The ESPN2 Friday Night Fights TV Cheat Sheet- Apr. 22, 2011
By Martin Mulcahey, MaxBoxing (April 22, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
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Boxing on TV
Those who doubt the international appeal of boxing has only to look at this weekend’s TV schedule to dissuade them of their opinion. Tonight on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” a Mongolian battles a Colombian for relevance in the junior welterweight division. Tomorrow night, on Showtime, boxers from Ghana, Mexico, Armenia, and Colombia square off against one another to produce a legitimate threat to pound-for-pound-rated Filipino bantamweight Nonito Donaire. Our sport is, perhaps, only second to soccer in its global presence. Despite reports to the contrary, from pole to pole and continent to continent, boxing is alive and well.

April 22nd (Friday), 2011
At the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT

(ESPN2) Breidis Prescott (23-2) vs. Bayan Jargal (15-1-3)
(ESPN2) Demetrius Andrade (12-0) vs. Omar Bell (8-1)

Omar Bell – The younger brother of ex-WBC and IBF cruiserweight champion O’Neil Bell, whom I admit to knowing very little about aside from his relation to the former titlist. I scanned the internet and asked around about Omar without receiving much useable feedback but assume Team Andrade scouted Bell and found him suitably flawed. I say that, given the weak matchmaking for Andrade in the past, which Teddy Atlas is sure to comment upon again on multiple occasions during tonight’s telecast. Bell is 32-years-old and had two fights in his nine-bout career which could be called step-up bouts. Did defeat former Irish national amateur champion Henry Coyle but was stopped in one round by current hot prospect Keith Thurman in his other notable bout. Lacks his big brother’s boxing acumen but does carry decent power, stopping five of eight low-level opponents. It does not look like Bell has ever faced a southpaw, which will be a big problem against a rangy lefty like Andrade. Between 2008 and 2010, Bell took a year-and-a-half off from the ring, directly following his kayo loss to Thurman. Bell has registered two wins since his return but again, inactivity plays a part with Bell, since he has not been in the ring for over 12 months. It could be that Bell is the naturally larger man tonight, since he has performed consistently in the mid to high 150s weight range. Pictures reveal a ripped midsection, with rounded muscular shoulders and broad back that hint toward a long reach. With the exception of one fight, has fought entirely in the Southern circuit, where records are easily padded. The press release for this event describes Bell as having “a very exciting non-stop, high-output punching style which will make for a very entertaining fight.”This fight is scheduled for eight rounds but Bell has only completed the six-round distance on one occasion. Sadly, given the unexceptional career of Bell, I have to take the word of public relations for this until the opening bell.

Demetrius Andrade – The New England blue-chip prospect was a 2008 Olympian, nurtured and educated in the finer points of pugilism from the age of six. The consensus opinion swirling around Andrade was that he had the best pro potential of a below-average team. The southpaw was a disappointment in the Olympics, losing controversially in the third round to two-time bronze medalist Kim Jung-Joo of South Korea by a score of 11-9. However, Andrade did win the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships, and nearly every national amateur tourney in an unpaid career that spanned nearly 300 bouts with only a handful of losses. A two-time U.S. national champion and Golden Gloves champion, Andrade holds victories over world middleweight title challenger Daniel Jacobs and current WBA world titlist Austin Trout. Twice defeated much hyped Fernando Guerrero and German prospect Jack Culcay as well. Did suffer losses to current contenders Brad Solomon and Erislandy Lara but, as a whole, dominated in the amateurs. Is a mature 23-year-old junior middleweight now and has carried punching power from his welterweight days in the amateurs up to 154 pounds. Andrade’s 67% kayo ratio, stopping eight of 12 foes, is based on speed, accuracy, and punch selection instead of brute force. However, the level of opposition to this point has been decidedly weak, considering Andrade’s pedigree. There is also a concern that Andrade is not developing optimally, since he continues to use his father as lead trainer without seeking outside guidance. Aside from that, Andrade seems to have all the tools to develop into a world titlist. When in rhythm and feeling comfortable, snaps off a piston-like jab and can switch from southpaw to orthodox stance in an instant. In that sense, Andrade is like his boxing hero Roy Jones Jr. and carries the kind of speed and reflexes to get away with mistakes for now. A major criticism has been consistency, since Andrade only shows his terrific skills in spurts. That points to either a lack of mental poise or boredom with the opposition. In every outing, sharp footwork has gotten and kept Andrade in punching range but he did not exploit it with combinations or aggression, frankly. Andrade is accepting of the easy connect, when more pressure could open up an opponent for the stoppage. At 6’1”, Andrade uses his size well on defense, employing long steps to get out of range with one fluid motion leaving opponents reaching and off-balance. Andrade is a bright and likable kid but like Andre Ward early in his career, mediocre opposition and lack of fire has fans viewing him as passionless.

