Chicago has the hottest ticket in the nation this Saturday night as the dynamic Midwestern city plays host to another massive Don King Productions card headlined by a bad blood heavyweight WBC Interim title bout between former world champion Hasim Rahman and surging contender Monte Barrett. The main co-feature is a superb one with the riveting Ricardo Mayorga squaring off against steel willed ex-welterweight world titlist Michelle Piccirillo for the vacant WBC 154-pound crown. It doesn't stop there as hammer fisted WBA light middleweight ruler Alejandro Garcia faces the challenge of top flight European boxer Luca Messi, and WBA welterweight belt-holder Luis Collazo meets granite jawed Mexican legend Miguel Angel Gonzalez in a non-title affair. Showtime will show all these bouts and more live as they happen on their Pay-Per-View broadcast that begins on Saturday night at 9PM ET/6PM PT. It's a true bonanza of boxing as fight cards like these don't come along every day and certainly bear further examination.
SaddoBoxing continues its build-up campaign of Saturday night's huge Don King pay-per-view card coming from Chicago with this essential preview.
Heavyweights Hasim Rahman and Monte Barrett have taken different routes to arrive where they now find themselves; staring face-to-face in Chicago with the winner securing the Interim WBC title and with it the opportunity to contend for Vitali Klitchko's full WBC crown. Rahman, 40-5-1 (33), shocked the world when he knocked out Lennox Lewis with a single devastating right hand almost four years ago but since failing to retain the WBC, IBF and IBO belts against the modern day great in their return bout, the Baltimore native has ridden a rocky road. But since a substandard performance against John Ruiz seventeen months ago, Rahman has rebuilt his career on the basis of five consecutive victories against an ever-increasing grade of opposition.
Like Rahman, Barrett, 31-3 (17), has also been to the well a few times. The thirty-four- year-old New Yorker was on a trajectory straight to the top before running into the giant heavyweight Lance Whitaker and dropping a very close split decision to the Californian in 1999. Undeterred, Barrett put together two more wins before attempting to scale another mountain-like super sized heavyweight, in this case Wladimir Klitschko. It was perhaps the full flowering of Klitschko's impressive skills as he dropped the American five times en route to a seventh round stoppage. It was a testament to the huge size of Barrett's heart that he kept getting up against Klitschko and that same determination saw him get back on the horse just six months later to reel off six straight wins and set up a showdown with unbeaten sensation Joe Mesi in Madison Square Garden. When the smoke cleared, Barrett lost a controversial majority decision to Mesi but enhanced his reputation greatly with an impressive performance. Anyone who wrote Barrett off was sorely mistaken as once again the Queens native rebounded to decision the heavily hyped undefeated Dominick Guinn in March of last year before stopping another unbeaten rising contender in the form of Owen Beck.
Rahman has promised to knock Barrett out and the former champion has demonstrated that he has the greater concussive power between the two but stamina has been somewhat of a problem during fights in the last two years for "The Rock," who came in heavy against David Tua and Ruiz. If Rahman comes in at less than 240-pounds and works behind his laser-like jab, it could be a long and frustrating night for Barrett. Knowing this may be his only opportunity to position himself to contend for genuine world honors could in fact give Barrett the motivational edge however and if he can make Rahman work harder than he would like, the New York man could take away Rahman's composure and force the more experienced man to lapse into waiting for one big punch.
Regardless of which twists and turns this and the other highly competitive bouts on the card take, the real winners will be the fans, both those in attendance in Chicago and those watching at home on Showtime.
Contact Curtis McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org