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Fight Predictions for April 15 to April 21

Fight Predictions for April 15 to April 21

Date and Time (EST)

Event

Channel

Adonis Stevenson vs. Noe Gonzalez (Super Middleweights) April 20, 2012 (ESPN2)

Adonis Stevenson 17-1 (14)

Noe Gonzalez 28-1 (20)

  • Boxrec.com #6
  • Big, strong, super middleweight
  • Very accurate with the jab and straight left
  • His 1st round KO of Jesus Gonzalez speaks for itself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmtH4ANKXWY
  • Won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006
  • Has good power and hand speed

 

  • Boxrec.com #26
  • Only loss was a 12 round decision to Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight title in June of 2007
  • Has won 14 fights in a row
  • Has fought primarily in Argentina and Uruguay
  • Hard worker, good body puncher
  • Throws combinations with conviction
  • Very durable (never been stopped)

 

This week’s installment of Friday Night Fights takes us to Quebec, Canada as super middleweight contenders Adonis Stevenson and Noe Gonzalez prepare to do battle.  Stevenson is a big, strong, offensive fighter with a good jab and excellent knockout power.  He doesn’t throw a tremendous amount of punches, but he controls the distance well and he is very accurate with both hands.  His opponent in this fight, Gonzalez, is a volume puncher with good hand speed and power who looks to work his way inside and throw combinations.  Gonzalez lacks the experience and amateur background of Stevenson, but he is a very tough and dangerous opponent who has not lost since 2007 (a unanimous decision to Felix Sturm).  I look for this fight to be a competitive and exciting bout with Stevenson trying to keep Gonzalez at bay with his excellent jab and straight left, and Gonzalez looking to create some space inside for his hooks to the body and uppercuts upstairs.  Stevenson was knocked out 5 fights ago against 16-15-2 Darnell Boone; So Gonzalez can definitely end it early if Stevenson gets careless with his distance and defense.  In the end, however, think Gonzalez will have his moments, but the movement of Stevenson, along with his experience and precision, lead me to think he will have more success dictating the tempo and fighting his fight.

(Stevenson by unanimous decision)

Antonin Decarie vs. Lanardo Tyner (Welterweights) April 20, 2012 (ESPN2)

Antonin Decarie 26-1 (7)

Lanardo Tyner 25-7-2 (15)

  • Boxrec.com #15
  • Has a good chin
  • Only 7 KO’s in 27 fights
  • Has good hand speed
  • Throws combinations effectively
  • Does good work to the body
  • Boxrec.com #93
  • 36 years-old
  • Has lost 4 of his last 6 fights
  • Has only won once since July of 2010
  • Has fought excellent opposition and has never been stopped
  • Undersized

 

If ever there was a fight to bet the over on, this would be it.  Lanardo Tyner is as tough as they come, having never been knocked out, despite being in with guys like Jessie Vargas, Saul Alvarez, and Lamont Peterson.  He does seem to be on the losing end of a disproportionate number of decision losses, however, so outworking him over the distance should be the strategy of choice for Decarie, who comes into the fight with just a 26% career KO percentage.  Decarie is a good offense fighter who is active to the body, and he has the skills to make this an easy fight, but Tyner is a veteran with a lot of experience who won’t likely go away to easy.  Tyner gave a very good showing of himself against young sensation Jessie Vargas back in February of this year, and I think he will do the same in this fight; but I think it will take a knockout to win in Quebec, and I just don’t think that is likely to happen.

(Decarie by unanimous decision)

Jermain Taylor vs. Caleb Truax (Middleweights) April 20, 2012 (Showtime)

Jermain Taylor 29-4-1 (18)

Caleb Truax 18-0-1 (10)

  • Boxrec.com #42
  • Health issues and age have him far removed from his prime
  • Still has a world class jab and better than average hand speed
  • Big and strong
  • Has lost 4 of his last 6 (3 by KO)
  •  Boxrec.com #39
  • Has built his record on regional competition only
  • Lacks big fight experience
  • Good hand speed and accuracy
  • Can fight inside and outside 
  • Blocks punches well
Caleb Truax has the speed and boxing ability to match Jermain Taylor, but he does not have the necessary power to back Taylor off and earn the veteran’s respect.  At age 33, Jermain Taylor is not near the level he used to be, but he is still a very good offensive fighter who throws the jab well, and finishes with combinations.  Defensively, he is vulnerable, but I don’t see Truax carrying the power to hurt him.  Taylor has been knocked out 3 times in his last 6 fights, but each of those knockouts came against guys that possessed a much bigger punch than Truax (Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, and Kelly Pavlik).  I do think Truax will have success early, and he may be able to frustrate Taylor and find success scoring and moving away, but eventually Taylor will find the distance and timing required to land the heavier, more telling blows.  I would expect a tough, competitive fight, but I think Taylor’s strength, power, and experience will be the deciding factors.

