Ramon Valadez (8-1, 4 KOs) vs. Ramon Flores (3-12-2, 3 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.)
Jamie Kavanagh (6-0, 2 KOs) vs. John Willoughby (3-7, 2 KOs), jr. welterweights (140 lb.) Prediction: Valadez by decision and Kavanagh by TKO
Maybe this isn't Exhibit A, but it sure is a piece of evidence if you're Top Rank arguing your superiority over Golden Boy Promotions. These "Fight Night Club" cards make Top Rank's old Versus shows look Hall of Fame-worthy. Utter garbage. Golden Boy, your prospects can beat up tomato cans, we get it. These would be bad off-TV, undercard bouts, yet they waste national air time over them. I'd rather see two 10-10 guys go at it any
day of the week.
How good will Valadez and Kavanagh be? Who the hell knows from these awful Golden Boy shows? Flores and Willoughby have the kind of records ring announcers at club shows try not to actually say, such as "a veteran of 17 professional bouts... Ramon Flores!" Having said that, and nothing against Kavanagh and Valadez, but I just became a big Flores and Willoughby fan. Swing for the fences, boys.
Friday, June 24 in Temecula, Ca. (ESPN 2):
John Molina (22-1, 18 KOs) vs. Robert Frankel (28-10-1, 5 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.) Prediction: Molina by TKO
Molina had better watch out, Frankel is "Red Hot" and he has a big win over Pacquiao. Of course, that's just his nickname, and it was Bobby Pacquiao, but Frankel is a veteran journeyman fighting his 40th pro bout, and he's held his own in the ring despite the obvious lack of
With a big punch and always coming forward, the Joe Goossen-trained Molina has become one of the more TV-friendly boxers right now, including his exciting, come-from-behind knockout of trash talker Hank Lundy last summer. He's always a welcome headliner on "Friday Night Fights."
Mike Dallas, Jr. (17-1-1, 7 KOs) vs. Mauricio Herrera (17-1, 7 KOs), jr. welterweights (140 lb.) Prediction: Herrera by decision
In one of the weekend's most intriguing bouts, Dallas looks to rebound from a tough stoppage loss against a fighter who could very well be undefeated, save a controversial decision loss to Mike Anchondo.
In the "FNF" season opener, Herrera beat up tough Russian Ruslan Provodnikov for a well-earned victory. Despite, good skill and speed, Dallas couldn't handle Josesito Lopez's heat. This should prove competitive and close, but the guess is he'll have trouble with
Saturday, June 25 in Saint Charles, Mo. (HBO):
Devon Alexander (21-1, 13 KOs) vs. Lucas Matthysse (28-1, 26 KOs), jr. welterweights (140 lb.) Prediction: Alexander by decision
The WBO has earmarked this as an eliminator for a shot at its title held by Timothy Bradley, and though no one wants to see an Alexander-Bradley rematch, this does have the air of an elimination bout. Alexander's last outing was awful, when he fell apart and gave up against Bradley for the 140 pound championship, and Matthysse's biggest fight ended with a debatable decision loss to Zab Judah.
Alexander also struggled against skilled boxer Andreas Kotelnik in his previous outing, but Matthysse represents more of a brawler-type. With Alexander's straight, accurate punching, he should build an insurmountable lead and then hold on (perhaps literally) for the
IBF Champ Tavoris Cloud (22-0, 18 KOs) vs. Yusaf Mack (29-3-2, 17 KOs), light heavyweights (175 lb.) Prediction: Cloud by TKO
Mack's a decent opponent if not a worthy title challenger, with a career-best upset win two years over light heavyweight contender Chris Henry. Though it's been four fights since Cloud stopped an opponent, those distance bouts came against the likes of Glen Johnson and Clinton Woods, both of whom have granite chins. Mack has been known to fold under the pressure of strong, physical attack dogs, and Cloud fits squarely within that mold.
WBA Champ Felix Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KOs) vs. Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs), middleweights (160 lb.) Prediction: Sturm by decision
Reasons to think Macklin has a chance: Sturm has shown some vulnerability at times, getting KO'd late by an old Javier Castillejo and drawing with the relatively ordinary Randy
Griffin. Although he did avenge that loss and draw, he may have gotten away with one last year with a debatable points win over Khoren Gevor.
Sturm clearly intends to coast with his WBA title by defending it against second-tier opposition as long as he can, while avoiding top-5 caliber challenges. He still possesses a potent jab though, and he'll outbox most middleweights in the world and probably all of the U.K.'s Macklin's level.