วันเสาร์ที่ 17 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2552

Mayweather-Judah Fight Predictions

n some people’s minds this is a fight that never should have been made, a bout that was by all rights Baldomir’s. But Carlos Baldomir isn’t marquee material except in Argentina, although that may change when he fights Arturo Gatti. All of which leaves us with the disappointing whiz kid from Brooklyn, Zab Judah, coming off a potentially psyche-wrecking loss in his hometown, defending ‘his’ welterweight belt against the best fighter pound-for-pound alive today, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saturday night. Zab’s got his fans who’ll put their money where their mouths are and insist he’s the Second Coming, even the First, but he’s got a high mountain to climb if he hopes to beat Pretty Boy Floyd. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Mayweather-Judah.
As much as I would like to see Zab win, if for no other reason than because he is from New York, I have trouble seeing Floyd losing. He's simply too quick, too smart and too game to let Zab beat him. The only scenario that I could Zab winning is one in which Floyd steps to Zab like he did against Sharmba in search of a quick knockout and Zab, who can crack, catching him. But I don't see that happening. I don't see Floyd giving Zab any kind of openings. Floyd not only wants to beat Zab, he wants to embarrass him, and he'll be razor-sharp, in top shape, while Zab, who everyone says always steps up in big fights, except when he fought Kostya, is a wildcard. He has behaved erratically in the run-up for this fight, not participating in the promotion and who knows where his head is at. So all things considered, I like Floyd by late stoppage, maybe by the tenth round.Mitch Abramson
Judah may have lost his last fight, but "Super" was obviously unmotivated and undertrained. Otherwise, he would have never lost to a limited fighter such as Carlos Baldomir. This time, he knows his career may be on the line. And, judging by his pre-fight silence, he's treating it that way. So look for an inspired performance from Judah.Will it be enough to upset Mayweather? Maybe. Judah is bigger, and he is easily the most versatile fighter "Pretty Boy" Floyd has fought in some time – perhaps in Mayweather's entire career. He has fast hands and fast feet and good boxing instincts. But what he doesn't have is a chin, and that will cost him. Judah will outbox Mayweather at times, and out-slug him, too. But then Mayweather will pop a tiring Judah in the 10th, drop him, and finish him off with a flurry of punches. Good effort by Zab. But not enough to beat a Floyd. Mayweather, possibly behind on points, by 10th-round TKO.Matthew Aguilar
Character, or lack of it, will decide the outcome of Mayweather-Judah. Talk of a 100% Zab Judah, which means, I suppose, a focused and well-trained Zab Judah, may sell the fight, but the very fact that we need to hear that talk tells us that Judah is often less than 100%. And that tells the story. Judah may have speed and power, but he is lacking those other important qualities of a fighter: consistency, reliability, character. These deficiencies showed themselves in the hometown hero’s upset loss to Carlos Baldomir at the Garden. The loss, no matter what the talk, is bound to play on Judah’s confidence as he enters the ring in Floyd Mayweather’s hometown. Mayweather is a superb boxer, and he is reliable inside the ring. He will keep his undefeated record intact Saturday night with a late round stoppage of Judah.David Berlin
I hate to drag up the past, but I'm going to do it anyway: Carlos Baldomir – are you serious?! Zab Judah, according to my personal predictions based on actually watching Baldomir fight one of the more lackluster bouts in Chicago last summer, should have destroyed this guy and retained his belts – that's a plural, folks. The rest of the civilized world paying attention had jumped on the common sense bus when it came to Judah dismantling Baldomir. Baldomir instead works over Judah, but only wants to pay for one of three belts and we're all incredibly confused. To clear the air, Judah puts the loss on performing Don King's job in making special appearances and having to take phone calls.Good thing he's not doing any of that this time around. He's hiding out in the gym, concentrating on Floyd Mayweather Jr. Answering questions could ruin the whole thing. I'm assuming squeaky cat toys are banned from the gym as well, lest Zab blow off his state of mind to frolic with a rubber mouse on the floor. No matter of hiding or "focus" in the gym is going to bring Judah to Mayweather's level. It's unanimous for "Pretty Boy" after 12. Now what was I saying?Jesse K. Cox
Judah can be dangerous when he's in the right frame of mind. And he better be in the right frame of mind against Mayweather. Despite Don King promising an upset win by Judah, I can't see it. Mayweather is just too gifted. And too focused. He wins by an easy decision.Rick Folstad
Zab Judah is known for getting up for big fights. This is a big fight. He'll be up for it. He'll even have a few flashes of brilliance. Overall, it won't matter. Floyd Mayweather will waltz to a one-sided unanimous decision.Randy Gordon
