TV Fights & Boxing Predictions: November 5 - 8, 2010
By Brian Gorman, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 5, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Friday, November 5 in Fargo, N.D. (Showtime) Edwin Rodriguez (16-0, 12 KOs) vs. James McGirt, Jr. (22-2-1, 11 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)

Prediction: Rodriguez by TKO

While Rodriguez (pictured right) is the relatively safe pick here, since he has cruised through his first 16 bouts while Buddy McGirt's son has run into some recent bumps in the road, there are still signs that it could be competitive. Both were accomplished amateurs on a national level, and McGirt's not completely living off of his father's name; he has some skill. That said, Rodriguez should prove a notch above McGirt and will probably overwhelm him after several rounds.

Dyah Davis (18-1, 9 KOs) vs. Aaron Pryor, Jr. (14-2, 11 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)

Davis by decision
Talk about coming from terrific stock: Davis is 1976 Olympic champ Howard Davis' son (trained by Floyd Mayweather, Sr.), and Pryor's dad was an all-time great. Davis has accomplished slightly more as a pro and has racked up nine straight. Can Pryor gain revenge for his father losing an Olympic bid to Davis'? It won't be like the old days, but it's an interesting enough American bout.

Marcus Johnson (19-0, 14 KOs) vs. Kevin Engel (18-3, 15 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)
Johnson by KO
With all due respect to Engel - it's always good to see an American kid who's put in the effort make a little money and get TV time - but how did he get approved? His three losses have all been by way of stoppage, and while he's defeated some apparently decent club fighters in the midwest, he owns no significant wins. Johnson, a physical force and the 2004 U.S. amateur light heavyweight champ, will likely put a hurting on Engel in this showcase.

Saturday, November 6 in Las Vegas (Showtime):

WBO champ Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) vs. Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs), featherweights (126 lb.)
Lopez by decision
Hallelujah! Finally, a marquee bout in 2010. How long has it been since we've seen a top-flight, highly-competitive matchup? Since Mayweather-Mosley? This is a classic test of a young star-in-the-making versus a ring legend, and undoubtedly Lopez will face things Saturday night that he's never had to before. Lopez, an offensive machine, is there to be hit, and Marquez is a technical master. If Lopez plays it smart, though, he'll methodically wear Marquez down by digging to the body and mixing in his heavy hooks and straight lefts. This could be nip-and-tuck, but the Puerto Rican Lopez is younger, stronger and hits harder, which should carry him to a narrow win.

Glen Johnson (50-14-2, 34 KOs) vs. Allan Green (29-2, 20 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)

Johnson by decision
Much has been made of weight issues for both men, particularly Johnson, who hasn't competed at 168 in a decade, along with Johnson's 41 years. While those are legitimate issues that make this no gimme, it will come down to intangibles of heart, determination - as you often hear athletes say, who wants it more? Sometimes analysts engage in too much guesswork when breaking down a fight, where the past usually predicts the future. The same Glen Johnson shows up in every bout, walking down his opponent behing that high guard and jab. On the other hand, while Green has good skill and a huge punch, he can be inactive and outworked. If Johnson senses weakness in his opponent in the form of not wanting to mix it up, he'll be all over you until you give up or give out.

Saturday, November 6 in Newark, NJ (HBO):

Zab Judah (39-6, 27 KOs) vs. Lucas Matthysse (27-0, 25 KOs), junior welterweights (140 lb.)

Judah by decision
The boxing press has focused on Judah's metamorphosis, and though he does appear to have evolved into a more mature, responsible pro, don't we already know who Judah is? The question mark in this bout is Matthysse, who's never gotten a win that would necessitate status at the elite level, but he's also taken care of business in 27 pro bouts. In all likelihood, he'll have a puncher's chance, but against Judah, that means a real chance.

Robert Guerrero (27-1-1, 18 KOs) vs. Vicente Escobedo (22-2, 14 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.)

Guerrero by decision
Escobedo lost by split decision last year to Michael Katsidis in a bout that clearly should have been a wide decision in Katsidis' favor. In that bout, Katsidis unloaded on Escobedo, who had his moments but was outgunned. Guerrero doesn't possess Katsidis' physicality but is a superior boxer, and he should always be one step, one punch ahead of the game fellow Californian.

Monday, November 8 at Camp Lejuene, NC (ESPN 2):

Rico Ramos (17-0, 9 KOs) vs. Heriberto Ruiz (44-9-2, 26 KOs), junior featherweights (122 lb.)
Ramos by TKO

ESPN's boxing programming gets what HBO has missed for years: Just put on good fights, that's all we want. And it outdoes HBO and even Showtime by far, when you consider its meager budget. This is an interesting pairing of a young contender facing an older vet who's been in with several A- and B-listers. Though Ruiz loses more than he wins against the best, he owns wins over good boxers like Cristobal Cruz and Rey Bautista. However, competing against someone 10 years his junior, and with 55 bouts and 371 rounds under his belt, making it through 10 rounds should prove too much this time.

Shawn Estrada (9-0, 9 KOs) vs. Tony Hirsch (12-3-1, 6 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.)
Estrada by KO
2008 U.S. Olympian Estrada is staying busy and in need of a step up, and Hirsch represents a mild one. He went the four round distance with Estrada's fellow Olympian Demetrius Andrade, but he's never fought above 163, and this will obviously amount to another Estrada showcase in less than the scheduled six.

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