The WBC rightfully turned down the idea of new interim heavyweight champ Samuel Peter fighting 39-year old Andrew Golota on October 6, but sources say that they have approved Jameel McCline as an opponent for Peter, and promoter Don King continues to work to salvage the Madison Square Garden event.
According to reports, the only hoop to jump through is MSG itself giving the green light to Peter-McCline, two guys who have been left without opponents in the past two weeks. McCline was to face Vitali Klitschko and Peter was to finally get his crack at Oleg Maskaev, but both Klitschko and Maskaev pulled out of the bouts with injuries.
Peter-McCline is a more interesting idea than Peter-Golota, at least as far as the potential for it to be a competitive fight goes. Peter-Golota was interesting because we knew we were getting a Peter knockout. The only Vegas odds on that could've been how fast.
After McCline's September 22nd bout with Klitschko was called off, Don King got the big veteran into a fight against DaVarryl Williamson on October 6th. Williamson had been sparring with Klitschko prior to the former champ's injury.
The interesting thing, I think, about the potential Peter-McCline matchup is I do think McCline could pull off what would be a very big upset. It's not at all likely, but I can see him lasting more than a round, which was hard to picture with Golota.
At 6'6", McCline has the size to impose his will on most opponents. In his last bout, he suffered a knee injury when matched up with Nikolai Valuev. I'm not trying to say that McCline is a huge puncher or that he's even more than a B-level heavyweight that is, at 37, past his prime. But Peter's only career loss was to Wladimir Klitschko, another big guy. Sometimes, a short, squat, power guy like Peter can really struggle with a guy that can keep him at bay. Of course, he knocked the shit out of Klitschko repeatedly in their bout, so maybe it totally wouldn't matter.
I do hope Peter gets to fight, because it seems like he really wants to. He's been inactive since January 6, when he clobbered James Toney. At 27, he's one of the real hopes for the heavyweight division. He's a huge hitter with personality. I just like the guy. He dealt with his loss to Klitschko by going out and fighting, and has earned his status.
In other heavyweight news, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison was involved in a car accident in Florida after a training session with Buddy McGirt. The crash reportedly occured after the other driver failed to yield, smashing into the front of Harrison's vehicle. He was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, including mild head trauma and injuries to his wrist and shoulder. Harrison is awaiting an MRI on his shoulder. I have never liked the guy at all, but I wish him all the best. The things I don't like about him -- arrogance and all that -- are things that can be mended pretty easily. He is a talented boxer. As a pro, he's never put it together.
In very sad news, 28-year old Reno boxer Jackson Bussell died Friday afternoon after a Thursday fight in Calabasas, California, in which he went to a six-round draw against Javier Garcia. Bussell collapsed after the fight and was rushed to the hospital in grave condition. We send our thoughts and prayers to the Bussell family.