Lateef Kayode impressed during his eight round dismantling of Alfredo Escalera Jr. on ShoBox Friday night. Kayode showed off power, athleticism and a mean streak during the fight while lasting twice as long as his previous best. One expects any prospect with Freddie Roach in his corner to be impressive, but the Yoruba warrior looks like a potential contender not just at cruiserweight but among the giants of the sport as well. His chiseled physique could easily accommodate another ten to 15 pounds, though it remains to be seen if he has the power to knock out the likes of the Kitschkos.
That’s assuming Roach doesn’t rush him into a title shot this year as he threatened to prior to the fight. The Nigerian’s technique still needs refining and regardless of his work ethic, he needs to go at least 12 rounds with a legitimate contender before he’s ready to take on a truly world-class fighter. Perhaps a shot at WBA belt holder Guillermo Jones could be feasible, but Kayode is certainly not ready for Steve Cunningham or WBO champ Marco Huck. Here’s hoping his handlers let him grow up on his on time so he can follow in Tomasz Adamek’s footsteps from 200-lb. champ to heavyweight contender.