Saturday, 20 October 2012

Barclays Center in New York hosts big night of boxing

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York offers up a fantastic night of boxing tonight. The event will host four world title fights as well as an action-packed undercard.

Danny Garcia, coming off of a huge win over Amir Khan, will defend his titles against former foe Erik Morales. The Mexican legend has been in the news for all the wrong reasons these last couple of days because of a supposed failed drug test which jeopardises the bout. It looks like it will go through though.

I don’t see anything other than a Danny Garcia winner. Erik Morales is long past his best and never reached the heights of glory that he one reached at super bantamweight up to super featherweight all those years ago. I think we will see Garcia consolidate his place as one of the world’s top light welterweights and stop Erik Morales late on. Verdict: Garcia KO 10.

Devon Alexander and Randall Bailey fight in an intriguing bout for the IBF welterweight title Bailey won off of the previously undefeated Mike Jones in his last outing. If there is thing which is utterly predictable in this fight it is that both fighters are totally unpredictable.

It wouldn’t be out of place to say these two both have a case of Jekyll and Hyde about them. Devon Alexander once looked like he could be the next big thing at light welterweight after big wins over Junior Witter and Juan Urango. But poor showings against Andriy Kotelnyk, Timothy Bradley and Lucas Matthysse made people question his heart and talent.

However, a step up to welterweight back in February against the tough Marcos Maidana put Alexander’s name right back out there. It was arguably Alexander’s most impressive win to date and has lead to his world title shot against the newly crowned champion Bailey.

Bailey also has his ups and downs in the ring. Although he has fought some of the best fighters of his generation, he has tended to leave the ring empty-handed when he has come up against the top opponents. His world title glory of 1999 seemed a long time ago until June when he managed to dethrone Mike Jones in one of the biggest shocks this year. Down on all three scorecards going into round 11, he pulled off an unlikely stoppage to win his second world title. He may be 38 years old but the power remains and as long as it does, he will always have a puncher’s chance.

Verdict: I do give Bailey a chance of pulling off a stoppage win at some point late on but I think the smart money is definitely on Alexander running rings around him and boxing his way to a unanimous decision. Alexander UD.

Paulie Malignaggi has been on a good run recently notching up four wins on the bounce, the last of which was against Vyacheslav Senchenko in which he won the WBA welterweight title. He has always been known for his sharp boxing skills, tough chin and resilience and should prove too much for his Mexican opponent whose biggest claim to fame up until now was his 10th round loss to Erik Morales a year ago.

Verdict: The smart money is on Malignaggi to win a unanimous decision but I’m thinking he’s good enough to get the stoppage in this one. Malignaggi to win between rounds 9 and 11.

In possibly the toughest fight to call on the night, WBO middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam makes his first defence since inheriting the title from Dmitry Pirog against fellow undefeated fighter Peter Quillin.

On paper I think this fight is about as 50-50 as they come. But personally I don’t see anything other than a Quillin victory. Quillin has recorded some good victories to date over the likes of Winky Wright (UD) and Craig McEwan (TKO 6) and has shown he is one of the top prospects at the weight.

N’Jikam has been a bit of an unknown quantity and somewhat avoided fighter in the last year or so. His title shot never seemed to materialise but now that he has one I’m not sure how long he can hold onto it for. I see a lot of flaws in his game; He moves too much and doesn’t really plant his feet when he punches, he gets hit too often and he seems to lack power.

Both Quillin and N’Jikam like to fight on the back foot but I think Quillin does it more efficiently. I can’t see both fighters fighting in a more defensive stance in this fight so I expect Quillin to do the pressuring. I think this pressuring will eventually lead to a stoppage win for Quillin.
Verdict: Quillin TKO 8.

Kell Brook headlines Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield against Argentinian

Tonight at the Motorpoint Arena in his hometown of Sheffield Kell Brook will attempt to win a shot at the IBF welterweight title as he goes up against hard-hitting Argentinian Hector David Saldivia in a world title eliminator.

Saldivia’s name might not be in the minds of many boxing fans but that isn’t surprising. The best opponent he has faced is Said Ouali in a WBA title eliminator two years ago which ended in disaster for him as he floored the Moroccan in the first round but ended up getting floored himself and then stopped in the very same round.

Perhaps we shouldn’t rule Saldivia out just yet though. Afterall, he does have 32 knockouts from 43 fights.

Kell Brook is coming off of a majority decision win over tough American Carson Jones in July in which he was criticised somewhat for what seemed to be a lack of stamina late on. It would certainly look like something Brook’s team needs to work on, and which Brook acknowledged in the press shortly after the victory.

Brook knows all eyes will be on him to shine on Saturday night and I don’t believe he will let his fans down. Saldivia has the power but he doesn’t have any real significant wins. This is probably a step too far for him.

Verdict: This fight reminds me a little of Amir Khan vs Breidis Prescott. The only difference is I see the South American being stopped in the early rounds in this one. Brook by 3rd or 4th round KO.

On the undercard, I see Jamie McDonnell getting a routine early stoppage win (round 3 or 4) over late replacement Darwin Zamora. The latter is unfamiliar at bantamweight having campaigned at lower weights throughout his career and I don’t think McDonnell should have too much trouble with him.

I also see Kenny Anderson score a stoppage victory over veteran Robin Reid. Anderson will be hungry to keep impressing as he seeks a British super middleweight title shot. Anderson should win before the mid rounds in my opinion. Anderson to win by round 5 or 6 sounds about right.