Friday, September 10 in London (Showtime): Tyson Fury (11-0, 9 KOs) vs. Rich Power (12-0, 9 KOs), heavyweights (201+ lb.)
Prediction: Fury by TKO.
Standing 6'7" and bearing an undefeated is more than enough to garner attention in today's weak heavyweight division, which brings us to England's Fury, who's exposing himself to an international audience, particularly in America, on Friday night's ShoBox. Little is known of Power, who's only fought in Michigan against zero notables. Fury should outweigh Power by 30-40 pounds, and Fury carries weight well on his frame: After coming in at a career-low 247 pounds to win a hotly-disputed decision last year over John McDermott, Fury weighed 270, 9 pounds heavier than ever before, and dismantled McDermott in the rematch before stopping him in the ninth.
Terrance Cauthen (35-6, 9 KOs) vs. John O'Donnell (23-1, 11 KOs), welterweights (147 lb.)
Prediction: O'Donnell by decision.
Finally, the fight we've all been waiting for! How did we get served this? Cauthen has faced the far better competition, but he's a decade older with almost twice as many fights and, perhaps most importantly, fighting on O'Donnell's home turf.
Saturday, September 11 in Frankfurt, Germany (ESPN3.com):
IBF-WBO-IBO-Ring Champ Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KOs) vs. Sam Peter (34-3, 27 KOs), heavyweights (201+ lb.)
Prediction: Klitschko by TKO.
Has Peter really re-dedicated (or just finally dedicated) himself to the sport? Does it matter? Their first showdown in 2005 can be viewed one of two ways: that Klitschko dominated almost every minute of it, except for three knockdowns; or that Peter pushed Klitschko to the limit and almost took him out, the last heavyweight to give him a real fight.
Probably both bear some truth, but remember this: Going into the last round of that bout, the fight was there for Peter's taking. He was only down two points on the scorecards, so a knockdown would have made it a draw. However, one stunning Klistchko left hook stopped Peter in his tracks and earned Wladimir the round and the fight, 114-111 on all three cards.
Don't expect the same type of nail-biting finish here. While Peter hasn't appreciably progressed, Klitschko has mastered a boring but highly effective method of jabbing, grabbing, potshotting and outreaching his opponents until they are there to be had, usually painfully late in the contest. He should take the Nigerian out comparatively early, somewhere in the middle rounds.
It says here that Gamboa's name will be penciled into pound-for-pound lists in very short order, probably by 2011. Sure, he has the defensive liabilities that come with such unabashed aggressiveness and combination punching, but outside of the likes of Manny Pacquiao, he's among the most explosive offensive forces in the sport today. His combination of speed and power amazes, and he'll prove too much for veteran titlist Salido, though this probably won't be a cakewalk, as Salido's been in with a lot of tough pros and can handle himself. Unfortunately for him, he'd need more than that to last with Gamboa.
Anthony Peterson (30-0, 20 KOs) vs. Brandon Rios (24-0-1, 18 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.)
Prediction: Peterson by decision.
This pairing of two mid-twenties American former amatauer standout, undefeated contenders looks better each time you look at it. It may not turn out a thriller, but who knows? Both have a lot to gain with a win on HBO - national exposure and a shot at one of the two WBA lightweight champs. (I can't believe I have to write that.) This could go either way, but I'll go with Peterson, who just knows how to win rounds.
Saturday, September 11 in Mexico City (Integrated Sports PPV):
Erik Morales (49-6, 34 KOs) vs. Willie Limond (33-2, 8 KOs), junior welterweights (140 lb.)
Morales, the future Hall of Famer and Mexican legend, lost four in a row before a 2 1/2 year retirement until a victorious return this March, and he hasn't knocked anyone out in almost seven years. However, he can still compete with and often beat the Willie Limonds of the boxing world, and he's motivated to defeat Limond to potentially stage an all-Mexican big money bout against another legend, Juan Manuel Marquez, or, if he can't secure that one, a title challenge of another countryman, WBC lightweight titlist Humberto Soto.