Amir Mansour vs. Sergey Kuzmin on Nov. 27
By Eric Thomas: Amir Mansour (23-2-1, 16 KOs) will be fighting unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin (11-0, 8 KOs) later this month on November 27 in a fight for the vacant WBC International heavyweight title at the Luzhniki, in Moscow, Russia.
It’s unclear how much Mansour has left in the tank at this point in his career. Mansour’s last knockout came 3 years ago against Fred Kassi in 2014. Mansour has won 2 out of his last 4 fights. Kuzmin, 6’3”, would have to be viewed as the favorite in this fight due to his age, size and the fact that the fight is taking place in his home country of Russia.
Kuzmin fights in the mid-240s, and he’ll likely have a 20 pound weight advantage over Mansour. If Mansour catches Kuzmin with one of his hard shots, he could knock him out. Kuzmin hasn’t fought anyone in the pro ranks with the same kind of power that Mansour possesses.
Former WBA heavyweight Lucas “Big Daddy” Brown was previously being talked about fighting the 30-year-old Kuzmin, but he opted not to take the fight.
The winner of the Mansour vs. Kuzmin fight will get pushed up the World Boxing Council rankings.
Neither of them is ranked in the WBC’s rankings at this time. Mansour is rated No.15 by the WBO at this time. Kuzmin is not rated at all despite being unbeaten and having a good but not great amateur background in Russia. Kuzmin turned pro in 2014, but he’s matched against largely poor opponents rather than guys that would help him get ranked quickly.
Kuzmin has recent wins over the following fighters:
• Darnell Wilson
• Irineu Costa Junior
• Malcolm Tann
• Keenan Hickman
• Vaclav Pejsar
• Mike Sheppard
• Konstantin Airich
With Kuzmin’s amateur background and him being 30-years-old, his management should have been looking to move him faster. As an amateur, Kuzmin defeated Joe Joyce, and a number of other well-known fighters.
Mansour is 15 years older than Kuzmin at 45, but he’s still fighting at high level, thanks to his huge punching power.
The southpaw Mansour, 6’1”, is coming off a 12 round majority decision win over Travis Kauffman earlier this year on March 17. It was a close fight for Mansour, but he did the job and got the victory. Before that, Mansour was beaten by the much bigger 6’6” Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale by a 5th round stoppage last year on January 23.
Mansour suffered an injury in that fight that forced the stoppage. Mansour dropped Breazeale in round 3. He might have beaten Breazeale if he hadn’t suffered a lacerated tongue during the back and forth trading.
Mansour has wins over Fred Kassi and Joey Dawejko. In October 2015, Mansour fought to a controversial 10 round draw against Gerald Washington. Mansour appeared to win the fight, but the judges thought Washington had done enough to deserve a draw out of the fight. Boxing News 24 had Mansour winning 8 rounds to 2. The fight was scored poorly by the judges. Mansour lost to Steven Cunningham by a 10 round unanimous decision on April 4, 2014. In that fight, Mansour knocked Cunningham down two times in round 5. However, Cunningham came back to drop Mansour in the 10th.