Doug Fischer

On the Cusp: 10 fighters poised to make major breakthroughs in 2012

LATEEF KAYODE
Weight class: Cruiserweight
Age: 28
Record: 18-0 (14 KOs)
Region: Los Angeles (from Nigeria)
Skinny: The good news is that the cruiserweight powerhouse got some much-needed rounds under his belt during three 10-round decision victories against Nicholas Iannuzzi, Matt Godfrey and Felix Cora Jr. in 2011. The bad news is that Kayode’s technique was exposed as being rawer than sushi in each ShoBox main event. However, the muscular puncher found a way to win in each fight. His constant pressure impressed the judges more than Iannuzzi’s stick-and-move tactics in February. The three knockdowns Kayode scored against Godfrey ensured his points win over the former RING-rated title challenger. And he finally displayed improved form against Cora, at times out-jabbing the experienced southpaw en route to a solid unanimous decision in September. Kayode is rated in the top three by three of the major sanctioning organizations. Is he ready for the holders of those alphabet titles? Probably not, but thanks to his punching power and the experience he gained in 2011, he’ll make the most of his challenge whenever it comes.
Strengths: Brute strength… heavy hands… aggressive style… confidence… trained by Freddie Roach.
Weaknesses: Sloppy technique… defensive holes… slow feet.

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