There will be no ugly Jeff Lacy-like surprises here. Floyd will win BIG, I am staking my nickel slot jackpot on it. I just can't decide if he will humiliate Judah in taking the fight the distance and win by huge unanimous decision or if he will have mercy on Zab and take him out by mid fight KO. Amy Green
Carlos Baldomir. You can fool me once, but from now on, every time Zab Judah fights, I'm picking Baldomir. This time, Judah is saying he's going to start fast, so he'll be finished fast, too. About round seven.Michael Katz
When Judah lost to Baldomir this fight looked like it was dead in the water, and it should have been. Bob Arum's initial reaction was "Nobody cares," and he was right. I don’t.George Kimball
This really is an intriguing matchup because it involves two of the fastest and slickest fighters around – when Zab in on his game. It will be interesting to see what happens when Floyd, light years ahead of guys like Arturo Gatti in terms of hand speed and footwork, gets in there with a guy nearly as fast and almost as slick. The huge edge in speed won't be there, and then what? Judah may be the harder hitter of the two speaking in terms of one-punch power, and likely will be stronger at 147 because he has had more fights the weight. Judah has jumped on opponents early in the past if he felt he could overpower them, or has fought at a distance using speed, feints, footwork and angles to get the job done if he felt they were too strong. Problem here is that Mayweather does just about everything a little bit better and I feel he will take a decision. His defense is better and does everything Judah does as well, or a tad better. Two of the best natural athletes meet here and expect the best Judah we have seen in a long time. Still it will be just short of enough as Mayweather takes a decision over twelve competitive roundsJoey Knish
Let's get one thing straight Zab – you're not the champion, Carlos Baldomir is. I don't see an upset in your future and I do believe Pretty Boy is going to give you an old-fashioned ass-whoopin’. I'm hoping Mr. Mayweather will shut your mouth up for at least ten seconds but my guess is I won't be so lucky. Mayweather via unanimous, twelve round spanking. Scott Mallon
Judah was stopped by the hard-punching Kostya Tszyu and rocked by the light-punching Carlos Baldomir. Against Mayweather, he'll be in the fight of his life until he is stopped by a barrage of punches in the middle rounds. Mayweather TKO 6.Robert Mladinich
Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter of his generation and will prove his pound-for-pound status against a determined yet overmatched Zab Judah. Despite their similar speed, he's a smarter, more accurate fighter with better defense. That spells doom for Zab who goes down and out in this one even though he'll be fighting for his life. Mayweather is just that good. KO Round 8.Benn Schulberg
Zab Judah earned a shot at Floyd Mayweather by losing to Carlos Baldomir. Judah will lose again Saturday night, which should set him up nicely for a rematch with Baldomir.Ed Schuyler
Judah's says it was Don King's fault for his loss against Carlos Baldomir, who is now the real welterweight champion of the world. Believe me, I truly dislike King, however, I cannot stand a weasel like Judah. The simple fact of the matter is Zab Judah did not train for Carlos Baldomir like he was fighting for a donut, let alone for the undisputed championship. Any fighter who doesn't train for every fight like it's the biggest of his life is a chump. Mayweather doesn't need any title, considering he already owns the most prestigious of them all, the pound-for-pound crown. Mayweather trains for every fight as if his life is on the line. He is truly the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight. On top of that, we have all seen how unrealistically relentless and devastating Mayweather can be when he has a personal vendetta to settle (see "Obliteration of Arturo Gatti"). Mayweather TKO 8.Alex Stone
Although his fight with Sharmba Mitchell proved very little about Floyd Mayweather’s prospects as a welterweight, he does not seem like he has missed a step. Zab Judah may be able to go the distance with Floyd, but he will have a tough time landing punches. Mayweather by decision.Aaron Tallent
I'm in the camp with the experts and oddsmakers. Judah does everything Mayweather does, only slightly worse, and doesn't have the pressuring style to give PBF a real hard time. This could be a pose-fest stinker; I'm hoping not. PBF UD12.Michael Woods
The closer it gets to fight night the more I'm leaning toward a big victory for Mayweather Jr., but when the bout was initially signed the vibe said Judah had a solid chance, style wise. If Mayweather goes all out, he could see a spectacular stoppage that further secures pound for pound honors but something says he's sidetracked. Mayweather by unanimous decision

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=101

Byrd-Klitschko Fight Predictions

Tomorrow afternoon from Mannheim, Germany, via HBO, Chris Byrd defends his IBF heavyweight title against challenger Wladimir Klitschko. The two men met in 2000 and Klitschko took the decision, and while six years in boxing is a lifetime in any other endeavor, it’s possible that Wlad will do it again and emerge the new champ. The variables are many. On the positive side is Byrd’s speed and ring savvy vs. Klitschko’s world-class jab. The negatives are Byrd’s age vs. K’s chin. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Byrd vs. Klitschko.
