By Lindy Lindell
Photos by Bob Ryder
Neven Pajkic did what he had to do. Faced with a challenge from Shane Andreesen, who was fresh off two solid wins, including a career best win on ESPN over the 31-4 Brazilian Raphael Zunbano, Pajkic retained his Canadian Heavyweight Title with an easy, if not dominating performance over a strangely reluctant Andressen over ten rounds. The bout headlined Get in the Ring 2012’s charity event attended by 900+ folks at Windsor, Ontario’s Caboto Club.
Andreesen, from British Columbia, who had much to gain besides the Canadian belt in that he had lost an earlier contest versus Pajkic four years earlier over eight rounds, showed up at a seeming ready-to-go 218; Rajkic (now 17-1) was coming off a knockout loss to Tyson Fury. As the cliché goes, the stars were seemingly aligned for Andreesen to have his best chance for victory.
It wasn’t to be. Inexplicably, after a close first round, the now 12-4 Andreesen seemed to be mesmerized by Pajkic’s static, you-come-get-me style—this to the consternation of cornerman Richard LeStage, who implored his man to keep throwing his jab and to throw more in combination. His jab was effectively thrown for the precious, few times that he threw it, and twice he stopped Pajkic when he advanced, but the infrequency of this punch and his punches in general (less than 20 per round by my estimate) mired his “attack” and Pajkic, perhaps showing a bit of reluctance himself after his loss to Tyson, fought mostly defensively except for the sixth round, when he seemingly had the bloodied Andreesen in trouble.
But Pajkic, trained by veteran Peter Wylie of the Cabbagetown Boxing Club in Toronto, held off in round seven and by the eighth, Andressen was one tired fighter. Still, he was implored by LeStage without significant uptick in production; LeStage kept reminding his charge that “time is running out” in the final stanza, and Andressen did attempt some wild, winging shots, but these were easily avoided. An onlooker told me that Andressen had made more of a fight in this rematch than in their 8-round first encounter, but the scores for the present fight did not lie: 100-90 (twice) and 99-91. Fightnews had it 100-91.
Pajkic is not a power puncher, nor is he particularly aggressive, but his style is hard to penetrate, and for boxers with a one dimensional attack, he represents frustration in spades.
In the evening’s only other encounter, heavyweight Ali Mansour, 8-0. overcame inactivity and the sluggishness that inactivity breeds to overcome the crude but game Craig Hudson in four rounds. The decision was a majority one, but Mansour was a clear winner. A third fight involving the pro-debut of Windsor’s Josh Cameron was scrapped when a suitable opponent could not be found.
The black tie affair celebrated the charitable contributions of the late businessman Anthony Toldo and the world-renown Dr. Foud Tafour. Accompanying a dazzling video of his fights, particularly knockouts, special guest Thomas Hearns received a warm welcome from the appreciative crowd.