Cujo: Carolina on his mind

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May play role of graybeard to up-and-coming boxer

By Mike Forster


     Life's funny.

    And, not always in a "ha-ha" sort of way.

     Take local boxing icon Scott "Cujo" Sigmon.  It wasn't long ago that the Bedford Brawler was a hot-shot youngster with a dream as big as his head is hard.

    Suddenly, the feisty youngster is a relative elder statesman for the sport.  At 27 years of age, he's certainly no spring chicken.  In fact, he's still got plenty of fire in the belly and fuel in the tank.

    He may soon be facing an opponent who is flat-out young.  Considered by many to be a protege at the age of 19, De'Andre Robinson-Neal could be fighting Cujo in Greensboro, NC, on June 7.  There are still details to be worked out, so the fight is not guaranteed to happen.  We'll certainly keep you apprised of developments.

    Should the fight happen, however, it should be a doozy.  Note that when we said Robinson-Neal is a protege at the age of 19, we didn't use the adjective "tender" in front of "age."

     That's because he's had nearly 200 amateur bouts over his young lifetime.  Having turned pro as an 18-year old, Robinson-Neal has already racked up a record of 12-0, with five of those wins coming via knockout.

      Cujo certainly brings a sterling mark to the bout.  The Peaks of Slaughter stands 24-5, with 13 knockouts.  He's ranked 23rd (of 252) in the United States at middleweight.

     He has, almost single-handedly, brought professional boxing back to this area.

     Should this fight come to fruition, it'll be at 160 pounds.  Sigmon, who had fought almost exclusively at 168, likes the drop in category, even though it means he'll have to shed 25 pounds in the four weeks leading up to a fight.

     "I feel best at 160," he said.  "It's the best I looked and the best I did."

     Certainly, he both looked well and did well in his most recent bout, a dismantling of arch-rival Jesse Nicklow.  That unanimous decision seemed to be the get-well card he needed following the wake-up call he got from Kelly Pavlik two summers ago.

     Cujo refuses to be defined by that seventh round knockout at the hands of the former world champion.  Nor should he be.

     Instead, Sigmon looks at that experience as one that has helped him mature as a fighter.  "I didn't have the tools, then," he says.  "It took (fighting) Kelly Pavlik for me to understand what it was I was trying to be."

     As for fighting Robinson-Neal?  Sigmon points to his potential foe's youth as a hinderance, but added, "But, I'm sure he doesn't need surgeries for all the injuries I've had."

     "I'm concerned about his speed.  He has fast hands, fast feet and good reflexes."

     Sigmon believe it is his experience which will win the day.  "I'm a world-class talent," he declared.  "I proved that in my last performance, where I completely dominated.  I showed that I can be an A-level fighter at the lower weight."

     Robinson-Neal, however, "should be concerned about my world-class experience," cautioned Sigmon.  "I've been in his position.  He'll think it'll be easy.  When the bell rings, he'll soon have his doubts.

     "I, however, have supreme confidence."

     And Sigmon's confidence, my friends, is something that will never go away.

     No matter how old he gets.