Archives for posts with tag: Jean Marc Mormeck

By Johnny Walker

In the “say it ain’t so” boxing sweepstakes, Adam Booth, the manager/trainer of WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, is publicly musing about a rematch between his charge and former cruiserweight champ turned heavyweight contender Jean-Marc Mormeck.

In an interview with ffboxe.com, Booth seems surprised at the discovery of something that most fans of heavyweight boxing have known for some time: that Haye’s mandatory challenger for the WBA crown, Ruslan Chagaev, is infected with the hepatitis B antigen (he is not ill, but is a carrier of the virus).

“Logically, David would have faced [Ruslan] Chagaev but the news about his health is not very good,” Booth says in the interview.

“He reportedly suffers from hepatitis B, which makes their confrontation impossible. I then looked at the classification of the WBA … and I saw that Jean-Marc Mormeck is now ranked in the Top 10 at seven or eight, I think, and that makes a Mormeck-Haye fight possible,” Booth explains.

There are so many things wrong with this idea (as there was with the choice of Haye’s previous opponent, Audley Harrison), that to enumerate them all here would take up too much space. 

But let’s hit the most obvious problems:

First, Haye has already defeated Mormeck when they fought for the WBC cruiserweight title in 2007.  Mormeck did knock Haye down in round four, but is that knockdown really enough to warrant a rematch at heavyweight?

Second, Haye insists he is retiring in October of this year.  That leaves him with probably enough time for two fights, maximum.  Beating a man he’s already defeated at at lighter weight is surely going to do nothing for his legacy at heavyweight. 

But it appears that the question of legacy is no longer a concern for Haye and Booth, if indeed it ever was.

Most of us know by now the sad inability of Booth and Haye to negotiate a deal with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko, who currently hold all of the major belts aside from Haye’s WBA title.

But there are alternatives.  If not Chagaev (and it should be noted that Wladimir Klitschko fought Chagaev in 2009 without complaint, merely taking a vaccination before the fight as protection), how about Denis Boytsov, Alexander Povetkin, Samuel Peter, Robert Helenius, Cris Arreola, Tomasz Adamek: these are some fighters who could give Haye a decent (and hopefully entertaining) fight.

And all of them are better than Mormeck, who this writer had losing his last fight to Timur Ibragimov in Paris, only to be saved by a hometown decision.

Booth, however, not only dismisses the notion of a fight with Wladimir, but also with Vitali (too old and likely to lose to Odlanier Solis, according to Booth — a notion shared by almost no one outside of Solis’s inner circle), and also implies that there is public demand for a Haye-Mormeck rematch.

“In England there is no problem,” Booth says. “We’ve sold 20,000 tickets in two to three weeks for each bout of David’s bouts. Haye-Mormeck in England is possible.” 

“But if France wants to see this fight in Paris, David is quite ready to return. It will demonstrate that his first success against Jean-Marc is not a coincidence….”

But who was really insisting it was a coincidence in the first place, Adam?

Jean Marc Mormeck narrowly defeated Timur Ibragimov of Uzbekistan by split decision in a back-and-forth WBA heavyweight boxing encounter tonight at the Halle Carpentier in Paris.

While not unwatchable, the fight was marred at times by too much holding, as both fighters tired going in to the later rounds.  Suffice it to say that neither of the recognized heavyweight champs Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko will be shaking in his boots after viewing this bout; nor will WBA paper champ David Haye.

Ibragimov, 35, the WBA’s #7 ranked challenger for Haye’s belt, started off well, however, using his size advantage (being 6’3″ tall compared to Mormeck’s 5’11”) to bully the smaller fighter and lean on him whenever the opportunity presented itself, and also fighting nicely behind the left jab, his overall style reminiscent of Wladimir Klitschko‘s usual modus operandi. 

The 38-year-old Mormeck, ranked #12 by the WBA, came out aggressive, bobbing and weaving in Joe Frazier-like fashion, but in rounds one and two Ibragimov kept him at bay with a snappy left jab and some nice combinations to the body.

The third round saw both men warming to the task, with Ibragimov landing a hard right cross to Mormeck’s head, and Mormeck, still moving well, finally getting inside the jab to land a hard left hook of his own.  This seemed to inspire Ibragimov, who answered with an aggressive round four, bulling Mormeck into the corners and landing some crisp combinations to the body.  Mormeck did connect with a hard overhand right near the end of the round, too infrequent an occurrence for him thus far.

Rounds five through seven saw Mormeck change the momentum of the fight.   The shorter man began landing solid left and right uppercuts to Ibragimov’s chin with regularity, as the Uzbek retreated to ropes.  Although Ibragimov had not been seriously hurt, the cumulative effect of the French fighter’s blows had him in disarray, and it seemed a stoppage win for Mormeck might be in sight.

The tide turned yet again in round eight, however.  With the Parisian crowd sensing that a stoppage was close, they began chanting “MOR-MECK, MOR-MECK,” and their fighter tried to respond.  Ibragimov, however, had other ideas, opening with a solid combination to the head and body and leaning heavily on the now tiring Frenchman.  Ibragimov’s strategy of working over Mormeck’s body finally began to pay off, with the latter man visibly wilting by the end of the round. 

The ninth was Mormeck’s last effective round.  Still looking gassed, he nevertheless rallied, with some Tyson-esque determination enabling him to again slip inside and stun Ibragimov with an uppercut.  

The pendulum swung back yet again to the Uzbek in the tenth: a hard right to Mormeck’s ribs saw the Frenchman visibly sag, and a hard right cross to his jaw had him reeling. 

With Ibragimov now coming on strong, French referee Jean-Louis Legland interestingly picked this time to stop the fight and deduct a point from him for hitting behind the head.  Undaunted, Ibragimov continued to press, ending the round with a hard right to Mormeck’s by-now bruised torso.

The last two rounds saw both fighters tiring, with Mormeck definitely showing his age as he appeared utterly exhausted in his corner before heading out for round twelve.  Amidst a lot of holding mostly initiated by Mormeck, Ibragimov continued his focused assault to the Frenchman’s body, finally moving upstairs to land a combo to the head as Mormeck waited for the final bell to sound.

This writer had it 115-113 Ibragimov, reduced to 114-113 with the point deduction.  Judge Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes saw it much the same way (113-115 ), but Erkki Meronen (116-112) and Steve Weisfeld (116-111) disagreed, giving Mormeck the split decision win as the crowd went wild and Ibragimov pondered his first loss in ten fights.

Mormeck wins the previously vacant WBA International Heavyweight title with this victory — but of course, that is not the title coveted by heavyweights with any degree of ambition.

Mormeck’s name has been tossed around as the next opponent for heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko after his upcoming bout with England’s Dereck Chisora, but based on this performance, one where he was often either eating the larger man’s left jab or getting pushed around by him, the 215-pound former cruiserweight champion would be in very tough against the Ukrainian star.   

Ibragimov, because of his larger frame and more defensive style, might actually fare a little better than Mormeck against Wladimir, but with this loss, that matchup now appears highly unlikely. 

Fans of the heavyweight division, then, can only hope this Saturday’s Alexander Dimitrenko – Albert Sosnowski matchup provides a bit more clarity as to who might ultimately provide a real challenge to the Klitschko brothers, as Mormeck – Ibragimov ultimately left things as muddled as ever.