Verdict – I buy nothing sight unseen, which forces me to side with the known commodity in this fight. Even if Bell is better than I anticipate, the amassed skills of Andrade in the amateurs and his superior pro résumé should be enough to overcome Bell. Unable to judge Bell on style or reflexes, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and predict he lasts beyond five rounds without winning a stanza. Andrade by sixth round stoppage.

Bayan Jargal – Although Mongolia has a warrior nation reputation, granted it was earned back in the 1200s, it is not exactly a hotbed for boxing prospects. Some might be surprised Mongolia has already produced a world champion in Lakva Sim, whom Jargal naturally calls his inspiration and based an aggressive boxing style upon. Sim was a powerful straight-ahead brawler and even though Jargal has earned the nickname of "The Mongolian Mongoose," that is more on the strength of his reflexes than defensive aptitude. Jargal amassed a 65-5 amateur record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2004 World Amateur Championships. Still fights a bit in the amateur style with a lot of upper body movement, leaning, weaving, and bobbing left and right to avoid punches instead of using his feet or blocking punches. Jargal lacked the jab to excel in the amateurs, preferring to mix it up and still looks for one punch instead of combination punching in the pros. Keeps both feet planted for power, advancing slowly and trying to make every punch count. That cost Jargal in his only loss to elusive counterpuncher Steve Chambers, whom he charged straight at, unable to move laterally to cut off the ring. This is surprising since Jargal sparred a lot with former Olympian Gary Russell Jr. and even a much bigger Paul Williams. Majority of time, he keeps both hands up but Jargal’s gloves are held wide open, leaving him vulnerable to jabs and straight punches down the middle. Too often lifts his back foot to lunge at opponents, causing Jargal to loop or lean in with punches. Finishing punch is the left hook but Jargal goes to the body well and consistently. Lacks sizzling hand speed, depending more on getting close to land punches. Does punch from awkward angles and out of a defensive roll of shoulders, his punches hidden by that movement and lands unexpectedly. Jargal has a dangerous tendency to lean back on defense to avoid punches but does roll in anticipation, making him harder to reach, and Jargal’s chin is solid. Early in his career had stamina issues, where his punch output steadily declined and lacked zip to land on target. Jargal’s height has been variously listed at 5’7” and 5’9” and he is at least two inches shorter than Breidis Prescott.

Breidis Prescott – Colombian banger earned a worldwide reputation with a one-round blowout of highly-touted Amir Khan, knocking out the current champion in less than a minute. However, Prescott has been relegated to the back of the title line by two losses in step-up fights in Europe and America. Frankly, Prescott will feast off the Khan victory and continue to get TV fights as long as Khan remains a marketable champion. The 27-year-old sports a 76% kayo ratio, which is inflated since all but one came against weak opposition and is a draw on both sides of the Atlantic because of a willingness to travel for good paydays. Like other Colombians, falls into the one-trick pony category, ostensibly losing when unable to land debilitating hooks or straight right hands up the middle. In setbacks, followed opponents around the ring, eating jabs and counters, but to his credit, did not relent in pushing the pace. Like many sluggers, Prescott battles hand problems but even in fights where he has hurt a hand, committing fully to punches though dropping the punch volume. Not a big thinker between the ropes, Prescott remains calm (even when bitten on the shoulder by Humberto Toledo) and dedicated to a seek-and-destroy game plan no matter the opponent or his effectiveness. Prescott is vulnerable on defense because his forward momentum leaves him unable to pivot or move laterally to avoid blows. So it is a good thing Prescott has a solid chin, with hard-punching Amir Khan, Kevin Mitchell, and Miguel Vazquez never hurting him. A secondary concern for tonight is that Prescott has been out of the ring for the last eight months and is not a fast starter. It should worry Prescott fans that he has been defeated by the movement and countering of Mitchell, as well as the straight punches and inside fighting of Vazquez. I keep getting back to the one-dimensional quality of Prescott but he was a good amateur with over 200 bouts and some international seasoning. It surprises me that Prescott does not use his long frame to box more and set up his punches through feints or employs a blinding jab instead of trying to overwhelm with hooks. When Prescott’s slightly looped punches connect, they are devastating and completely change the course of a fight as well as foes’ willingness to take chances. I can’t help but be held in rapt attention as to which Prescott shows up: the spectacular or the befuddled…

Verdict – Jargal is troubled by movers and speed, neither of which Prescott is particularly blessed with, which will make this a good scrap until one fighter imprints his physical superiority. Prescott is the bigger man and throws his punches straighter along with being the more balanced boxer. Jargal’s chin and upper body movement should allow him to get off shots and confuse Prescott early. As Prescott times Jargal, he pushes him back with a higher connect percentage and Prescott will use his superior speed and size to soak up Jargal’s counters. The Mongolian is lost going any direction but forward but looks to have the toughness to last the distance if the referee or his corner does not stop the fight.

Prediction record for 2011: 87% (65-9)
Prediction record for 2010: 85% (218-40)


You can contact Marty at mmulcahey@elpasotel.net or visit him at www.facebook.com/fivedogs .



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