20 Oct 2021

Inside the Maskaev Camp!

22 Jan 2008 22:16       hits 10157

In seven weeks WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and his team will get on a plane, fly down to Cancun, Mexico and weigh-in for Maskaevs second title defense against Samuel Peter. The next night Maskaev will climb the stairs to the ring, listen to the referees final instructions and proceed to get knocked out by Samuel Peter.

Or at least that seems to be the general consensus.

But Maskaev doesnt seem to have got the message. Neither, for that matter, has his trainer, Victor Valle Jr. or his promoter Dennis Rappaport. Ditto for Maskaevs manager, Fred Kesch.

As Maskaev trains daily in the mountains of the Poconos in Pennsylvania a quiet confidence radiates from the boxer and his team. Maybe its because Peter looked so susceptible last October in a win over Jameel McCline. Maybe its because Maskaev is healthy, a serious concern after herniated and bulging discs in his back forced him to pull out of an earlier date. Or maybe its because, at 38 years old, Maskaev is finally coming into his own as a fighter and as a champion.

It doesnt hurt that he finally knows when and where he will be fighting too.

It was confusing for me, Maskaev, 34-5, 26 KOs said about the myriad attempts to re-schedule the bout post-injury. But once again I was training, sparring, doing my job as I always do and Im alright. I told Dennis, Dont tell me anything thats happening right now because I know youre staying on top of it. Im going to do my job; youre going to do your job. This way, were going to perform. If something comes up, were going to sit down and decide.

According to Maskaev his back is now feeling better. This, Maskaev says, is due to New York-based doctor David Cuccia and the Extentrac Elite, a machine specially designated to deal with the type of back pain Maskaev encountered. Its a miracle machine, Rappaport said. Ive never seen anything like it. Its done wonders for Oleg.

It works beautiful, said Maskaev. I have no complaints.

Hes a hundred percent now, said Rappaport. He was having problems for a while then he injured himself running and we took him for the MRI. The MRI showed two herniated discs and a bulging disc. And we didnt even say this, so most people dont even know, but he had a bruise on his ankle also. There was just no time. He wanted to fight but there was no way we couldve done it. He couldnt have sparred; he couldnt have done anything for that matter of time.

Now that Maskaev has recuperated he is back training full time at the Fernwood resort, the usual site for his training camps. He is a hard critic of his own work, despite boxing well over five, four minute rounds with his sparring partners. Maskaev has been training on and off for the fight for over a year but has been back in camp steadily since December 5. Kesch, meanwhile, is busy trying to secure a new training camp site to acclimate the fighter to conditions he will encounter once he reaches Mexico.

However, many insiders are naturally circumspect that the fight will actually come off this time. The fight has been on and off for over a year with dates set for last spring, October 6, February 2 and now March 8. But according to all those involved, the date in Cancun is solid. Well, its as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, Peter co-promoter Don King confirmed to Fightnews last week. You know, things could happen, events can bring about change. But right now Im looking forward to having my swimming suit on and my big towel. They have great big terry cloth towels. They are amazing. You know what I mean? And to be on the beach on Cancun, you know, witnessing greatness at its best.

As for the venue King said that its going to be a baseball stadium.

Rappaport said he received a letter from the WBC on Wednesday, January 9, also re-confirming the March 8 date and location.

With the new date, the television has also shifted from Showtime to HBO. The fight was scheduled for February 2, said Rappaport. King had confirmed it was going to be at the Garden on February 2. That didnt happen and frankly we dont understand how he could have stated it was going to be on February 2 since the building was booked previously for a year by Colgate. So it was never available, so when he went to go move the date, Showtime didnt have the date. And he wanted them to go along with him and that didnt happen so he went to HBO.

I believe it will take place March 8, Rappaport said, and there will be very serious repercussions if it doesnt happen.

As for the talk about Maskaev trying to avoid a fight with Peter, the champion isnt buying it.

Im not even going to fall into that. Whatever theyre going to say Im not going to pay attention to people, Maskaev said. Whatever theyre going to say, I know people. One day theyre going to say one thing; tomorrow theyre going to say a different thing. Theyre not going to trick me with that. I have to worry about myself, not what theyre going to say. I know they want to see a great fighter and a great fight. Thats what I have to show people. The rest, you know, people talk.

One thing Maskaev and his team do seem concerned about is the judging of the bout in Mexico. Rappaport currently has a lawsuit pending against the WBC for, among other things, Maskaev receiving only 55 of the purse split rather than the traditional 70.

Let me put it on the record Im extremely worried, said Rappaport. Look, theres a conflict of interest, the BC and Sulaiman are selecting the officials and we have a court case and arbitration pending. How could you not be (concerned)? Theres a conflict of interest. They should recuse themselves and let a commission appoint the judges outside of the BC to insure the integrity of the event. But the whole world will be watching and yes, we are 100-percent concerned they are going to rob us.

I know my opponent and his people are 100 percent against us, Maskaev said. Theyre going to do everything to rob me. Thats why Im going to be in great shape and not give them a chance to rob me.

As for the status of the lawsuit Rappaport said that its pending and were still conferring with our lawyers about what the next step will be.

Regarding the actual fight with Peter, Maskaev sounds confident, if slightly indifferent.

I think if McCline was in better shape he wouldve beat this guy. He wouldve stopped him, said Maskaev. Nobodys perfect, you know. One day youre a good fighter tomorrow youre a nobody. Youre going to look like a nobody. And thats exactly what happened. Well see whats going to happen tomorrow. Im not going to go by his last fight. Im not going to go by that. But Oleg Maskaev is going to train like I used to train; even better to be in the best shape and put up a great fight because I want to defend my title. I want to be a champion.

And if Maskaev wins would a fight against Vitali Klitschko be next?

He wants to fight me. Who knows? Well see, Maskaev stated. He called me a liar (about Maskaev knocking him out in the amateurs). Thats true. I didnt knock him out but I stopped him in the first round because I beat him good and he doesnt want to admit it. Well see. Were going to check, this time. If this guy (Klitschko) is serious, why not? Ill fight him. It would be a good fight.


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News: Fight Oleg Maskaev -VS- Samuel Peter

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