Mago vs. Rebel

By Clarence George on September 27, 2013
Mago vs. Rebel
Magomed Abdusalamov is the harder hitter, and the Rebel will fall. (Chris Robinson)

Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov may not be Earnie Shavers, but the fact remains that he’s knocked out all 18 opponents…

“Earnie Shavers could punch you in the neck and break your ankle.”—Randall “Tex” Cobb

Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov may not be Earnie Shavers, but the fact remains that he’s knocked out all 18 opponents, 11 in the first round.

The 32-year-old Russian, who resides in Hallandale, Florida, will have his work cut out for him at Madison Square Garden on November 2 when he takes on another undefeated heavyweight, Mike Perez, in a scheduled 10-rounder.

Abdusalamov is a five-year pro who most recently fought in April of this year, stopping Sebastian Ignacio Ceballos in 61 seconds of the first round. He stopped Victor Bisbal by fifth-round TKO in March, an unusually long fight for the southpaw, who ended Bisbal’s streak of 16 wins, 11 by stoppage.

“Mago” fought four times in 2012, stopping Pedro Rodriguez by second-round TKO in February, Jason Pettaway by fourth-round TKO in March, Maurice Byarm by second-round TKO in July, and Jameel McCline by second-round TKO in September.

Perez, who’ll turn 28 next month, is also a five-year veteran. His record of 19 wins, 12 by KO, and no losses is impressive. But some fighters are more equal than others, and Abdusalamov is more equal than Perez.

“The Rebel,” a Cuban southpaw who makes his home in Cork, Ireland, had six bouts in 2011, but has had only one since beating Friday Ahunanya by unanimous decision that December. Following a 17-month layoff, he defeated Travis Walker by unanimous decision in May of this year.

A clash of heavy hitters at the heavyweight level, Godzilla vs. King Kong. I don’t remember which of those legendary monsters emerged the victor, but in this remake I’m placing an imaginary bet on Godzilla, er, Abdusalamov. Though a few years younger, Perez is awfully rusty. Moreover, Mago is the harder hitter, and the Rebel will fall to his mighty atomic ray…I mean, blows.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

2012-09-08 Magomed Abdusalamov vs Jameel McCline



2013-05-04 Mike Perez vs Travis Walker HQ



2012-07-06 Magomed Abdusalamov vs Maurice Byarm



Kerston Manswell vs Mike Perez



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  1. Thresher 06:12am, 09/29/2013

    Victor Bisbal is the one I believe who exposed Mago’s weaknesses.

  2. Thresher 05:08pm, 09/28/2013

    McCline is the worst closer in history. Otherwise Mago (and Sam Peter) would be distant memories.


    If Mago wins big, a fight with Wilder would be interesting as someone’s KO streak must go, not to mention someone’s 0

  3. Thresher 02:41pm, 09/28/2013

    Mago lacks defense and he is chinny. He looked terrible in his last fight.  He also is NOT 6’3” even though he is listed as that. That said, he might beat Perez, but they had better keep him away from Wilder. He would be decapitated.

  4. Clarence George 05:07am, 09/28/2013

    Among the few exciting fighters in the heavyweight division, Matt, and this should be a very good match.  I like both guys, but prefer Perez.  Don’t see him winning this one, though.

  5. Matt McGrain 03:17am, 09/28/2013

    He wasn’t great last time out, he looked a bit alarmed by his inability to take control to me.  A gimpse at the future?  Possibly.  I also think he’ll have given a sigh of relief that Price is beaten.  But I’m looking forwards to his next fight, always.  I thought him the HW division’s most exciting prospect when I wrote my first article for this sight about him, and I still do.

  6. Clarence George 05:48pm, 09/27/2013

    Peter:  The TKO was the result of a series of blows—McCline was out on his feet, and a mere touch was enough to drop him.  Anyway, that’s how I saw it.

  7. peter 04:09pm, 09/27/2013

    Strange…In the first clip accompanying this article—2012-09-08 Magomed Abdusalamov vs Jameel McCline—I failed to see the knockout punch.

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