Saturday, December 23, 2006

Valuev - McCline Prediction

In the boxing land of giants nothing will touch this fight. Nicolay Valuev, the tallest, 7'0", and heaviest, 320-plus, man ever to wear a crown will square off with fellow big man Jameel McCline, himself a 6'6", 270-ish, battler. Depending on the actual weigh-in results there could be as much as 600 pounds of man-flesh in the ring for Valuev's January defense of his alphabet version of the heavyweight title.

Valuev depends heavily (pun intended) on a better-than-expect left jab, a seemingly granite chin, and the overall ability to fight steadily over the distance. He's not all that hard to hit but doing so normally requires a running start to climb up the giant Russian to land squarely. While not an especially big hitter, suprising given his normal weight advantage, he wears on opponents and makes consistent attacks almost impossible using his jab and smothering ability.

The more athletic McCline is a late comer to the game. While he often fights in the vicinity of 270, he always appears in good condition. He's certainly had his difficulties along the way, being stopped by Wladimir Klitschko, controversially outpointed by Chris Byrd, edged out by Calvin Brock (despite a solid knockdown) and being outhustled by non-puncher Zuri Lawrence. Yet through it all, he has remained competitive and resilient. It can't go without being said, however, of late it has also appeared that at 36 he may be starting to succumb to the effects of father time.

PREDICTION: Although Valuev at 45-0 seems on his way to surpassing Rocky Marciano's fabled record of 49-0 by skirting the major names, he may have miscalculated. McCline knows this is his last shot both a title and meaningful money. There are no tomorrows in boxing for "Big Time." Look for Valuev to attempt the jab early and often and attempt to tie up McCline on the inside just as he's done against everyone he's met. McCline may in fact be the biggest man Valuev has met in his career and he will be surprised at the strength McCline brings (despite his lack of the big KO punch). McCline also has the element of speed that may prove the clincher. Valuev won't go easily and it won't be an easy night and we've seen McCline give in to the pressure of big bouts before. On this night, however, McCline will be up to the task. He won't allow himself to be tied up and he will land early and often enough to gain a wide points margin. His biggest foe may not be Valuev but the judges at ringside. "Big Time" should prevail despite it all by making it obvious that he's the "bigger" man. McCline by a big 12 round decision.


Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Excellent analysis/article J.E, regardless of the ultimate outcome. Although I'm not as certain of it as some I know, I am in fact picking a McCline victory as well. Baffling to me that of all the 2nd tier/echelon guys they could have picked...They pick a guy who is 6'6" 250+ who is pretty fast and athletic. Just mind-boggling to me. Yes, McCline is now at least 36, and no -- he's nothing great, but it looks to be a stupid guy to put him in with, given the size and styles! Remember how Larry Donald gave the giant fits? Well, McCline is kind of like him, but bigger and stronger! I just don't get it. However...In order for Jameel to actually get the decision, I think he will have to win at least 8 rounds CLEARLY. If it's a close fight -- my feeling is it probably goes to Valuev.

* I haven't seen odds on this one yet, but I'm assuming that Jameel will be a slight underdog. I plan on putting a few on ol''Big Time' here.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

BTW - I'm keeping in mind the victory was over a fringe-contender, but Audley Harrison looked VERY impressive in his win over Williams J.E. At 35 -- is he finally ready to fulfill some of his intial promise? With him, I think it truly was/is "90% mental and 10% physical", and he fought with a real fire and passion the other night. He could be a factor in 2007 J.E.

P.S - "And some things never change"...Dominic Guinn barely won a 10-round split decision over a journeymen cruiserweight that same night J.E.

6:21 PM  
Blogger orltroy said...

I am right with you on this one JE. McCline has been in great shape of late and has focused solely on his boxing career; it's amazing what happens when proper management with some money behind you will do for your career. I do agree with Brian on how Jameel will need to bank roughly 8 rounds to pull out the decision and that still would make the scores close. As for Harrison, chasing Scott Gammer isn't going to get you worl title shots, but will endear him to British fight fans which is more important given that is where his money is. I do feel a year with wins over Scott Gammer, Matt Skelton, and someone like Sinan Samil Sam or Vladimir Virchis would garner a title shot in 08'. I do feel that there will be a unification between Briggs nad McCline shortly after McCline beats Valuev and Briggs topples Ibragimov.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Hmm...I think Briggs-Ibragimov is a tossup though T.O...(It's kind of an intriguing fight, and one I'll probably stay away from at the betting window.)

* As for Mcline-Valuev, I think Jameel will win, but I am admittedly a bit leery of putting too much 'pocket faith' into that. (i.e. if it's at all close...I think J.M may get the 'big time'. The big-time shaft...)

5:59 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

...Part of me thinks Jameel may pitch a virtual shutout though, and leave no room for doubt. I even think a late-round TKO is possible.

* As for Briggs-Sultan...I don't think that one is going the distance!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

BTW- If someone had told me a few years ago that Mcline and Briggs would be fighting a rematch for unification, and Maskaev was the third of the four, I spit you not folks...I would have broken out The Kevorkian Machine right then and there.


1:22 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

Nice suicide reference Brian. As for unification between Briggs and McCline, I would've mocked the person for a long long duration.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...


3:03 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

I just read that McCline is listed at anywhere from a 5-1 to an 8-1 underdog??? GOOD GRIEF that is WAY out of whack and too high!

1:53 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

That is of course nutty.

7:25 AM  
Blogger orltroy said...

5-1 or even 8-1. where do I place my bet?

4:19 PM  
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2:10 AM  

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