Weekend scorecard: Maskaev scores mild upset

Heavyweight Oleg Maskaev, whose career has been in decline for several years, resurrected it with a mild upset of the Germany-based Sinan Samil Sam.

Originally Published: November 14, 2005
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of the weekend's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Hamburg, Germany
Heavyweight
Oleg Maskaev W12 Sinan Samil Sam
Scores: 118-111, 118-110, 116-112
Records: Maskaev 32-5; Sam 24-3
Rafael's remark: Maskaev, whose career has been in decline for several years, resurrected it with a mild upset over the Germany-based Sam. Maskaev landed a hard right hand in the first round, and Sam, who lost a point for a head butt in the 11th round, never really got into the fight. Despite neither Maskaev nor Sam deserving it, the WBC sanctioned the bout as an eliminator to become a No. 1 contender, and thus an eventual challenger to newly crowned titlist Hasim Rahman. Although Maskaev does not deserve to fight for a title (and might have to win another eliminator before being named a mandatory), at least a potential Rahman-Maskaev bout has a story to it. Almost six years ago to the day that Maskaev beat Sam, he knocked Rahman out in the eighth round. It wasn't just any old knockout. In a fight Maskaev was losing, he rallied to knock Rahman clear out of the ring and into HBO commentator Jim Lampley's lap. A rematch would at least have a little sizzle to it.

Saturday at Las Vegas
Junior middleweight
Vanes Martirosyan TKO5 Abdias Castillo
Records: Martirosyan 6-0, 3 KOs; Castillo 9-13-1
Rafael's remark: Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian who is trained by Freddie Roach, continued to make progress in the pro ranks. Martirosyan, just 19, knocked Castillo down twice in the first round, cut him over his left eye in the fourth and battered him throughout until referee Richard Steele stopped it at 1:45 in the fifth. The fight was the most notable of five bouts that were moved from the canceled Vitali Klitschko-Hasim Rahman heavyweight championship card to an invitation-only dinner show held at the Wynn Las Vegas resort, one of the sponsors of the Klitschko-Rahman fight.

Friday at Bossier City, La.
Featherweight
Tim Austin TKO3 Julio Coronell
Records: Austin 27-1-1, 24 KOs; Coronell 21-23-1
Rafael's remark: Austin, 34, made nine bantamweight title defenses between 1997 and 2003 before being stopped by Rafael Marquez. Austin was then out of the ring for 2½ years, in part to deal with a legal matter that eventually was dropped. Austin is now on the comeback trail, and won his second bout (both by stoppage) since his return in September. This one ended when Coronell retired on his stool after the third round. It was his seventh consecutive loss and 10th in 12 fights. For Austin, a fight like this helped him get rid of the ring rust as he moves toward another title shot. He'll take one where he can get it, at junior featherweight, featherweight or junior lightweight. Austin just wants to be in the mix with the top opponents and to make some money. He deserves it. He still has loads of ability, good power and a championship history that deserves respect.

Friday at Chicago
Junior welterweight
Juan Lazcano KO9 Courtney Burton
Records: Lazcano 35-3-1, 27 KOs; Burton 21-5
Rafael's remark: Lazcano, a top lightweight contender facing Burton in an over-the-weight bout, won his second consecutive fight since a 14-month layoff that followed an unsuccessful shot at then-lightweight champ Jose Luis Castillo. But Lazcano is back, and angling for another title shot that promoter Golden Boy should be able to deliver. Burton has been on the decline for several fights, but was more competitive than we figured he would be. That was until the eighth round, when Lazcano hurt him. In the ninth, Lazcano beat him with a combination that was punctuated by a left hand. It sent Burton to the canvas, where he sat in the corner and took the full count, clearly a beaten man. He probably should think about another line of work at this point, after being severely knocked out in three consecutive fights and in four of his last five. He should be on a five-fight losing streak, but was the beneficiary of a highly controversial decision win against Emanuel Augustus.

Friday at Kissimmee, Fla.
Strawweight
Omar Soto W12 Gerardo Verde
Scores: 119-109, 117-111, 116-112
Records: Soto 8-0-1; Verde 13-3
Rafael's remark: The up-and-coming Soto, from Puerto Rico, scored his best victory so far, outpointing Verde, of Mexico, in an action-packed fight in boxing's smallest division. The loss was Verde's second in a row. He also lost a spirited decision to Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon in a strawweight title challenge on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Arturo Gatti card in June.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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