Friday, December 3 in Santa Ynez, Ca. (Showtime): Lateef Kayode, (Top Photo) 14-0, 13 KOs vs. Ed Perry, (Middle Photo) 18-4-2, 11 KOs, cruiserweights (200 lb.)
Prediction: Kayode by TKO
They call Kayode "Power" for a reason: The Nigerian who now trains at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym is a full-blown cruiserweight who after going the distance in his four round debut, has stopped his last 13 opponents. Perry has built his record on the midwestern club circuit and though he held then-undefeated Shawn Hawk to a draw in 2007, he will come in as the opponent Friday night for good reason. Perry's never been knocked out, but going the 10 round distance with the bruising Kayode should prove too tall a task.
(3rd Photo from Top)Luis Franco, (Right) 7-0, 5 KOs vs. Eric Hunter (15-1, 8 KOs), featherweights (126 lb.)
Prediction: Franco by decision
2004 Cuban Olympian Franco has been overshadowed by his more successful and hyped Yuriorkis Gamboa and Guillermo Rigondeaux, but he has also shown impressive pro skills in his brief two years on the circuit. In Hunter, he'll face a Philadelphia fighter who's won 10 in a row over four years. Franco is cocky in the ring but has the skills to back it up, which should carry him to a decision win if he is physically and mentally prepared for his first ten round bout.
Saturday December 4 in Anaheim, Ca. (Top Rank PPV):
Nonito Donaire, (Pictured Left) 24-1, 16 KOs vs. Wladimir Sidorenko (22-2-2, 7 KOs), bantamweights (118 lb.)
Prediction: Donaire by decision
For all of his skills, Donaire (read: Top Rank) has been rightfully criticized for not testing himself against the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Fernando Montiel and other top bantamweights and junior bantamweights over the past three years. However, Sidorenko represents an underrated challenge for Donaire. He's been highly competitive at bantamweight, defeating top-flight opposition such as Joseph Agbeko and drawing twice with Ricardo Cordoba, who gave Rigondeaux everything he could handle last month. That said, he doesn't have power or other special qualities in order to upset one of the most skilled boxers in the world today.
WBC Champ Humberto Soto (53-7-2, 32 KOs) vs. Urbano Antillon (28-1, 20 KOs), lightweights (135 lb.)
Prediction: Soto by decision
For hardcore fight fans, this crossroads contest is the fight of the night, with or without Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Soto has been the consummate pro, having essentially only lost once in the past nine years, a decision loss to a top-form Joan Guzman. Antillon was a very highly regarded prospect when he was derailed by a tough Miguel Acosta last year. Therefore, this co-feature will answer the questions of whether Soto remains at the height of his game and whether Antillon has the goods to compete with and beat the best. If the answer to both is yes, watch out.
Miguel Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) vs. Olivier Lontchi (18-1-2, 8 KOs), featherweights (126 lb.)
Prediction: Garcia by KO
Top Rank thinks highly of the aggressive "Mikey" Garcia, who continues with another reasonable but uninspiring step up (unless he steamrolls Lontchi) against the Montreal native whose only loss was last year against champion Juan Manuel Lopez. Garcia has a one-track mind, always looking for the knockout, and he's an excellent finisher.
Saturday, December 4 in Veracruz, Mexico (HBO Latino):
Saul Alvarez (34-0-1, 26 KOs) vs. Lovemore N'dou (48-11-2, 31 KOs), junior middleweights (154 lb.)
Prediction: Alvarez by TKO
Alvarez, Larry Merchant's suggested 2011 opponent for Manny Pacquiao, has made a recent habit of knocking out guys who don't get knocked out, such as Carlos Baldomir and Jose Cotto. Like Baldomir, N'dou has been around the block and is almost twice Alvarez's age. He's never been stopped, and he's gone the distance with big hitters Kermit Cintron and Miguel Cotto, so why will Alvarez be the first with an early night? Antonio Margarito may hit with loaded gloves; Alvarez just looks like he does.