Amir “Hardcore” Mansour and Sergey Kuzman in Moscow Monday
By: Ken Hissner
New Jersey heavyweight Amir “Hardcore” Mansour has been without a fight since March of 2017. He is substituting for Lucas Browne of Australia on Monday at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow for the WBC heavyweight International title. He is taking on Russian Sergey Kuzman who is unbeaten and untested.
Mansour, 23-2-1 (16), is a southpaw who comes to conquer his opponents by knockout. He has had some bad breaks since returning to the ring after 10 years of inactivity and drew well in the state of DE. He trains out of the Joe Hand Gym in South Philly is managed by Hand Sr.
“In all this time since March I had a couple of short notice low paying offers and that is it. I look forward to this fight and know I will need a knockout to win,” said Mansour.
“This is professional boxing and you have to be ready for last moment changes. We were ready for that but we had to make some last moment adjustments of course, but nothing major. We were watching Mansour’s fight with Breazeale and we know what he is, an assertive strong fighter with character who steps into the ring with the will to win,” said Kuzman. He added pertaining to Wilder “he avoids fighting strong fighters. Our goal is to get rated in the WBC and look to fight Wilder in 2018,” said Kuzman.
Mansour is ranked No. 15 by the WBO organization. He is coming off wins over Joey Dawejko and Travis Kauffman both Philadelphia boxers. His first loss was to another Philadelphia boxer and former 2-time Cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham who he had on the canvas but ran out of gas near the end of that fight but still could have gotten the decision on this writers score card.
Mansour had a disputed draw with Gerald Washington in a fight that he clearly won. Another loss was to Dominic Breazeale who he beat up for four rounds. In the fifth round he took a punch that cut into his tongue causing 36 stitches afterwards. The fight was stopped in the fifth round when he couldn’t continue. Neither Washington nor Breazeale were interested in re-matches for obvious reasons.
Kuzman is 11-0 (8), and will have about a 3-4 inch height advantage over Mansour. Both fighters are rated in the IBO with Kuzman No. 28 and Mansour No. 30. Kuzman is gunning for WBC champion Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder while Mansour being ranked in the WBO would love an opportunity to fight WBO champion Joe Parker from New Zealand unless a win here gets him into the WBC rankings and a chance to fight Wilder. Both fighters would jump at the opportunity for a title fight with any of the current champions.
Mansour is 45 but a young 45 while Kuzman is 30 and with less than a dozen fights under his belt would be taking a chance with either Browne or Mansour but he is willing to fight both.
Kuzman holds the Eurasia Pacific Council title. He had a very good amateur career going back to 2010 winning a World Amateur tournament. Mansour has seven belts and the most prestigious was the USBA belt. This is a World of Boxing Promotion.