TV Fights & Boxing Predictions: April 8-9, 2011 By Brian Gorman, Doghouse Boxing (April 8, 2011) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
Friday, April 7 at the Bell Centre, Montreal (ESPN 2): David Lemieux (25-0, 24 KOs) vs. Marco Antonio Rubio (49-5-1, 42 KOs), middleweights (160 lb.)
Prediction: Lemieux by TKO
After going the distance for the first time last year, young Montreal KO artist Lemieux spent the remainder of 2010 smacking his other opponents around the ring throughout only six rounds over four bouts, with highlight-reel knockouts including ones over Elvin Ayala and Hector Camacho, Jr. Now he'll take another small step up against Mexican veteran Rubio, who has won six straight after a disappointing and unsuccessful championship challenge to world champ Kelly Pavlik in February 2009.
Rubio should make him earn victory and log more rounds, but Lemieux is one of the sport's best young finishers and unabashedly aggressive. He knows how to set up his devastating combinations and can penetrate physically inferior veterans' defenses, such as his impressive first round destruction of Ayala in another "Friday Night Fights" feature last year.
Rubio's not terribly hard to find, and Lemieux will stay on the attack until Rubio's either saved from himself or relieved of his senses. This WBC title eliminator could interestingly set up a Lemieux-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. matchup if Chavez can knock off champ Sebastian Zbik in June. Better yet, continued success could lead to potnetial wars against the likes of fellow young attack dogs like James Kirkland or Alfredo Angulo. Like Yuriorkis Gamboa and Saul Alvarez, Lemieux is the real deal and a potential star in the making.
Adonis Stevenson (13-1, 10 KOs) vs. Derek Edwards (25-1, 13 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)
Prediction: Stevenson by decision
Interesting rebound fight: Each comes off of their first career defeat, yet a win can get either back in the mix as a contender. Canada's Stevenson was making his way through the usual gatekeepers - including a bizarre first round KO over Anthony Bonsante three years ago, when Bonsante went down and then faked being unconscious before popping to his feet just after the referee waved it off - when he was stunned by the tough Darnell Boone in two rounds a year ago. Meanwhile, after building a resume against weak opposition, Edwards dropped a competitive but clear decision to Marcus Johnson on ShoBox last year.
Expect a competitive but perhaps cautious contest that goes where neither goes all out, Edwards due to Stevenson's power and Stevenson because he's coming back after getting knocket out. Stevenson should impose himself on Edwards enough to win the deciding rounds and get the nod from the local judges.
Friday, April 8 in Laredo, TX (Showtime):
Marcus Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs) vs. Dyah Davis (18-2-1, 9 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)
Prediction: Johnson by decision
Fighters like Davis (1976 Olympic Champ Howard Davis' son) serve as barometers for intriguing prospects. They always seem to offer the same effort and production, and if their opponent lets down or is vulnerable, they expose their drive or their proper place in the sport.
Davis had won nine in a row before failing to solve 6'4" Aaron Pryor, Jr. in November but bounced back to get the better of a draw against Francisco Sierra earlier this year. Will the physical and effective, but perhaps not excellent, 2004 amateur national champ Johnson pass this litmus test? He may have to work hard for it, but he will.
Willie Nelson (16-0-1, 10 KOs) vs. Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs), welterweights (147 lb.)
Prediction: Nelson by decision
6'3" Clevelander Nelson has been relatively active, while the Bronx's Arroyo hasn't fought in a year. In that bout, though, he knocked off then-undefeated Jeremy Bryan. His only loss came when Mike Dallas, Jr. soundly outboxed him. Other young but light-hitting boxers such as Dallas and Prenice Brewer were stopped when aggressive fighters took it to them; expect Arroyo to try that strategy.
Friday, April 8 in Primm, Nevada (Telefutura):
Jesse Vargas (14-0, 7 KOs) vs. Vivian Harris (29-5-1, 19 KOs), welterweights (147 lb.)
Prediction: Vargas by TKO
Has Harris passed a physical? He doesn't seem to take shots to the head well at all. Stopped in three of his last five bouts, with another being a no contest when he collapsed after a head butt, he appears to have suffered enough head injuries to raise the question of his fitness to fight.
To be fair, one of those losses (to Lucas Matthysse) constituted one of worst, most premature stoppages you'll ever see, but maybe that was a blessing in disguise. Vargas doesn't crush opponents but should have enough pop to wobble Harris' legs. Hopefully the ref here has done his homework and will keep a short leash on Harris.
Saturday, April 9 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas (HBO PPV):
Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) vs. Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs), jr. welterweights (140 lb.)
Prediction: Maidana by TKO
Mexican featherweight legend Morales doesn't know how to take a step back, a major problem here considering that the wars he has under his belt at 34 and after 57 scraps. Maidana isn't exactly what was in mind when the Marquess of Queensberry rules were adopted for the sport. A straight-up brawler who sets up knockout punches by throwing knockout punches, he'll engage with Morales every step of the way.
With Morales' considerable skill, he should have some moments, but he's now older, slower and more vulnerable, and frankly those who have worried about him in this one have good grounds. At least we can rest assured that he's not among the worried.
Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 22 KOs) vs. Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.)
Prediction: Guerrero by decision
This could become the fight of the weekend, a pick 'em crossroads bout between one trying to reach the pinnacle and another who just barely missed it. Katsidis has improved over the past few years to the point that he and the great lightwieght champ Juan Manuel Marquez battled in 2010's best fight, before his body gave out.
Guerrero can whack when he wants, but he's placed winning above taking any chances at this point in his career, so expect him to try and bank rounds. Katsidis is all risk, throwing caution to the wind. He can effectively mix it up too, so don't be at all surprised if he wins by stoppage or points. However, Guerrero's probably a shade too good for him to stop or consistently impose his aggression, and he should escape with a narrow win.
Paulie Malignaggi (28-4, 6 KOs) vs. Jose Miguel Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KOs), welterweights (147 lb.)
Prediction: Malignaggi by decision
Unlike Guerrero-Katsidis, this one's a lock for Malignaggi. Cotto, while a good fighter, has neither his younger brother's skills nor his power, and for those reasons he'll be tailor-made for the mobile Malignaggi, who should cruise to a unanimous decision, even if the game Cotto makes him work for it.
Saturday, April 9 at the Prudential Center, Newark, NJ (Integrated Sports PPV):
Tomasz Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) vs. Kevin McBride (35-8-1, 29 KOs), heavyweights (201+ lb.)
Prediction: Adamek by TKO
McBride will get paid to play the role of Adamek's televised sparring partner in this tune-up for his September title challenge to one-half of the two-headed world heavyweight champion Klitschkos, Vitali. And it will take place at Adamek's adopted home arena in Newark before a good crowd.
Adamek has wisely fought his third consecutive fighter with similar stature to the 6'7" Klitschko. Obviously, it won't sufficiently prepare him to face arguably the second-best heavyweight of the century, but what would?
A win here would constitute the upset of the year and would reverberate at the top of the division, but it's not going to happen. Adamek will dominate.