Sidon tries to rewrite history

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Judging by the flood of e-mails generated by yesterday's column, German heavyweight champ Andreas Sidon (33-8, 27 KOs) can expect a warm welcome when he's introduced for the 10-round headliner against Edmonton's Sheldon Hinton (10-6-1, 3 KOs) on tonight's Oktober FightFest at the AgriCom.

The extraordinary ring odyssey of the personable 46-year-old -- who launched his pro career just 10 years ago -- appears to have struck a Foremanesque chord with the public. Typical of the responses was the following from Richard Kennedy, who wrote: "I'm really looking forward to seeing this guy. Sidon's record proves he's a world-class boxer, but I'm more impressed that he continues to fight out of sheer love for the sport. He is a credit to his craft."

Like Hinton, Sidon was unaware of the decades-old dominance of Canadian heavyweights over their German counterparts -- a trend that dates back to Toronto's Larry Gains knocking out future world champ Max Schmeling in two rounds back in 1925.

"That is one more motivation for me," Sidon said at Wednesday's media conference. "Everybody in Germany holds Schmeling in very high esteem. This fight will be an opportunity for me to avenge Max's loss."

Sidon's World Boxing Board championship will be at stake tonight -- even if the actual title belt doesn't arrive in time. Either way, the champ will be donating his ring robe and gloves to a charity auction for the Concordia Club of Saskatoon, which works to promote greater understanding of German culture, language and heritage.

Steve is stoked

He's only 28, but former Canadian heavyweight title challenger Steve MacKay of Pictou, N.S., has already had enough of "retirement."

The six-foot-three, 220-pounder was 5-1 when he was stopped in nine rounds by Patrice Le'Heureux in their championship bout five years ago, but he hung up his gloves after that loss and went back to school.

MacKay returns to the ring tonight in a four-rounder against 295-pound Ken Frank of Lethbridge, who notched a second-round KO in his pro debut in Taber in August.

"Other than the fact he outweighs me by about 80 pounds, I don't know anything about him," MacKay said yesterday.

"But I can't wait to get back in the ring. I just got my certification as an electrician last week, so it's been pretty hectic. I want to give boxing another shot because it's wide open for heavyweights in Canada right now. I couldn't have asked for better work than the sparring I had with Sheldon (Hinton), so I'm ready to rumble."

Tonight's other featured undercard bouts will see unbeaten super featherweight Arash Usmanee (2-0, 2 KOs) of Red Deer in a four-rounder against Mexico's Edwin Perez (1-1); the pro debut of two-time Canadian Olympian Adam Trupish of Edmonton in a four-round middleweight tilt with Mexico's Edgar Hernandez (1-1); No. 2-ranked Canadian lightweight contender Logan McGuinness (7-0, 3 KOs) of Orangeville, Ont., against Mexico City's Hugo Pacheco (6-9, 6 KOs); and the pro debut of lightweight Brad Marks from Edmonton's Cougar Boxing Club against David McQuaker (1-0) of Lethbridge.

Local amateurs shine

Belated congratulations to a trio of flashy Edmonton amateurs who scored impressive wins at the Oct. 2 Doug's Place Challenge Cup at the Edmonton Crowne Plaza.

Paul MacKenzie from the Cougar Boxing Club, Eric Taylor of Avenue Boxing and Kyle Matuk from the West Edmonton Knights were all victorious on the 11-bout Alberta vs. British Police Association card, and MacKenzie took home Best Boxer honours from the sold-out show hosted by Doug's Place Collision and Alberta Amateur Boxing.

She's baaaack!

K.O. Boxing announced that Edmonton's Jelena Mrdjenovich will challenge Ann-Marie Saccurato for the WBC's world lightweight title Nov. 13 at the Shaw Conference Centre. Saccurato defeated Mrdjenovich to capture the title in November 2006, and has successfully defended the belt twice.

In the semi-main "Big" Frank White of Sarnia will put his Canadian cruiserweight title on the line against Tyan Henney of Saskatoon.

MURRAY.GREIG@SUNMEDIA.CA


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