Posted by MICHAEL AMAKOR on Jan 22, 2011

Moores vs Jirov Pre-Fight Analysis

By Michael Amakor | December 2004

On December 9, 2004, Vasilly “The Tiger” Jirov faces “Double M” Michael Moorer for the Vacant WBC Continental Americas and North American Heavyweight Titles at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

The tiger from Kazakhstan is the former WBC Continental Americas Cruiserweight Champion and he first shot into prominence back in June 1999 when he scored a technical knockout over veteran Arthur William. This was just the beginning of his dominance of the Cruiserweight Division as he defended his title ten times decisively crushing challenges from tested veterans like Saul Montana, Adolpho Washington and Dale Brown.

It is generally known that he undergoes a brutal training regimen probably designed by disgruntled elements from the former Soviet era sports regime characterized by tyrannical obsession with hard work and perfection, it has been reported that his trainers left him in the middle of a frozen river and let him swim back to shore.

This conditioning served him well in his war with James Toney, in a bout most boxing experts hailed as the fight of the year, Jirov fought the fight of his life against slick trash talking veteran the legendary James Toney pounding away and absorbing tremendous punishment before succumbing to a knockdown in the last few minutes of the twelfth and final round in a wild exchange so brutal the commentators at ringside were whopping in horror exclaiming ‘Oh my God”. Jirov lost that fight by a unanimous decision but he forever won the hearts of boxing fans with that performance.

After that he made a career move up into the land of the heavyweights against highly touted Joe “Baby” Mesi who was a hot prospect. In another match that exemplified his punching power and conditioning Jirov overcame Mesi’s onslaught and seemingly superior ring generalship to score knockdown in the ninth and twice in the tenth round.

But in an outrageous decision the judges scored the bout for Mesi. For Mesi it was however a phrric victory as he was diagnosed after the fight with suffering brain damage as a direct result of the blows he received from The Tiger, his boxing license has since been withdrawn and he has not fought since.

Jirov is seemingly undeterred by these setbacks and is now stepping into the ring with two time Heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer, who once terrorized the Light Heavyweight division in the late nineteen eighties knocking out all opponents and winning the WBO Light Heavyweight crown back in 1988, he went on to make ten defenses of that title knocking out all comers before getting bored with the division and stepping up to the heavyweight division, he experienced his first real baptism of fire against Bert Cooper for the WBO Heavyweight Title suffering two knockdowns before scoring two knockdowns of his own before finally knocking out Bert in the fifth round.

He went on the beat the legendary Evander Holyfield for the WBA and WBC titles before losing his titles to 40 year old man Big George Foreman in a fight he was winning on all judges scorecards before he got caught with well setup combinations from Big George, he rebounded and again won the IBF heavyweight against Axel Schultz and defended it in tough and bloody affairs against Francois Botha and Vaughn Bean before losing to The real deal in a rematch that had to be stopped as he got up from five hard knockdowns but was simply unable to beat Evader’s timing and delivery.

After that he went into retirement and returned back to the ring slowly rebuilding his career before suffering a major setback when he suffered a knockout in the very first round and almost first punch delivered by now missing David Tua.

Both guys are southpaws so it will be interesting to see how the land their shots against each other, expect a war and each has suffered recent setbacks in their careers and maybe looking to make a statement. A win for Moorer will preserve his career a little longer and make him more visible if he can follow it up with another convincing win. A loss for Jirov will derail his already faltering career; a win will place in a vantage position at getting a title shot against one of the alphabet champions immediately.

But he has to contend with Moorer who has a weak chin but is strong and powerful but atimes seems unwilling to unleash the punches that once made him a terror in the Light Heavyweights. Jirov also is very strong but is not very good at defending himself and does not cover up while moving forward, his conditioning is always great but heavyweight punches could break him down just ask Toney or Joe Mesi and this time maybe Moorer may let his hands go especially since Jirov is comparatively smaller.

Enough Said May the best Man Win


Michael Amakor has written 174 post in this blog.

Michael “Keep Punching” Amakor has been the Chief Scribe of popular boxing website FightKings.Com since 2003. He has written over 100 articles about boxing that have been vicariously read and extensively blogged across the internet and on major boxing websites. He can be seen regularly at the fights giving round by round commentary and he is a regular commentator on the boxing radio and TV circuit.

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