Dimitrenko vs. Rossy, Arslan vs. Wilson This Saturday

By Boxing News - 05/02/2008 - Comments

dimitrenko434333.jpgBy Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko continues with his move towards a future title shot this Saturday night, fighting Derric Rossy (18-1, 10 KOs) at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany for Dimitrenko’s WBO Inter-continental title . For Dimitrenko, 25, this is a step backwards by fighting Rossy, who doesn’t come close to matching up with the 6’7” Dimitrenko in category going into this fight on Saturday. Dimitrenko had looked good in most of his bouts until, that is, his last fight with Timo Hoffmann, who knocked Dimitrenko to the canvas once in the fight and landed a lot of heavy shots during the fight.

I suppose you could excuse Dimitrenko’s off performance, given the huge 6’6” 260 lb size of Hoffmann. This wasn’t a bout in which Dimitrenko could simply use his height and reach to dominate Hoffmann, and was forced to utilize his super boxing skills to eventually overwhelm him in the 12th round, stopping him by TKO. As always, Dimitrenko showed extraordinary skills for a large heavyweight, showing an incredible array of punches and movement from a fighter his size. He looked like a larger, more athletic version of Wladimir Klitschko, only without his power.

Ranked #2 in the WBO, #4 in the IBF, #5 in the WBC and #6 in the WBC, Dimitrenko is on the verge of a title shot against one of the three heavyweight champions in the next year. Obviously, Dimitrenko would prefer that it be against his fellow Ukrainian compatriot, Wladimir Klitschko, also 6’7”, but that’s not likely to happen in the foreseeable future, considering Klitschko’s two mandatory challengers – Tony Thompson and Alexander Povetkin – that he must face in his next two bouts.

After Alexander Povetkin, Dimitrenko is arguably the best contender in the heavyweight division. His management team, much to my disappointment, has been slow in bringing him up against top opposition. At this point in his career, Dimitrenko should have faced more top fighters than he has, yet for a fighter with 27 fights, Dimitrenko’s best opponent is Hoffmann, which doesn’t say too much for Dimitrenko’s experience against top level opposition. This Saturday’s opponent, the 6’3” 250 lb Rossy, isn’t about to increase Dimitrenko’s experience by much and help him prepare for title holders like Klitschko, Ruslan Chagaev and Samuel Peter.

It’s too bad, because Dimitrenko has the skills to beat any of the top 10 contenders without too many problems, probably any of the title holders as well, excluding only Klitschko. It seems that Dimitrenko’s management don’t want to take any chances and perhaps see him lose possibly, ruining a future title shots. This play it safe type of attitude isn’t good for Dimitrenko, who needs to have been fighting top level opposition a long time ago and likely would have if he were managed by an American.

In the undercard, WBA cruiserweight champion Firat Arslan (28-3-1, 18 KOs) takes on the hard-punching American Darnell Wilson (23-6, 20 KOs). This figures to be a very tough match for the 37 year-old champion Arslan, who had all he could handle in winning the WBC cruiserweight title over Virgil Hill in November 2007. Arslan appeared to narrowly win the fight, but the scores were very generous in his favor and didn’t resemble the actual fight. Heavily muscled, Arslan has little power to speak of, instead wining most of his fights due to his constant work rate.

He generally comes directly at his opponents, staying on top of them and trying to win by his sheer numbers of punches thrown. There’s little finesse about him as he seems to only have one gear – forward. This will be a problem against Wilson, 33, who punches harder than anyone in the cruiserweight division. Arslan appears to be made for his style as he won’t have to chase after him like he did against BJ Flores, who ran from Wilson all fight long and ended up beating him by a questionable decision.

Wilson looked to have done more than enough to get the decision, but came out short on a horrible decision. I expect Wilson to be able to take the limited Arslan out in short order. Arslan doesn’t belong as a champion given his mediocre skills and power and was lucky to have beaten Virgil Hill.