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Fight Predictions for March 25 to March 31

Fight Predictions for March 25 to March 31

Date and Time (EST)

Event

Channel

Mar 27, 2012

Suriyan Sor Rungvisai vs. Yota Sato (WBC Jr. Bantamweight Title)

Tokyo

Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, the current WBC titlist, and the #1 junior bantamweight in the world according to boxrec.com, is in tough this week against 5thrated Japanese challenger Yota Sato.  Sor Rungvisai, 20-4-1 with 7 knockouts, has not lost since dropping a close decision to Ponsaklek Wonjongkam in October of 2010, and his current win streak of six, includes the likes of Tomas Rojas and Nobuo Nashiro.  Sor Rungvisai is aggressive, quick, he moves well, and his defense is surprising good for a fighter that bears his soul on the offensive end.  His opponent in this fight, Yota Sato, is 23-2-1 with 12 knockouts, and he has not lost since September of 2005 (a period of 19 fights).  This has the makings of a good fight, and Sato, having never been stopped, is sure to hold up his end of a competitive scrap.  I think we could see back and forth action over the full 12 rounds, but ultimately, Sato is just too inexperienced, and Sor Rungvisai is just too good for any title to be exchanged on this night.

(Sor Rungvisai by unanimous decision)

Mar 30, 2012

Henry Lundy vs. Dannie Williams (Lightweights)

Mashantucket, CT, (ESPN2)

(Stay tuned for an in-depth analysis of the fight)

Mar 30 , 2012

Elvin Ayala vs. Eric Mitchell (Middleweights)

Mashantucket, CT

(ESPN2)

Elvin Ayala comes into this fight rated #44 by boxrec.com, and the winner of 4 straight dating back to February of last year.  He has been in with some quality opposition (challenging Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight title in 2008 and fighting Sergio Mora to a draw back in October of 2007), but his days of challenging for world titles may be behind him.  Nevertheless, Ayala still comes into this contest as the better, younger, busier, and fresher of the two fighters.  Mitchell is a last minute replacement for Hector Camacho Jr. who cited injury as his reason for pulling out, and while I commend Mitchell’s willingness to take this fight on short notice, I think the nights’ action just got shorter by a few rounds.

(Ayala by 3rd round TKO)

Mar 30, 2012

Nkosinathi Joyi vs. Katsunari Takayama (IBF Strawweight Title)

East London, South Africa

Nkosinathi Joyi is a 29-year old South African, and current IBF strawweight champion, with a record of 21-0 with 15 knockouts.  He is currently rated as Ring Magazine’s #1 overall 105 pounder, and with recent decisive victories over Florante Condes and Raul Garcia, there is sufficient evidence to validate this claim.  In this fight, Joyi faces a 28-year old Japanese fighter named Katsunari Takayama, with a record of 24-4 (10).  Takayama’s only loss going back to 2008 was in a bid for the WBA title against Roman Gonzalez in 2009.  He lost a lopsided decision in that affair (118-110 across the board), and I have a sneaking suspicion that this one might end in a similar fashion, or possibly inside the distance.  Joyi is not terribly quick-handed, he doesn’t have exceptional defensive skills, and he doesn’t overwhelm with a fusillade of punches, but he is tough, and he knows when to let his hands go, and Yakayama has a tendency to come in wild and overly aggressive. These two fought a 3 round “no contest” in January of last year, and neither fighter has been in the ring since.  It will be interesting to see how the layoff affects them, but Joyi has looked very sharp in his previous outings, and I think Takayama will get caught and stopped at some point during the first half of the fight.

(Joyi by 6th round KO)

Mar 31, 2012

Francisco Leal vs. Evgeny Gradovich (Featherweights)

San Antonio, TX

(Azteca America)

Francisco “Frankie” Leal is a 25-year old featherweight from Mexico who has accumulated a 16-5-3 (10) record in seven years of professional prize fighting.  Leal is a tall southpaw with good punching power, who is best known for his split decision victory over the highly regarded and undefeated prospect Robert Marroquin in April of last year.  Leal fought well at close quarters in that fight, using good head movement, and turning Marroquin to avoid getting hit with big punches.  Marroqiun looked a little lethargic that night, and Leal capitalized on his opponents’ idleness, earning a hard fought decision.  In this fight, Leal faces an undefeated Russian named Evgeny Gradovich, who has 6 KO’s in 12 professional victories.  Gradovich was a very accomplished amateur, posting a record of 126-24, and he is currently being trained by Robert Garcia out of Oxnard, California.  I have seen clips of him fight, and he has the European style that you would come to expect, but he employs a little more movement rather than simply choosing to catch punches like many of the other stand up fighters.  In the end, I think Leal is a very good test for the prospect, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled off the upset here.  However, I must cede my knowledge on the matter to that of Robert Garcia, and assume he knows what he is doing with his young prospect.

