When Amir Mansour and Epifanio Mendoza square off for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Heavyweight title on Saturday December 2 at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware, it is one of those fights where the spectators better keep their eyes open at all times.
It is almost a certainty that somebody is going to get knocked out!
Southpaw-banger Mansour, 15-0 (11), has created quite a buzz recently and is widely considered one of the most exiting heavyweights around, but at age 39 time is not on his side. Nicknamed “Hardcore”, he turned professional in 1997 and compiled nine straight victories before being incarcerated for eight-and-a-half years between 2001 and 2010.
But while he spend all those years in prison, Mansour never stopped training, and eventually he walked out the prison gates in the same excellent shape as when he walked in. One of the first things he did as a free man was return to a real boxing gym.
In August 2010 he began his amazing comeback, and has since delivered one highlight-reel knockout after another. This past August he was taken the distance for the first time since he returned, when perennial contender Dominick Guinn managed to go ten rounds. Before that Mansour had destroyed five opponents in a row.
Columbia’s former Light Heavyweight World Title-Challenger Epifanio “Diamante” Mendoza, 32-12-1 (28), let his presence in the heavyweight division be known a few months ago when he knocked out undefeated (13-0) Puerto Rican prospect Carlos Negron in three rounds.
Like Mansour, Mendoza has travelled a very unusual road towards their WBF Heavyweight title showdown. He made his professional debut as a Light Middleweight in 1999, and knocked out his first sixteen opponents, including the highly touted and undefeated (17-0) Tokunbo Olajide. As he moved up the divisions he captured titles at Middleweight and Super Middleweight, before losing a bid for the WBC World Light Heavyweight championship against Chad Dawson.
Since the Dawson bout, Mendoza has come second in Cruiserweight title fights against undefeated opponents BJ Flores and Lateef Kayode, before making his way to boxing’s most prominent weight class, Heavyweight, where he is 2-0 with two knockouts against undefeated opposition. Now the question remains, will he be able to make it 3-0 against Mansour?
No matter who emerges victorious in Dover on December 2, the fans are sure to be in for a treat. Mansour vs. Mendoza, DON’T BLINK!