Live at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, it seemed like local favorite Amir “Hardcore” Mansour was finally about to break through to the next level of a crowded-yet-open Heavyweight division in front of a large national audience.
Fighting as the co-feature for the Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero, Premier Boxing Champions main event on FOX Sports, Mansour dropped sledge hammers on his opponent Dominic Breazeale for four long rounds in a bout that was scheduled for ten.
To the shock of everyone tuned in – this two-way war concluded with Breazeale getting off the canvas to snatch a 5th round stoppage win as Mansour could not answer the bell for round 6. Breazeale was well behind on all score cards at the time of stoppage.
There was plenty of tough talk in the lead up to this fight which led to lot of drama inside of the ropes. Coming into the fight, Breazele was looked at by some as a bit of a fraudulent prospect despite his qualification as an Olympic boxer in 2012. Mansour was touted by his cheerleaders as a fighter avoided by the upper end of the division. The narrative was playing out in front of an estimated 2.5 million viewers across the globe.
The 43-year-old Mansour of Penns Grove, New Jersey fought out of his customary southpaw stance and offered a fiercely balanced head-and-body battering. The best shot of the night was a right handed bomb in the fourth round which put Breazeale flat on his back. The former college football QB who turned to boxing late in life was unquestionably stunned, but to his credit, he barely beat the 10-count, survived the round, and then put on a effort that will live in the memory of Philly Boxing fans forever.
Just when it looked like the show was about to close – that Philly big stage bad luck struck again. A huge barrage of punches by Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) left Mansour woozy at the end of round five.
The 43-year-old Mansour (22-2-1, 16 KOs) never hit the canvas in the 5th, but to the surprise of everyone watching – he did not answer the bell for the 6th round, saying between rounds “I can’t close my mouth,” and signaled he couldn’t continue. Trainer Calvin Davis replied, “Don’t do this to me.” He proceeded to give one of the biggest hat spikes in the history of professional boxing. Call it passion in the heat of the moment.
It was later revealed that Mansour nearly bite his tongue in half due to a faulty mouthpiece. The blood flow made it hard to breathe. X-Rays also revealed that the damage included a jaw fractured in three places.
Trainer Calvin Davis goes into detail on the stoppage.
A week later, I’d like to ask how the boxing public is feeling about the Heavyweight fight between Breazeale and Amir Mansour? Is Breazeale a real prospect? Will we ever see Mansour in the ring again? We hope he gets well soon. Share your thoughts in the comments.