Dorticos to face Kalenga in cruiserweight clash on May 20
There’s some good rumbling going on in the cruiserweight division, though that’s not a class front-and-center on most American fans’ radars, largely – and likely – because most of the top players are not American.
Two non-Americans tango on Friday, in Paris, as Cuban-born Florida resident Yunier Dorticos looks to ascend to an arc of triumph against the massively muscled pugilist from the Congo, Youri Kalenga.
The 30-year-old Dorticos has been skillfully managed to this place, being his last three wins have come over Fulgencio Zuniga, Galen Brown and Edison Miranda, sporting an accumulated 105-50-2 mark to their meeting point junctures.
I asked the manager for the 28-year-old Kalenga, Irishman Gary Hyde, if Dorticos is all packaging or if he’s truly a world-class boxer who merits a title shot someday.
‘No, he’s truly skilled,” Hyde said. “I followed him since the World Cup 2005. He can fight but he’s never faced a fighter as aggressive and mean as Kalenga. Kalenga (22-2 with 15 knockouts) can take (Dorticos’) head off in any round.”
Kalenga, who makes France his home, is a free swinger. He loads up, wants to connect the left hook on you, seeks decapitation. He can be open to be countered and sometimes has balance hiccups.
“Dorticos is from the great Cuban school of boxing but this fight will come down to who is the most fearsome and who will let it all out in there,” Hyde continued.
Dorticos (20-0, 19 KOs) puts punches together well, stays smartly positioned, keeps his feet under him. He should have a hand speed edge.
“It ends by KO; it’s not going the distance, Mike,” insisted Hyde. “Kalenga is a raw, powerful Congolese warrior. I see Youri by KO after eight rounds.”
Sometimes Michael Woods gets hiccups too but that’s only when he has too many Dorticos…I mean, Doritos with his lunch.