Cedric Boswell: Time is of the Essence for the "Boz"Written by Joseph Herron
Time can be our greatest adversary and our closest ally.
As the sands sift through the hourglass, we gain the knowledge and experience necessary to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.
But in the sport of boxing, there is a very short window of time in which fighters can couple that wisdom with the athletic gifts that naturally erode as the clock moves forward. It is a very short period indeed.
For 42 year old Heavyweight contender Cedric Boswell, that period is now.
Tomorrow night, the Detroit, Michigan, native competes for the biggest prize in boxing when he battles current WBC Regular Champion Alexander Povetkin for his brand of Heavyweight gold.
The fighter most affectionately known as "The Boz" doesn't think he's going to win...he knows he will.
"This is my destiny," proclaims the Atlanta, GA, resident. "I wouldn't have made it this far and this long if it weren't my destiny. God put me in this place at this time for a reason."
It's definitely been a long time coming.
Cedric initially turned pro when southpaw Michael Moorer was the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and began his career with an impressive record of 21-0 with 16 big wins coming by way of knock out.
In 2003, "The Boz" was considered to be one of boxing's best kept secrets and a future heavyweight star when he faced a 33 year old heavyweight contender by the name of Jameel "Big Time" McCline.
The two forces of nature squared off on Showtime network television in what would prove to be Boswell's first and only slip-up as a professional fighter.
After dominating the first part of the 10 round heavyweight contest, Cedric tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, making it impossible to use his biggest weapon...his devastating right hand.
With only one arm intact, Cedric continued to dominate the fight with his speed and accurate punches. Although the slick fighter was performing well, the use of only one arm was taking its toll on the confident heavyweight.
"I couldn't use my right hand, so I was just using feints and acting like I was going to throw it, while trying to keep Jameel off balance. I could only throw my jab and left hook and it really wore me out."
In the tenth and final round of the competitive bout, after leading on all judges' scorecards, Cedric Boswell ran out of gas and was stopped for the first time in his fight career.
After the devastating loss, the heavyweight contender's future was in doubt and his pro boxing career was in jeopardy.
"I thought my fight career was over. I didn't know what was going to happen. I had to have numerous surgeries to try and repair my shoulder and I honestly had doubts whether or not I would ever fight again."
But, with faith, hard work, determination, and a firm belief in his abilities, Cedric did make his comeback in 2006. The "Boz" picked up where he left off and mowed through his competition, stopping five of his next six opponents in two rounds or less.
His next big opportunity came in August of 2008.
In the summer of 2008, Cedric was slated to battle the highly touted and undefeated heavyweight prospect Roman Greenburg.
The Israeli fighter was 27-0 with 18 knockouts and came into Cedric's hometown looking to make an example of the 39 year old former American hopeful.
"I went into that fight knowing that I could beat him. I knew he was more of a boxer than a puncher and he fought in a similar style that I use. I knew that he wasn't going to be able to beat me at my own game, so I was very confident going into the fight."
Cedric used the opening stanza to time his crafty opponent and seized his big opportunity when it appeared in the second round. He caught the 26 year old heavyweight with a perfect right hook and hurt him with quick combinations on the inside.
The young Israeli fighter couldn't recover, and the Roman Greenburg express was officially derailed by the talented American heavyweight in the second round. Cedric Boswell had made his statement loud and clear. The "Boz" was legitimately back and the heavyweight division had to take notice.
Unfortunately, the rest of the division realized that Boswell was a dangerous fighter, which made getting big fights extremely difficult. So when the call came to fight for the WBA heavyweight championship in Helsinki, Finland, Cedric couldn't believe it.
After seventeen years of patiently waiting for his championship opportunity, it finally materialized. He was at long last going to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming recognized as a World Heavyweight Champion.
But defeating his opponent is not going to be easy.
Former Olympic Gold medal winner, Alexander Povetkin, has had an extensive amateur pedigree, and throughout the majority of his life, the 32 year old Russian born fighter has been cultivated in becoming a champion.
"All the more reason to be confident," explains the 42 year old heavyweight. "All of the pressure is on my opponent. I feel that his previous successes will play to my advantage. He'll come into this fight with a false sense of confidence when he really has never seen someone who's going to fight him at the angles that I'm going to show him on fight night."
"I'm going to keep him off balance and hit him with punches from angles he's never seen."
All seventeen years of his professional fight experience tells Cedric that he will indeed be successful on December 3rd.
As the "Boz" prepares to go into hostile territory to fight for championship glory, Cedric Boswell has a sincere message for his longtime fans and supporters:
"Thank you for a lifetime of support. I know why I'm here right now and the reason why it took me this long to finally receive this opportunity. My critics have been saying that I'm too small for a heavyweight and I've been proving them wrong throughout my entire career. Those same critics aren't giving me a chance on December 3rd, and I promise that I will prove them wrong once again. I promise that I will be successful and become the new WBA Heavyweight Champion of the world."