(Taylor by 10th round TKO)

Erislandy Lara vs. Ronald Hearns (Middleweights) April 20, 2012 (Showtime)

Erislandy Lara

Ronald Hearns

  • Boxrec.com #10
  • Excellent amateur career in Cuba
  • Absolutely dominated Paul Williams in a losing effort last July
  • Good defensive fighter
  • Fundamentally sound on offense
  • Has a tendency to be outworked (Carlos Molina)
  •  Boxrec.com #?
  • Has good genes
  • Physically imposing, standing 6’3” with a 73” reach
  • Has good power (20 KO’s in 26 wins)
  • Good jab
  • Doesn’t fight well going backwards
  • Best win was against Delray Raines?
  • Has been knocked out twice in his past 9 fights
Ronald Hearns is looking to take that next big step in his career, and a win over Erislandy Lara would do wonders for the 33-year old’s career.  Unfortunately, Hearns, despite possessing a solid jab and a powerful right hand (forged primarily against soft opposition), is just not at the same level as Lara.  He can make things interesting if he commits to letting his hands go (as Lara is often guilty of standing idle and letting his opponents get off first), however, even in the best case scenario I think Lara is the more proven, competent fighter.  Lara covers well, he grapples on the inside, and he can make taller fighters fight short.  He made Paul Williams look like a shot fighter, and in retrospect, Williams’ performance in that fight was perhaps largely attributed to Lara just simply being that good.  Unfortunately for Hearns, I think Lara will have the same effect, and I would be surprised if the fight is within 5 points on the scorecards.

(Lara by unanimous decision)

Abner Mares vs. Eric Morel (WBC Jr. Featherweight Title) April 21, 2012 (Showtime)

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

Anselmo Moreno vs. David De La Mora (WBA “super” Bantamweight Title) April 21, 2012 (Showtime)

Anselmo Moreno 32-1-1 (11)

David De La Mora 24-1 (17)

  • Boxrec.com #2
  • Has won 26 fights in a row
  • Has not lost in more than 9 years
  • Boxed circles around Vic Darchinyan in his last fight
  • Sharp puncher with excellent defense
  • Lacks knockout power (11 KO’s in 34 fights)
  •  Boxrec.com #24
  • Lost a close decision to Koki Kameda in August of last year
  • Has good hand speed and offensive skills
  • Looked easy to hit in the closing rounds of his bout with Kameda
  • Has not beaten (or fought) anyone on Moreno’s level
Anselmo Moreno is a super-slick boxer with good footwork and a “Pernell Whitaker-like” disposition on defense.  His win against Vic Darchinyan last December was a thing of beauty, and the ease with which he moved, jabbed, and countered his way to a decision victory, makes the thought of him losing this fight almost unthinkable.  He is a highly skilled technician in the ring, and he can turn an opponent’s over-aggression into an advantage about as well as anyone in the fight game.  I think David De La Mora is a worthy opponent, and he is competent enough to keep Moreno up and moving for the full twelve rounds, but ultimately Moreno’s precision, combined with David De La Mora’s penchant for getting hit with big shots as he fatigues, makes the choice of Moreno by decision the only logical one to make.  I think De La Mora is capable of turning it into a good scrap, and he is definitely not overmatched, but if he presses the action and tries to make the fight, he will be playing to Moreno’s counter punching strengths, and he will get picked apart.

(Moreno by unanimous decision)

Cristian Mijares vs. Eddy Julio (Jr. Featherweights) April 21, 2012, Morelia, Mexico

Cristian Mijares 40-6-2 (20)

Eddy Julio 13-3-1 (11)

  • Boxrec.com #15
  • Has won 8 fights in a row since November of 2009, when he lost to Nehomar Cermeno
  • Won a solid victory over Juan Alberto Rosas in December of 2009
  • A little bit of a cutie (throws the jab well, moves in and out, and carries his right hand low)
  • Has below average power
  • Boxrec.com #482
  • Has lost 2 of his lat 3
  • Was TKO’d by David De La Mora in his last fight
  • Lacks experience, and skill by comparison
  • Has good power

 

This fight is nothing more than a tune-up for Mijares before his July 14thdate with Nonito Donaire.  Mijares is a slick southpaw who has put together a decent winning streak of late against good opposition, and with a future fight with Donaire hanging in the balance, I can’t imagine his focus being anywhere but on the task at hand.  Mijares has the advantage in virtually every category, and his opponent is so overmatched in this fight that the favorite will look bad if the result is anything but an early KO.  I have seen tune-ups in the past that had elements of danger and ended in tragedy; but this is not one of them. 

