Friday night, at the Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, boxing’s “Irish Outlaw” Ryan Coyne (21-0, 9 KO’s) meets Marcus Oliveira (24-0-1, 19 KO’s) in a battle of undefeated light heavyweights. The bout is being labeled a WBA world title eliminator. Originally scheduled for March 9th as an under card attraction to the Tavoris Cloud-Bernard Hopkins title match, the bout was rescheduled after Coyne had suffered an injury in training. Now the two finally get to face off on an un-televised 12 rounder, headlined by two bouts being broadcast on Showtime’s Shobox program.
Riding a three fight knockout streak, Oliveira looks to be the more powerful of the two. With 19 knockouts to his credit, he possesses decent hand speed and a solid right hand that’s put many an opponent on the canvas. On occasion, he’ll abandon his jab and lead off with the left hook if he sees his opponent is open for it. The quality of his opposition is debatable however, as eight of his opponents have had losses in the double digits and eight have had losing records. Some of the more recognizable names on his résumé include Kelvin Davis, Otis Griffin (a contestant on 2005 series “The Next Great Champ”), Rayco Saunders, and more recently, the shop worn Antwun Echols. His last bout was an easy first round stoppage of Ricky Torrez in Venezuela which earned him the vacant WBA Fedebol light heavyweight title last October.
For Ryan Coyne, this is an important fight, plain and simple. After having his career stalled by promotional issues (as covered by The Boxing Tribune on April 1st), he was denied a world title shot last November when Don King pulled him from a scheduled bout with WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly just days before the event was to take place. The former USNBC cruiserweight and WBA Fedelatin cruiserweight titlist has been inactive since last September, when he stopped the 6-6 Peter Vecsei in the first round. Trained by former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, Coyne, a southpaw, holds less punching power than Oliveira – on paper anyway. He has the advantage in hand speed: a fast jab often followed by a just as fast overhand left. He has a tendency to carry his right hand low, which could be an issue for him if Oliveira can get that lead left hook in fast enough. Like Oliveira, some of Coyne’s opposition is questionable: his three opponents prior to the Vecsei bout all came in on solid losing streaks but given the promotional issues that surrounded him at the time; this may not be entirely Coyne’s fault.
Look for a typical speed vs. power contest: Coyne landing more often while Oliveira lands the harder shots. In a close bout that more than likely will last the full 12 rounds, it’s a bout that can go either way.
In the main event of the televised portion of the program, lightweight Angelo Santana (14-0, 11 KO’s) faces Bahodir Mamadjonov (12-1, 8 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round bout.
Angelo Santana is a former WBA Fedecaribe light welterweight champion. Dating back to March of 2010, he’s on a seven bout knockout streak, with all of his stoppages coming inside five rounds. Though his last two outing were scheduled for 10 rounds as this bout is, he’s only made it as far as the sixth frame once; a decision wins back in 2009. His last bout was broadcast by Shobox; a fifth round knockout of then undefeated Juan Garcia in which Garcia tasted the canvas three times.
Mamadjonov is once beaten: a close 10 round decision loss to undefeated Darely Perez that was shown on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. To that point some of the better fighters he’s faced were Archie Ray Marquez and Michael Clark. Since the Perez loss, he fought once in September, scoring a third round stoppage against 9-22-5 Mario Lacey. He’s an active fighter, having fought seven bouts in 2011 and six in 2012. His loss to Perez was his only trip to the 10th round, he’s seen the eighth round once and the sixth round once, his stoppage wins have all come in four rounds or less.
The co-feature pits Amir Imam (8-0, 7 KO’s) against Jeremy Bryan (16-2, 7 KO’s) in a scheduled eight round contest. The hard punching light welterweight, Imam, has stopped all but one of his opponents; only his pro debut went the four round distance but while the Albany native sports impressive numbers, it should be noted that his last two opponents had a combined record of 7-65-6. Both bouts took place this year. In Imam’s favor though, is the fact that Bryan, who has lost twice, has been stopped on both occasions. Bryans activity level dropped after his 2010 TKO loss to Ronald Cruz; he remained inactive for two years before coming back to fight once in October of 2012 (W4 Damon Antoine) and again in January of this year (W8 Yuri Ramanau).