Why should this be any different than the first? Klitschko's major issue, a weak chin, won't be a factor in this one because Byrd can't punch through a spider web. Klitschko appears to have all of his skills intact, and his size is simply too much for a natural middleweight like Byrd to overcome. Klitschko by unanimous decision. Then Byrd and John Ruiz can vie for the vacant M.U.H. ("Most Unwatchable Heavyweight.") championship of the world.Matthew Aguilar
Boxing may be 75% mental, but the physical counts too. Wladimir Klitschko has six inches in height, seven in reach and thirty pounds on the smaller Byrd. He will use his size advantage, and an effective jab, to win rounds. The psychological damage suffered by Klitschko in his knockout losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster was on display in his most recent outing against Samuel Peter, as he stumbled to the canvas twice in the fifth round as much out of fear as from the power of Peter’s punch. But when Peter stopped punching and allowed Klitschko back into the fight, he also allowed him to redeem a level of psychological stability. Klitschko enters his fight with Byrd mentally stronger and with less to fear. Chris Byrd, a skilled southpaw, does not have the power to damage Klitschko either physically or mentally. Though Byrd has successfully defended his title four times, his win over Fres Oquendo, draw with Andrew Golota and split decision over Jameel McCline all could have gone the challenger’s way. This time, on German soil, he won’t find such friendly judges. The rematch will end like the first fight, with Klitschko taking Byrd’s championship belt by decision.David Berlin
Byrd is a better fighter than he was five years ago. But so is Klitschko. He proved that in his recent win over Sam Peter. He showed poise and patience. Emanuel Steward has taught him a lot. I can't see this ending any differently then the first fight. If Byrd tries to mix it up, he could be in trouble. Klitschko by decision.Rick Folstad
Byrd is going to get hammered in Wlad's backyard. He's no match with his cardio routine and his annoying jab. He can run but he can't hide all night from Dr. Steel Hammer's jab, strength and desire to take the title from this slaphappy heavyweight.Amy Green
Byrd KO7 Klitschko. This is the answer to what happens when the resistible force meets the moveable object.Michael Katz
Even though their first fight was almost six years ago, their careers taking very different courses, some things tend to remain the same. No doubt, Klitschko's trainer Manny Steward will have gone over the tapes of Byrd's last outings and reviewed the 2000 tape of Klitschko-Byrd I which adds up to Steward insisting on Wlad working overtime on his jab. And the Klitschko jab is the key, with Byrd hoping to work inside and throw quick combinations from close range, stationing himself inside the arch of Klitschko's power. Look for the jab to rule in this one and like their first fight, Byrd's inability to hit with authority means Klitschko should have his way.Patrick Kehoe
Byrd has struggled against his last four opponents, none of them world-beaters, and when he and Wladimir first fought Chris lost 10, 11, and 12 rounds on the judges' cards. The result, then, should be a foregone conclusion, but that analysis doesn't take into account the indomitable spirit of the Brothers Klitschko. Contrary to conventional analysis, Byrd probably can't win even by outboxing Wladimir, but he could win if his opponent quits because of an injury, either real or imagined. Byrd retains his title on a late-round booboo.George Kimball
Too many uncertainties about this fight make it one that you surely shouldn't bet on, but in the ring of predictions anything makes sense. A compelling argement could be made for Byrd by Decision, Byrd by KO, Draw, Wlad by Decision or Wlad by KO. I don't have a feel here at all because we don't know which Byrd will show up or which Klitschko will be there. Wlad still has serious stamina questions that need to be addressed as well as his ability to take a shot . . . or not. Byrd has slowed down recently and has traded more than in the past, and age is not on his side, nor are the fans. From a betting perspective the only way to play could be a bet on Byrd, but only because you get back +250 in what is a tough fight to call. I'm not betting but I will be watching and a Byrd victory or Draw would be no surprise.Joey Knish
