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Hide Destroys Kosobokovs, Ready For Title Shot

Herbie HideBy Erik Schmidt: Former two-time WBO heavyweight champion Herbie Hide (45-4, 42 KOs) continued with his comeback defeating Latvian Aleksejs Kosobokovs (12-10, 5 KOs) by a 3rd round stoppage on Saturday night at the Norwich Showground, in Norwich, Norfolk. Like his other nine fights since starting his comeback in September 2006, the 37 year-old Hide was facing yet another soft opponent, and it was little wonder that Hide was able to stop him inside the distance. Facing little return fire in any of the three rounds, Hide plodded after Kosobokovs, 30, hitting him with jabs to the midsection and a lot of slow, clubbing right hands to the head. Hide knocked Kosobokovs down with a hard right hand near the end of the 2nd round.

It was a good shot, though minus the incredible speed that Hide once possessed much earlier in his career. Kosobokovs was knocked down twice more in the 3rd round, the first being from a chopping right-left combination to the head, and the second knockdown occurring when Kosobokovs was bent over the ropes, facing the audience in a helpless position, at which point Hide nailed him with a left to the head, sending Kosobokovs down to the canvas. The round ended just after that. In between rounds, the fight was stopped.

Hide had little problems with Kosobokovs in the first round, following his slightly pudgy opponent around the ring and hitting him with right hands to the midsection and to the head. Hides’ lack of hand speed is at once startling, especially for those who’ve not seen him fight in eight or nine years. He’s much slower than he used to, though he still possesses about the same power he did earlier in his career from the looks of it. His power, though, was never his problem, it was his weak chin. Kosobokovs, however, wasn’t the type of opponent that was in the position to test whether Hide’s chin has somehow improved through the years or stayed the same. The same can be said for Hide’s previous nine soft opponents since starting his comeback in 2006.

The sad thing is, with this win over Kosobokovs, Hide could be in line to fight the winner of the WBC title match-up between Rudolf Kraj and Giacobbe Fragomeni, neither of which would be an easy fight for the thirty-seven year old Hide to beat at this stage in his career. However, Hide would seem to have a much better shot at beating either Fragomeni or Kraj than he would contending in the WBO with the likes of Alexander Alekseev and Enzo Maccarinelli. Hide would probably be stopped by both of those fighters as easily as he stopped the over-matched Kosobokovs on Saturday night.

Hide continued hitting Kosobokovs with clubbing shots in the 2nd round. Near the end of the round, Hide connected with a perfectly placed right hand to put Kosobokovs down. He got up and Hide tried to take him out, but missed badly with a couple of his punches and then landed a couple of body shots instead of a head shot, which is probably all that was needed at this point. In the 3rd round, Hide dropped Kosobokovs early in the round with another clubbing right hand. Hide then teed-off on him after he got up off the canvas.

Kosobokovs tried to fight back, but missed with a couple of wild shots thrown with too much desperation. Hide, showing no urgency, continued to follow Kosobokovs around the ring, hitting him like he was clubbing a defenseless wounded animal. There was little sport to the fight at this point, because Kosobokovs was like a big bag of stuffing, and nothing more than that. Finally, Hide hit Kosobokovs with a hard right to his midsection, causing him to bend over in pain and turn his back on Hide and walk away to the side of the ring.

Surprisingly, the referee allowed it to continue and didn’t stop Hide when he went chasing after Kosobokovs, first missing a wild left and then a right to the back of his head. Kosobokovs then came to a halt at the ropes, still clutching his hurt midsection, and turned facing the audience, leaving his back exposed to Hide. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, even if it was against a C-class opponent, Hide hit Kosobokovs with a left hand while the Latvian still had his back turned towards Hide, totally defenseless. The punch sent Kosobokovs down to the canvas for the second time in the round.

With this win, one would hope that Hide gets a shot at the WBC cruiserweight title. At least in facing the winner of Kraj- Fragomeni, we can see how much Hide still has left. At this point, it’s hard to really tell for sure how good Hide is, because his opponents have been badly over-matched and just plain awful. Hide looks pretty mediocre to me, but he still has his power and if he can fight one of the plodding cruiserweights like Kraj and Fragomeni, Hide might be able to land something big against them.


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