Cayo-Taylor In A Tight One, Heavyweights Bangin’: Friday Night Fights Preview


In what has been a pretty good run in 2013 by ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, the program takes its show to one of the most popular fight hubs in the east coast, Atlantic City, NJ: looking to continue its trend. In the past few weeks on Friday Night Fights, we’ve had stellar knockouts and world championship fights including Lamont Peterson defending his 140 lb IBF title against Kendall Holt.

The main event this Friday will pit two fighters fighting for a right to fight for a mandatory position in the IBF at 140, as the winner of the bout between Dominican Victor Cayo and undefeated Emanuel Taylor will be fighting an eliminator for the number 1 spot in the IBF. Meaning a win will start the process for a title show for either man, possibly against Lamont Peterson.

Victor Cayo (31-3, 22 KOs) is on a 4 fight win streak against a limited competition in his home country of Dominican Republic since his last loss to Nate Campbell.  Cayo is in a situation where a loss here might hurt him to a point where we may not see him ever reach the big stage. Every time Cayo has stepped up he’s been stepped on. All 3 of his losses to Marcos Maidana, Nate Campbell, and the current champion of the IBF at 140 Lamont Peterson, have either been by knockout or stoppage. The best win on Cayo’s resume is a decision victory over Julio Diaz.

His opponent is a prospect out of Maryland who is coming off his best victory on ShoBox. Emmanuel Taylor (16-1, 11 KO’s) came out storming this past January when he defeated Philly’s own, Raymond Serrano via stoppage on ShoBox. His only loss was to another prospect, Prenice Brewer via split decision. Taylor is hoping to make the push from prospect to contender in one night when he faces off with Cayo at Resorts Casino in AC.

So we have a contender looking to stay a contender and not play the role of gate keeper, while a prospect is looking to make the jump to contender. This is what Friday Night Fights is all about. On paper, it looks to be a pretty even match-up with Cayo having the edge in experience while Taylor being the much fresher man, never being stopped yet.

Taylor is not short on confidence as he heads into his first main event on national television. “This is my first main event and I am coming with all the confidence in the world. I’m here to show all of you what a world-class boxer can do,” stated Taylor at the final press conference.

Cayo, himself knows the importance of the bout stated, “This is a great opportunity and I will give everything I have for the people of the Dominican Republic and all the Dominicans coming out to see me fight.”His advisor Sampson Lewkowicz knows that Cayo is in tough and is taking a chance fighting a young prospect with all the confidence in his mind right now.

In Cayo’s loss to Maidana, his slickness couldn’t deal with the pressure from the slower brawler. The loss to Nate Campbell stunned some people and who knows what type of confidence he has going in with a skilled fighter like Taylor. Cayo should win because Taylor isn’t one to cut the ring off and pressure Cayo like Maidana. Taylor isn’t that type of pressure fighter but he did a good job of attacking Serrano when Serrano was hurt. Taylor also does good work to the body and Cayo has been susceptible to that. While Cayo should win, I’m going with the mild upset with Taylor defeated Cayo by late stoppage or decision.

In the co-main, it will feature two heavyweights. Sampson Lewkowicz has a thing for finding diamonds in the rough overseas. He did it when he found Manny Pacquiao and did it again when he found Sergio Martinez. Maybe he’s found another one in Russian heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov (16-0, 16 Kos). He takes on 2004 Puerto Rican Olympian Victor Bisbal (21-1, 15 KOs).

I’ll say this; I like the way Mago fights and love how his punches flow together. Had Mago not been nearly stopped by Jameel McCline in his last bout, this fight would be just another stepping stone for Sampson’s Heavyweight. But his chin was tested and now some might say he’s glassy but he did get off the floor to stop McCline. Let’s not forget what happened a few weeks ago when another prospect in David Price was knocked out by an older veteran in Tony Thompson and in the heavyweight division, more than any division, all it takes is one punch.

Bisbal is a guy that’s very wide with his shots and if Mago has learned anything about head movement, he should be able to land his own, harder, straighter shots. I think Mago wins this fight early by 3rd round TKO and maybe Sampson Lewkowicz has found a player in the heavyweight division. Well, we thought some of that when Mago knocked out Maurice Byarm. Let’s see if he progresses.