Oscar Loses to TBA (& Other Coming Attractions)
18.08.08 - By Paul Strauss: Holy S'#*, I don't believe it! That will be the refrain when boxing fans witness the following upsets: Oscar loses, regardless who his December opponent might be. Old man Hopkins KOs Pavlik. Calzaghe's perfect record comes to an end, and there's a three way tie for "fight of the year". Before firing off the big guns, let's take a few of the better upcoming fights chronologically, and do the opposite of what one "wag" once said, "Never make any forecasts, especially about the future.."
Article posted on 17.08.2008
In what might be a candidate for fight of the year, we pit two none stop whirl winds against each other. Sept 6th matches Michael Katsidis vs. Juan Diaz. Both fighters have had recent tough losses, with Katsidis being stopped, and Diaz getting taken to school by Nate Campbell. Anything can happen, including a stoppage due to cuts, either from crashing heads, or from punches. Katsidis is the harder puncher, but Juan Diaz will weather the storm and come away the winner of a non-stop battle. Won by Juan.
The under card or co-feature will also be exciting, but Rocky Juarez is probably licking his chops a bit over the reckless, wild style of Barrios. Barrios will try to jump in with a punch or punches to surprise Rocky, but he will be the one hearing the referee's count. Rocky by KO.
On (9/13/08) we have two of the most talented and clever boxers ever to lace up the gloves. Juan Manual Marquez vs. Joel Casamayor. Both, are getting a "little long in the tooth", but both can give lessons to most fighters in and around their weight class. Joel is gifted with speed, both hand and foot, cleverness, and the southpaw style. These are gifts that are usually enough to garner wins for him. But, if they're not, he has the additional ability to get down and dirty. He can spin his opponent at just the right time, getting the needed angle. He is a master at pulling his opponent's head down, rendering him in- effective, and maybe even popping him at the same time. He also knows how to use his head effectively to cause damage, and maybe even cause a fight ending cut. However, none of this is going to be enough for him to come away with the victory. Marquez will be wise to all of what Joel might try. First, he will demonstrate the ability to reach the lateral moving Joel, and then he will be ready for Joel's tricks with punishing counters. Joel being a southpaw won't bother him at all. Marquez by decision.
Also on the 13th, there's a rematch between Sergio Mora and Vernon Forrest. In the first fight, Mora was able to frustrate Forrest with quick movement, keeping Forrest out of rhythm, and unable to land any big punches. Mora has that sought after ability to pull back or roll with punches that most fighters only wish they had. But, this time around Forrest will keep his head, and go more to the body, and use more anticipation by throwing punches to spots, and let Mora move into them, rather than throwing them at Mora, and allowing him move away from them. Forrest by decision.
Here's another flash. On the 27th of Sept., Andre Berto is going to stop Steve (2 lb) Forbes. Berto is an excellent fighter, and a very smart one. He genuinely has learned from his close calls, and is a student of the game. He has thoroughly studied Forbes, and knows how to get to him sufficiently to bring about a victory. Berto by TKO
Let's jump to the big guys and 10/11/08 with Vitali Klitschko versus Samuel Peter. There’s no challenge in predicting this one will not go the distance, but which behemoth lands first. Common sense says Peter should be the sharper of the two, having had no long lay-offs, or serious injuries with which to contend. However, the big Ukraine is going to drive Peter backwards, which with dampen Peter's punching power. Also, Peter's big crescent moon arch of a right hand is not going to work with the huge Vitali. He won't duck into it like Jemeel McCline. Peter won't be able to land a looping or wide swinging left either. Klitschko by KO.
Also on the 11th, we have Chad Dawson versus Antonio Tarver.
Here’s the short version. Dawson's weaknesses were exposed by Glenn Johnson. Tarver by decision.
Okay, here's the big one (10/18/08). The cagey old veteran Bernard Hopkins is going to weather the Pavlik storm, and manage to catch him enough to hurt him. Then he's going to demonstrate that he knows how to finish an opponent in trouble, unlike Jermain Taylor. Everything goes against this prediction. In fact, some like Freddie Roach, worry about Bernard's safety. The fact is Kelly has always been there to be hit. As the old saying goes, his best defense is his offense, i.e....the volume punches, the power, his height and long reach, and so forth. But, Bernard has seen it all, and won't be blinded by the jab, so he will see the big right. He will avoid it and counter with his own precisely placed damaging punches. Hopkins by KO
Just as big, and maybe bigger is the (11/8/08) match-up between Joe Calzaghe versus Roy Jones, Jr. Again there's every reason to predict Calzaghe will beat the older veteran, because he has the relentless punching style, the ability to take opponents out of their game plans, getting them frustrated and careless. Calzaghe is very desirous of adding a victory over another legend of the ring. However, his usual ability to disrupt opponents is not going to have the same effect against an unusually physically gifted Roy Jones, Jr. Even at his age, Roy demonstrates the ability to do things no one else can. He is going to use his unbelievable speed to pot-shot Joe from a distance before Joe can do any rat-ta-tatting! Once he gets him hurt, the whirlwind will descend on Joe, but Joe has a tremendous chin, so Roy by TKO!
Not going out on too much of a limb with this one (11/15/08), Jermaine Taylor wins a decision over Jeff Lacy. Lacy seems to be less dangerous since his shoulder surgery. Taylor will be the better ring general and come away with the win. Taylor by decision
On 11/22/08, we have Hatton versus Malignaggi, but who really cares? Hatton is rapidly sliding, and Malignaggi's gone about as far as he's ever going. It will be fun to watch, but not significant in the scheme of things. Malignaggi will have a tough time winning a decision across the pond. (Geez, don't you wish he would babble less, and punch harder! Then he would be the favorite of everyone.) Here’s One little tidbit. The reasons (excuses) Hatton gives about his break-up with Billy Graham don't hold water. If they were legitimate reasons, Angelo Dundee, Ray Arcel, Eddie Futch, and on and on......would never have been able to train some of the great fighters that came along later in their lives. Malignaggi by decision.
Now, the one you've been waiting for.........Oscar (the Golden Boy) De La Hoya. Everyone suspects the very intelligent Oscar is not going to risk his well being by fighting the Tijuana Tornado. Nor, will he be risking possible embarrassment by fighting the freakessly big Paul Williams. The money thing is a road block to Pacquaio, and no one wants to see him fight Sugar Shane again. In his machinations, he is hoping for a Mora win, then the two media stars can get matched up for big bucks, and no body gets hurt. There will be flying fists all over the place, but amazingly no one will suffer much more than a minor bruise or two, which will be enough to demonstrate their ruggedness in front of the cameras. So, even if Oscar gets the decision, he will still lose in the eyes of true fight fans.
previous article: Exclusive interview with O'Neil Bell "The very best of me as a fighter has not been brought out yet"
next article: The Mismatches Continue