweight’s days of Ali,
Frazier, Norton, Foreman and Shavers are gone! The Klitschko’s
draw big live in Europe but HBO and Showtime hasn’t shown them in
years. We have to be content that most of the great trainers are
gone and they may not have passed along what they knew. Recently we
lost Manny Steward, before him Eddie Futch and George Benton. Futch
seemed to pass along enough for Roach to be considered one of the
best today if not the best.
Why are we having 40+ year old boxers
still holding titles and coming back into the game again and again
like Oliver McCall, Jamal McCline and Shannon Briggs? Did Foreman
cause this? Is another now resident of DE, Hopkins causing it? This
41 year old heavyweight in Wilmington, DE, who fights mainly in Dover
Downs, Dover, DE, named Mansour reminds one of a heavyweight
“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler!
Matchmaker Nick Tiberi claims he gets
rejection after rejection for someone to fight Mansour and the money
is not for peanuts from the people at the Dover Downs Casino who do
the promoting! Jason Estrada the No. 15 USBA contender is the
latest! When the name of Harris came up being the No. 9 USBA
contender, one ahead of Mansour, Tiberi told Keith Stoffer, Mansour’s
manager Harris had retired. Stoffer contacted matchmaker Renee Aiken
who located Harris for the match with Mansour.
When Jonathan Banks was injured for his
rematch with No. 5 WBC contender Seth Mitchell there was no way
Mitchell’s people were taking Mansour. Stoffer and Tiberi have
tried to match him with former 175 and cruiser champ Tomasz Adamek
who fights in the heavyweight division and had a shot at Wladimir
Klitschko. Will J Russell Peltz put him in with No. 3 IBF contender
Bryant “By By” Jennings? Marshall Kauffman recently brought his
son Travis the No. 12 WBA contender and No. 7 USBA contender into
Philly to spar with Mansour. Will he agree to a shot at Mansour if
the latter wins the USBA title? The latest rejection when they
reached all the way to France was from Carlos Takam’s the No. 13
Seems Jennings the former USBA champ
vacated so he could go into all the 4 organizations ratings instead
of just the IBF. Mansour is “too dangerous” a risk for a young
prospect like Jennings. There is nothing to gain. Malik Scott is
the No. 1 USBA contender who just lost to Dereck Chisora in the UK
which will surely drop him from the top USBA spot. No. 2 Deontay
Wilder just stopped former WBO champ Siarhei Liakhovich; No. 4 Fres
Oquendo last fought in June and No. 5 Joe Hanks was just stopped by
No. 6 Andy Ruiz. No. 8 Tony Grano pulled out due to injury against
Tomasz Adamek who should be rated but isn’t. Both Adamek and the
No. 3 USBA contender Vyacheslav Glazko won on the same card on August
3rd. No. 7 Travis Kauffman’s next fight will also be
this Friday but not in Dover but in PA at the Valley Forge Casino.
That left No. 9 Harris who at 37 is younger than Mansour. He’s
most remembered for his losing disputed decision to Larry Holmes and
putting the first loss on Liakovich’s record.
Mansour’s trainer Moses Mosely
recently came out of retirement to work the corner again for Mansour.
He’s trained Mansour as far back as July of 1997 at some place
called Cedar Beach Park, in Allentown, PA. Then he scored a pair of
wins at the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. He was 9-0 with
6 knockouts when his career was stopped in 2001. It would be 2010
before he began another 9 fight win streak with 8 more knockouts.
Mansour was on a 8 knockout streak
until veteran Dominick Guinn, 33-7-1, who has never been stopped
including to Adamek recently would go the distance with Mansour who
won every round on two of the scorecards and all but one on the
other. That was for the vacant IBF North American and interim WBO
NABO titles. Then Epifanio Mendoza, 32-12-1, would be stopped for
the vacant World Boxing Federation Intercontinental title.
Don’t let the record of Harris fool
you. In 1997 He knocked out Jimmy Thunder, 32-7. Next he lost a
disputed split decision to former world champ Holmes. Back in 2002
He stopped previously unbeaten Liakhovich, 16-0, who was a future WBO
world champion. In 2010 he won the vacant USBA title over Nagy
Aguilar. He defended it the following year in 2011 stopping Derric
Rossy in the 12th and final round. In 2012 he vacated the
title when he only fought twice. Both fights were overseas in the UK
and Germany. He came back to the US in 2013 defeating southpaw Jason
Bergman 20-9-2 who was on an 11 fight winning streak.
Edgar Santana will be the co-feature.
The NY light welter fights for the fourth straight time at Dover
against veteran Michael Clark who is 1 year a junior to Mansour.
They fight for vacant NABA title Omar “Big O” Douglas, Joey
Tiberi, John “Church Boy” Bowman,vDusty Hernandez Harrison and
Lamont Singletary round out the undercard.
Mansour needs a win to break into the
IBF’s top ten and winning the USBA title will do just that. The
other contenders will be faced with fighting him or stepping aside
and losing their rankings. Mansour has beaten every opponent put
before him and knows this time Saturday he will enter the top 15 of
the IBF rankings and be eligible for a world IBF title fight!
Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: firstname.lastname@example.org