(Gradovich by unanimous decision)

Mar 31, 2012

Hugo Ruiz vs. John Mark Apolinario (WBA “interim” Bantamweight  Title)

Los Cabos, Mexico

Hugo Ruiz has been carrying around a WBA “interim” title since beating Alvaro Perez in January of last year, and he looks to continue his “interim” reign this weekend against 17-2-1 John Mark Apolinario, who is a 22-year old Filipino currently rated 50th according to boxrec.com.  Hugo Ruiz is a very good offensive fighter with an array weaponry, but as we learned in his first fight with Francisco Arce, he is also vulnerable on defense, particularly against the left hook.  I think a big puncher could pose problems for the “stand-in” champion, however, given the fact that Apolinario only has 4 knockouts in his 20 fights, it seems doubtful that he possesses sufficient enough power to deal Ruiz a knockout blow.  In addition, while Apolinario has won 5 of his last 6, the combined record of those last six opponents was a mere 51-35-9, making experience another factor that could work against him in this fight.  In all, I just don’t think Apolinario has the punching power to dissuade Ruiz from walking in, nor does he have the experience to deal with the flow and direction of the fight.

(Ruiz by 4th round KO)

Mar 31, 2012

Jorge Linares vs. Sergio Thompson (Lightweights)

Cancun, Mexico

In one of the best fights of 2011, Jorge Linares suffered a heartbreaking loss to Antonio DeMarco in his bid for the vacant WBC lightweight title.   Linares fought an excellent fight and was well ahead on the cards going into the 11th round (99-91, 98-92, and 98-92), however, the accumulation of punches began to take their toll, and DeMarco pulled off a dramatic come from behind TKO victory in the 11th to claim the title.  The good news for Jorge Linares is that he proved himself capable of thoroughly dominating one of the world’s best lightweights over ten rounds.  The bad news is that a knockout loss of that nature, and the one he suffered against Juan Carlos Salgado back in October of 2009, have to take a toll on his psyche.  Linares, now 31-2 with 20 knockouts, is currently rated #17 by boxrec.com, however, I believe he is still deserving of a spot within the top ten.  I think he will get past the Mexican Thompson (yes, that’s right, “Mexican Thompson”) with little difficulty, and set the stage for his July 7thrematch with DeMarco.  I may be looking past Thompson, but I doubt that Linares is.

(Linares by 4th round KO)

Mar 31, 2012

Arthur Abraham vs. Piotr Wilczewski (Super Middleweights)

Kiel, Germany

Does Arthur Abraham have what it takes to restore his elite status in the super middleweight division?  After losing to Andre Dirrell, Carl Froch, and Andre Ward from 2010 to 2011, Arthur Abraham started off 2012 with an impressive 5thround KO over 19-1 Pablo Oscar Faries.  Abraham, now 32-years old, is 33-3 with 27 knockouts, and is currently rated #10 according to Ring Magazine.  This Saturday, he faces a German fighter named Piotr Wilczewski, who is 30-2 with 10 knockouts.  Wilczewski has few if any signature wins; however, last October he lost a narrow majority decision to British prospect, and amateur sensation James DeGale.  In that fight, Wilczewski kept the pressure on DeGale and made him work every second for the victory.  In this fight, Wilczewski will have an opposable force equal to his, and the comparable hand speed and defense abilities (or lack thereof) should make for a very exciting fight. 

(Abraham by late round KO)

Mar 31, 2012

Brian Rose vs. Max Maxwell (BBBofC Jr. Middleweight Title)

Blackpool, England

Brian Rose is a 27-year old from Lancashire, who is looking to defend the BBBofC junior middleweight title he won from Prince Arron back in December of last year.   He comes into this fight with a record of 18-1-1 with 5 KO’s and a boxrec.com ranking of #32.  His opponent in this fight, Max Maxwell, is an unassuming 15-10-3 with 3 knockouts, however, Maxwell does hold one particular victory of note; a 6thround TKO of Rose back in May of 2010.  Since that win, Maxwell has gone 3-1-1 against opponents with a combined record of 22-59-5, and he was TKO’d in one round just two fights ago, and Rose has gone on to much bigger and better things.  Rose is not known for being a big puncher, but I would expect to see him come out with a sense of urgency and get a little vindication in this one, earning a victory inside the distance.

(Rose by middle round TKO)    

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