The ever aging former WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev is adamant that he isn’t done yet. Though Russia’s former champion is now 40-years-old, rumour has it that he’s only two wins away from challenging for his old belt. He returns to action on Friday December 11 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, the night before Vitali Klitschko defends his WBC trinket against unbeaten American hopeful Kevin Johnson. Maskaev will face New York’s 23-year-old Nagy Aguilera, in Maskaev’s third fight since his disappointing stoppage loss to Sam Peter back in March of 2008, where he lost his WBC belt.
If Maskaev can defeat the younger Aguilera, 14-2(9), and if Ray Austin is victorious against DaVarryl Williamson this Saturday night, the two will meet in a final eliminator for the WBC crown currently held by Vitali Klitschko. And though an appointment with Dr. Ironfist looks far more like a punishment as opposed to a prize for either Maskaev or Austin, both of the ageing warriors will have earned the fight according to the organization.
But is Maskaev, 36-6(27) taking a risky tune-up fight by going in against the never-stopped Aguilera? Aguilera has lost one by close split decision and one by disqualification. Maskaev is set to face the 23-year-old in Sacramento, Oleg’s hometown, the slow but hard-hitting Russian will be having just his second fight this year. He may well have trouble with the New Yorker’s youth and speed. Aguilera has never fought the quality of Maskaev. A pro only since August of 2007, Aguilera will struggle under the pressure from Maskaev. Going up against a former world champion, even one as old and as rusty as Maskaev, is quite a big ask.
In truth, nobody really wants to see Maskaev get in there with Vitali Klitschko, even Vitali who had to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to stop Maskaev becoming his mandatory in July. If he beats Aguilera and then Ray Austin or DaVarryl Williamson, it could well happen.
Will Aguilera upset Maskaev? At this point in his career, and after all the injuries and layoffs he’s had, defeat is always lurking for Maskaev, but he should have enough left to be able to see off relative novice Aguilera. The fight is pretty much a no-lose situation for Aguilera, who will make a real name for himself even if he comes up short but acquits himself well. Sure enough, all the pressure will be on Maskaev.