By Peter Lim
Undefeated light heavyweight prospect Cedric Agnew, 23-0 (13 KOs), headlines the latest card at the Houston Club on Thursday, Aug. 9 when he takes on Zack Page, 21-39-2 (7 KOs). Agnew was a last minute replacement for his stablemate and sparring partner Medzhid Bektemirov, 9-0 (8 KOs), who injured his bicep a week before the fight.
The eight-fight card will be promoted by former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese.
The fight is not as much of the mismatch it appears to be on paper. Despite his unimpressive record, Page has proven to be an occasional spoiler having derailed the undefeated records of fighters who came in at 19-0, 16-0 and 8-0. He also has victories over former world light heavyweight titleholder Lou Del Valle and Kevin McBride, the last man to defeat Mike Tyson. Page has fought as a heavyweight for most of his career and enter the ring with at least a 20-pound weight advantage over Agnew.
Agnew's game plan will revolve around nullifying Page's size advantage with speed and taking away his movement by working the body, said trainer Bobby Benton. A native of Chicago, Agnew, 25, relocated to Houston in 2009 to train under Benton.
A former National Golden Gloves champion who represented the United States in several international meets, Agnew accumulated an amateur record of 105-10 before turning pro in 2007. Defense oriented and a counter puncher, he deploys both the southpaw and right-handed styles, often switching stances several times during a fight to throw off his opponents.
“I evolved into a switch-hitter as an amateur,” Agnew told The Houston Chronicle. “I started off boxing left handed and then midway through my amateur career I turned right handed, so I’m pretty confident with both styles. Everybody says I’ve got power in both hands.”
After five years and 23 bouts as a a pro, Agnew is at the juncture of his career where he needs to step up his level of opposition from journeymen and has-beens to fellow prospects and contenders.
“We’re looking for bigger fights and we’re looking for a world title but people keep turning us down so we’re going to keep chasing them,” Agnew said.