Oleg Maskaev knocked out by Nagy Aguilera in tune-up fight

Nagy Aguilera was able to knock out Oleg Maskaev, signaling the end of Maskaev's career as a contender and the rebirth of Aguilera's career as a prospect.

In Sacramento this evening, former WBC heavyweight strapholder Oleg Maskaev lost by first round technical knockout to a hand-picked opponent, Nagy Aguilera.  According to News 10 Sacramento, Aguilera jumped on Maskaev immediately and caught him with a left hook-right hand combination that sent Maskaev to the floor, and then followed up with a flurry that forced the stoppage.  A video of the knockout itself is available at the News 10 Sacramento link.

This pretty much ends the career of Oleg Maskaev.  A storied amateur, he was pressed into action way too soon, stepping up against former champion Oliver McCall in only his seventh pro bout.  This nearly prevented Maskaev from reaching his potential, and for many years he was simply a rugged fighter with a big right hand, who usually lost when he stepped up in class.  The lone exception was an early win over Hasim Rahman.  Fortunately for Maskaev, Rahman happened to be a titlist when Maskaev finally earned a title shot at the ripe old age of 37.  Maskaev knocked out Rahman in the 12th round to capture the belt.

Since then, things haven't been as rosy for Maskaev.  He defended his title only once in a two-year span while a combination of injuries and sanctioning body politics prevented him from getting into the ring more frequently.  Maskaev was hoping to face champion emeritus Vitali Klitschko, but was instead forced to face interim titlist Samuel Peter, who knocked Maskaev out in six.  Maskaev then won a lawsuit against the WBC to be installed as a high-ranked contender, so that he would have the opportunity to have his bigger money fight with Vitali.  Had he won, his next fight would have been a title eliminator with Ray Austin to become Vitali's mandatory challenger.  Aguilera has thrown a monkey wrench in that plan, and Austin, who already won a title eliminator over DaVarryl Williamson, will likely be installed as Vitali's mandatory.

For Aguilera, this was likely a career-defining win, and this should give him the opportunity for some bigger fights.  Knocking off a highly ranked fighter means he'll probably jump in the WBC's rankings, and he may be able to get a bigger money fight with some name fighter who's trying to climb the rankings.  The Dominican, who fights out of the Bronx, betters his record to 15-2 with 10 knockouts.  Both of those losses were controversial, with one coming from a disqualification from hitting off of the break, and the other coming by split decision loss.


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