THE NIGHTMARE SURVIVES BIG TIME MCLINE
By Michael Amakor / New York
(October 6, 2007) -
Newly Crowned WBC Interim Heavyweight Champion the "Nigerian Nightmare" Sam Peters suffered three ignoble knockdowns from an early offensive surge by four time title challenger Jameel "Big Time" McCline in the first two rounds in defense of his title to the shock of the over 7102 fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden. However he managed to beat each count delivered by referee Mike Ortega to continue fighting to out hustle the cumbersome McCline down the stretch to win the fight 115-110, 115-111, and 113-112 by Judges Bill Costello, Steve Weisfeld, and Julie Lederman by a unanimous decision animatedly debated by the viewing fans and ringside insiders.
After the shock of the first two rounds both fighters settled into a comfortable rhythm taking turns swinging and landing heavy handed shots against each other, as the fight progressed it became apparent that Peters jab was the deciding factor in the fight and Big Time despite all his upper body movement, and power advantage was unable to impose his will over Peter. He looked winded down the stretch and was breathing through his mouth by the final bell.
A disappointed Mccline who weighed in at a whopping 266 for this fight was quoted by Don King Promotions as saying "I could’ve finished him, I should’ve finished and I didn’t. I thought I had him. He got away and that is why he is still champion. I will tell you this. Samuel Peter is a great champion.” His record fell to (38-7-3, 23 KOs) which includes unsuccessful bids for the title against Wladimir Klitchko, Chris Byrd, and Nikolai Valuez.
Sam Peters improved his record to 28-1, 22 KO, but showed a lot of vulnerability in this fight, and may now have emboldened prospective challengers. He may also have taken this fight lightly despite his protestations to the contrary. He will be giving temporary pass by the fans since he survived these knockdowns to make it to the final bell. Other more astute observers may have detected some ring rust due to over nine frustrating and energy sapping months of intense negotiations, and lawsuits with the camps of reigning champion Oleg Maskeav and emeritus champion Vitali Klitchko; who acted as a spoiler dangling all kinds of enticements for Sam Peters to step aside from his earned title shot, so he Klitchko and Maskaev could have an all Soviet confrontation in Moscow. That plan eventually fell through, the fight with Maskeav was all set to go, but then Maskaev pulled out about two weeks before the fight citing training injuries. This move by Maskaev added fuel to speculation by the always suspicious boxing world that he was terrified about fighting Sam Peter.
It is now the hope of the world of boxing that former Olympian Sam Peters who possesses knockout power in both hands; as readily highlighted by Showtime promotional reels, can bring back some excitement to the heavyweight division. This performance however dampens those expectations until perhaps Peters redeems himself in his next fight, but the confident Sam Peters with his characteristic humble smile declared post fight I'll fight anybody"
GOLOTA GRINDS DOWN MCBRIDE
In the best but un-televised fight of the evening on the under card, 39 year old four time title challenger Andrew Golota (40- 6-1, 33kos) now bearing the moniker Polish Powerhouse but popularly known as the infamous Foul Pole in boxing circles bloodied up and broke down the very game former Irish Heavyweight champion and Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin Mcbride now 34-5-1, 29ko's enroute to the fight being stopped by the referee at the end of the 6th round.
Golota claimed the vacant IBF North American Heavyweight championship belt, his first in his long professional career, he was 49-46, twice and 49-46 ahead on all judges scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
KALI CHECKMATES WILLIAMSON
In another shocker on the under card former IBF Pan Pacific heavyweight and Australian heavyweight champion Kali "checkmate Meehan caught the supposedly experienced former NABF and WBO Latino heavyweight Champion DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson with a crushing uppercut a microsecond past the final bell of the 6th that absolutely stunned him and dropped him down to the canvas. Williamson beat the count and stumbled back to his corner as his crew frantically tried to revive him and he seemed ready to continue. But the matter was decided by certain ringside elements who adjudged Williamson unable to continue. Two judges scored the fight 47-48 twice for Meehan before he delivered the crushing blow at the end of the round.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barry Jordan from the New York State Athletic Commission. later explained that “It was a severe knockdown at the bell in round six. Even though he (Williamson) got up at the count of 10, he was not fully recovered.” A disappointed Williamson who fell to 24-4-0, 20Ko's lamented “I was told the stoppage came from a higher authority at the New York commission. Of course I thought I could go on.” His future remains uncertain after a lackluster title challenge for the title against defending champion Chris Byrd just three fights ago.
The victorious but grieving Meehan who had lost his father in law a few days ago improved his record to 32-3-0, 27KOs and declared in retrospect "I was never going to lose this fight. I felt better tonight than I did the night I almost stopped Lamon Brewster [for the WBO heavyweight championship].