Delaware boxer hits the big time - earns shot at NABO Heavyweight Title
22 Jul 2011
Next month, Amir Mansour will become an international name in the sport of boxing. His road to the championship began 11 months ago at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, when Mansour entered the ring for the first time following an eight-year prison sentence from a drug arrest. His final hour of incarceration was served in a halfway house on the morning of that fight.
During his incarceration, Mansour had a "wake-up call" which led him to turn his life around. He earned a college degree, kept himself in peak physical condition and committed to living a clean, dignified life in which his family could be proud. On Aug. 19, the man known as "Hardcore" with a record of 14-(11)-0 will face Dominick "The Southern Disaster" Guinn, 33(22)-7-1, realizing a life-long dream and a turning point for which he fought long and hard. For Mansour to reach this ranking so quickly is a testament to his drive to prove himself in the sport and determination to redeem himself in the eyes of his sons, Asanti, Kazon, and Amir.
"The opportunity to fight for the NABO title is very meaningful to me," said Mansour. "It was less than one year ago that I started on this trip - August 27th - and now with a victory, I can be rated and be in a position to make my dream come true - a world title. This opportunity will not be overlooked. I intend on taking full advantage of it and show my critics and the world what type of fighter I am."
Mark Reels, executive director of the NABO, indicated Mansour met the ratings criteria to compete for the interim title, leading to a unanimous decision by the NABO Board. "We are aware of Mansour's past, and like many established prize fighters who struggled early in life, we believe when someone has paid his debt to society and conducts himself with dignity in and out of the ring, he deserves a second chance. Placing Mansour at this level is good for Delaware and for the Organization, as well."
Guinn, of Houston, Texas, is a formidable adversary for Mansour and a seasoned boxer, ranked 11th in the nation. Guinn has been toe to toe with current top ranked heavyweights, Eddie Chambers and Tony Thompson. "This will be a great test for Amir, going against a fighter who is rarely stopped and only top contenders have beaten," said Nick Tiberi, matchmaker. "A match of this caliber will put Amir in a position to challenge the top heavyweight fighters in the world."
Those in the know believe Mansour is ready for the challenge. Dave Escalet, manager of the current WBC Caribbean Heavyweight title holder Franklin Lawrence and former advisor to Andrew Golota and Tomasz Adamek, concurs and states that Mansour has as much potential as Golota or Adamek.
"I truly believe that Mansour is one of the top five American heavyweights," said Escalet. "What makes Mansour exciting is he has the aura of Mike Tyson; you feel that electricity in the audience when you go to a fight in Dover because he brings that explosive knock out power, which very few have. He is able to knock out a heavyweight with one or two punches, which is extremely rare in today's heavyweight division. In the arena, the crowd is expecting that big punch to land anytime and it makes people come back."
Greg Sirb, the Pennsylvania Boxing Commissioner who signed off on the fight, said of the Mansour/Guinn match, "This has the makings of being the most exciting pro boxing bout ever held in the State of Delaware."