Chris Byrd has only one knockout in six years and eleven fights, thus it would seem logical unless Klitschko ends the fight or Byrd gets lucky, the bout will go the full twelve rounds. If the fight does go the distance, you've got to go with Klitschko as the fight is in Germany. He may very well KO the increasingly flat-footed Byrd, but in that case, the hometown decision is irrelevant. Klitschko is also five years younger than Byrd. The style of Byrd lends itself to constant movement, whether it is movement of the head, foot or hands, and Klitschko will wear down the smaller, older Byrd, eventually landing a barrage of punches with Byrd along the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the contest in round nine.Scott Mallon
Klitschko beat him once handily, so there is no reason to think he won't do it again. Klitschko W 12. Bob Mladinich
While Byrd is the better boxer, he doesn't have the power to unsettle Klitschko. If the champion remains focused for the entire fight he can win it on points, but if he lets his guard down momentarily Klitschko will stop him. Klitschko is the kind of boxer who goes into a fight with a gameplan and Byrd is going to have to step up on this one.Deon Potgieter
Klitschko is bigger, stronger, and a more talented fighter than Byrd. The only question is whether or not he can deal with Byrd's craftiness, which can bother anyone. We know what happened the first time and the only difference in this one is that Byrd's been champ for it seems like forever. I think his luck runs out over in Germany and Klitschko shows that he's deserving of being heavyweight champion. Klitschko by KO.Benn Schulberg
Wladimir Klitschko’s weak chin has been exposed since their first fight, but Chris Byrd’s punches are still not powerful enough to do the necessary damage. While this fight has a higher level of anticipation, the outcome will be very similar to the first. Klitschko by unanimous decision.Aaron Tallent
Sam Peter put Wlad into a precarious state several times but didn't finish the job. Chris Byrd is certainly no finisher. He has lost several steps over the last couple of years and seemingly his motivation has diminished to the point where it looks like he's just about done with this sport. Wlad has the reach and an edge in desire, resulting in a UD12, Klitschko.Michael Woods
Photos this week from Germany made it hard to forget how much bigger Klitschko looked last time as he knocked Byrd around. It remains Klitschko's best performance, but he has not proven able to duplicate it since. By my observation Byrd has at least maintained his previous overall skills, adding some strength, while Klitschko seems less intense. May the best man win in a meeting of worthy gentlemen. Percentages favor Klitschko, around 70 per cent by random ratios, but I'm going with Byrd because he's my compatriot and his optimism was contagious.

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=99

De La Hoya-Mayorga Fight Predictions

After a long hiatus, Oscar De La Hoya returns to active duty Saturday night against Ricardo Mayorga at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for El Matador’s super welterweight title, in a bout televised on HBO PPV. All the bad blood and bad words and bad behavior that preceded the fight will hopefully boil down to two fighters with bad intentions who finally let their fists and not their mouths do the talking. Mayorga’s foolish, and perhaps desperate, last-ditch effort to hold the contest hostage for more money notwithstanding, this looks to be the big fight in a season of big fights everyone is looking forward to. This is how The Sweet Science writers see De La Hoya-Mayorga.
Boxing is not always the sweet science. When Ricardo Mayorga takes on Oscar De La Hoya, he will try to turn their encounter into a street fight. Mayorga is strong, aggressive and double-tough. His brutal knockout loss to Felix Trinidad has done nothing to reduce the size of his cojones. Mayorga will be dangerous early to a De La Hoya who has been out of the ring for more than a year and a half, the longest layoff of his career. But as the rust wears off, the Golden Boy will find his rhythm and his range. Following his last long layoff, Oscar overcame early danger, then dismantled steroid-strengthened Fernando Vargas. Against Mayorga, De La Hoya’s superior skills will lead him to a comfortable points victory.David Berlin
I think this fight follows the same pattern as Mayorga-Trinidad. I think Mayorga has some success, I think he might even rattle Oscar, or drop him. But by the mid to late rounds, Oscar's speed and power will begin to take an incredible toll. Mayorga has no real defense, so by the 10th he'll be a sitting duck. He doesn't make it out of that round. Oscar by TKO in 10.Robert Cassidy Jr.