(Mijares by 3rd round KO)

Omar Narvaez vs. Jose Cabrera (WBO Jr. Bantamweight Title) April 21, 2012, Argentina

Omar Narvaez 35-1-2 (19)

Jose Cabrera 20-2-2 (8)

  • Boxrec.com #5
  • Average punching power
  • Was embarrassed by Nonito Donaire in his last fight
  • Is now 36 years old
  • Has a tendency to be “effectively unaggressive” at times
  •  Boxrec.com #28
  • Good hand speed, and defensive skills
  • Came close to getting the win against a tough Daniel Rosas in his last fight
  • Lacks legitimate knockout power
  • Too much “Matador” and not enough “Bull”
  • Will be fighting in a hostile environment
Omar Narvaez was a very accomplished amateur fighter, and as a flyweight he successfully defended his WBO title a staggering 16 times.  Of course that was as a flyweight, and nearly three years ago (what a difference a few pounds and a little bit of time can make).  Now Narvaez, at age 36, is still a good junior bantamweight, but his performance against Nonito Donaire was so disappointing that I am at odds with giving him “elite” standing.  At 115 pounds he has beaten Everth Briceno and Cesar Ceda, but against busier fighters with good power it’s anybody’s guess how he will perform.  Fortunately, for Narvaez and the throngs of Argentineans in attendance, I don’t think Cabrera has the power, nor the offensive mindset to pull off the upset here.  I think Cabrera will box and move and frustrate Narvaez at times, but I think Narvaez will win rounds by simply coming forward.  Not a terribly thrilling fight, but a win for Narvaez nonetheless.

(Narvaez by unanimous decision)

Karoly Balzsay vs. Dimitri Sartison (WBA  Super Middleweight Title) April 21, 2012, Schwerin, Germany

Karoly Balzsay 24-2 (17)

Dimitri Sartison 29-1 (18)

  • Boxrec.com #38
  • Lost close fights to Eduard Gutknecht and Robert Stieglitz
  • A Hungarian fighting in Germany
  • Was an exceptional amateur (231-2-27) losing to Cuban Yordanis Despaign in the 2004 Olympics
  • Too defensive at times (covers up and doesn’t throw)
  • A little too stationary
  •  Boxrec.com #17
  • Only loss was to Mikkel Kessler June of 2008
  • Has won 7 fights in a row, including solid victories over Stejepan Bozic and Khoren Gevor
  • Was a good amateur (95-18-2)
  • Gets hit too much
  • Not terribly accurate
In his last fight, Karoly Balzsay was a bit underwhelming in a split decision victory over Stanyslav Kashtanov.  He seemed to wait for opportunities to throw while his opponent capitalized on his idleness.  Balzsay is a technical fighter, with good defense and precision, but against Sartison he will need to be busier if he wants to win the close rounds, particularly given that he is fighting in enemy territory.  This fight could be a twelve round chess match, with brief moments of exchange, and a very subjective final scoring.  I think Balzsay will probably land more of the better punches in the fight, but Sartison will likely be busier, and therefore more impressive to the judges.

(Sartison by unanimous decision)

Anthony Crolla vs. Derry Mathews (British Lightweight Title) April 21, 2012, Oldham, England

Anthony Crolla 23-2 (9)

Derry Mathews 29-6-1 (15)

  • Boxrec.com #27
  • Lacks knockout power
  • Only one loss in his last 16 fights (to Gary Sykes in May of 2009)
  • Never been stopped
  • Has good hand speed and a tight defense
  •  Boxrec.com #77
  • Was TKO’d in his last fight
  • Fought Gavin Rees close for 3 rounds last October before the fight was stopped on cuts
  • Has been KO’d 6 times in his career
  • Lost in the super featherweight Prizefighter tournament finals
Derry Mathews is an exciting fighter that likes to mix it up, but he leaves himself open when he goes on offense, making him susceptible to the knockout (as has been the case 6 times previously).  Crolla, on the other hand, also likes to stand toe to toe, but his defense is slightly more effective, and his chin is definitely better.  While Crolla does not have a tremendous amount of power, he does throw straighter punches and tighter hooks, which should ensure that his punches reach their target first.  If things play out in the center of the ring (as both are accustomed) than I think the advantage lies with Crolla.  In the end, it should be an exciting matchup, but Mathews, as usual, will fight like a true warrior, and get carried out on his shield like one.

(Crolla by 9th round TKO)

James DeGale vs. Cristian Sanavia (European Super Middleweight Title) April 21, 2012, Frederikshavn, Denmark

James DeGale

Cristian Sanavia

  • Boxrec.com #19
  • Lost a close majority decision to another highly touted prospect, George Groves, in May of last year
  • British Olympic Gold Medalist as a middleweight  in 2008
  •  Boxrec.com #72
  • His last 5 opponents had a combined record of 41-45-3
  • Has a record of 2-4-1 when fighting outside of Italy
  • Is experienced, but also 37 years old
There are still a lot of high hopes for the former Gold Medalist, James DeGale, despite his loss at the hands of George Groves back in May of last year.  When he boxes and uses his jab, De Gale is a very tough fighter to beat.  Unfortunately, as he begins to tire he gets a little lazy, starts clinching, and starts throwing punches wide.  If DeGale stands stationary and fights down to Sanavia, he will be in for another close fight.  Sanavia lost a very close decision to Karo Murat (boxrec.com’s current #14) back in April of 2008.  Granted, that was 4 years ago, but after giving Degale the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions, I now think he is destined to win or lose by the slightest of margins.  DeGale has youth, speed, better boxing skills, and better defense, but it all depends on whether he fights to his potential.  This should be an easy win for him; but I just don’t know anymore.

(DeGale by 2-3 point unanimous decision)

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