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Fight breakdown: Maskaev-Peter

CANCUN, Mexico WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and interim champion Samuel Peter meet Saturday at the Plaza de Toros. Here is what each man must do to win:

KEYS TO VICTORY
MASKAEV'S KEYS PETER'S KEYS
1. Give angles. Peter is a pure raw puncher, who frequently throws wild shots. Maskaev needs to give Peter plenty of angles and not present a clear target. 1. Touch him. Peter needs to get his hands on Maskaev early, even if he doesn't throw his hardest shots. He needs to connect and let Maskaev know he's in for a long night.

2. Left hook. If Maskaev can duck under one of Peter's many wild overhand rights, he can come up and land the hard left hook to the chin. 2. Back him up. Peter needs to force Maskaev to fight going backward and to spend more time on defense than offense.

3. High hands. Peter doesn't seem to go to the body unless he has his opponents on the ropes. Maskaev can diffuse a lot of Peter's offense by fighting in the middle of the ring with his hands high. 3. Punch in combination. The more punches Peter throws at a time, the better chance he has of landing the fight-changing shot.

4. Right behind the jab. Maskaev has a very good straight right. He needs to throw it behind his jab, which will not only slow Peter's assault, but may hurt him. 4. Control the distance. Peter doesn’t want to be right on top of Maskaev and smother his power, but he doesn't want to be outside either. He needs to fight at the mid-range.

RATING THE FIGHTERS
Comparison of WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev and interim champion Samuel Peter on a rating of 1 to 10 in several categories:
CATEGORY MASKAEV PETER IOLE'S SKINNY
Punching power 8 9 Both men have exceptional power.

Jab 8 7 Peter would be more effective with a better jab.

Body attack 7 7 Both tend to favor attacking the head, but have done damage going to the body in past fights.

Speed and quickness 6 6 These guys won't be confused with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Defense 6 6 This bout will be an offensive showcase

Chin 6 6 All five of Maskaev's losses are by knockout; Peter was down three times in his last fight.

Stamina 7 6 Peter insists he's in his best shape ever.

Ring smarts 8 7 Maskaev has all the moves of a veteran.

Corner 7 7 Peter has brought in Stacy McKinley to help Pops Anderson.

Intangibles 7 9 Peter has been chasing the belt for several years now.

Total 70 70 Fighters are evenly matched. There are many variables, especially since the 39-year-old Maskaev hasn't fought for so long. Go with Peter by a late stoppage.
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