We all love Oscar De La Hoya and hate Ricardo Mayorga. We're agreed on that. Good guy versus bad guy is the circumstance with which we're dealing. And yet somehow, I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don't want to discount the Golden Boy, but I can't go with my heart. Ricardo Mayorga is sloppy, no matter how many times he actually threw a jab instead of windmilling his way to the WBC crown last summer. My fear is he will land one of those wild nasties – call it a lucky shot – right to the Golden Boy's body and crumple him right there. Do I want this to happen? No, but it just might. Ah, but my heart does have one solid argument for Oscar: He's a smart fighter. He'll probably have the angles covered and the gloves prepared to knock down any of the garbage pitched his direction. The Golden Boy comes out of this one smelling like a rose after 12 rounds, and my heart wins out with a little help from Oscar’s mind.Jesse K. Cox
If Oscar De La Hoya was in his prime, there wouldn’t be any need to predict the winner. De La Hoya is one of the most skilled boxers ever, he is fast and can punch. He would have been champion even in the 1950s when the talented fighters abounded. Ricardo Mayorga is just a brawler. He became welterweight and light middleweight champion only because there are too many sanctioning bodies in the business. His last performance against Michele Piccirillo was mediocre: Mayorga clowned, moved a lot and never looked on the verge of scoring a KO. Mayorga showed that he cannot even understand when his opponent is in trouble and go for the kill: Piccirillo threw a ridiculous number of punches indicating that he wasn’t at his best. Did Mayorga knock him out? No, he couldn’t get the job done. If Piccirillo was in perfect conditions, he would have beaten Mayorga just like he defeated Cory Spinks who outclassed Mayorga. Even if De La Hoya is not in his prime, he will find a way to beat Mayorga. The insults that Oscar was forced to hear from Mayorga will give the Golden Boy an extra motivation to give a serious lesson to El Matador.Luca De Franco
Though he's had some poor showings in his last few fights and he's not the fighter he was, I don't think Oscar is burned out just yet. I think he still has a couple good fights in him, and I believe his disgust with Mayorga's little head games will put him in the right frame of mind. He wins when Mayorga decides to quit in the later rounds.Rick Folstad
The prevailing feeling among boxing enthusiasts is that De La Hoya is way too smart for Mayorga. That being said, Mayorga always brings the x-factor into the ring. The x-factor being Mayorga's paralyzing punches that have knocked many of his opponents into dreamland. Yes, Tito handled him easily but Mayorga was fighting at a much higher weight with questionable training and serious legal obligations outside the ring that must've been distracting. I will make the safe prediction and go with De La Hoya but I believe that Mayorga is a live underdog. Don't be surprised if De La Hoya ends up tasting the canvas at least once.Ralph Gonzalez
Unless Oscar de la Hoya has fallen completely apart, I just can't see him losing to the rough-but-oh-so-hittable Ricardo Mayorga. Forget de la Hoya's layoff...neither guy has been active. I have the feeling Oscar will look as sharp as ever. It's Oscar by TKO in 9.Randy Gordon
I'm going with Oscar. Mayorga will implode from all his pre-fight hate and malcontent against a better prepared and confident De la Hoya. Mayorga will be worn out from insulting Mrs. Oscar, fighting with Don King for more money and from being, in general, a nasty person. His fight is over before he even gets to the ring.Amy Green This is the walkout fight. My main interest on Saturday is in Louisville where I think I have a live longshot (no, I'm not telling you, dear readers, thank me later for protecting your pockets). Ricardo Mayorga is a chin, a punch and a big mouth. Who knows what Oscar is at this stage? Therefore, a reasoned, logical prediction seems impossible. Long odds are tempting to take on Mayorga – Oscar has not been a banger at 154 (Fernando Vargas aside, and who knows what effect the juice had on his stamina?). He has faded in many fights (Trinidad, Molina, Miguel Angel Gonzalez). If he doesn't take out Mayorga early, or at least cut him up, he could be in trouble late. But this is a fight where I shall let my emotions take over and pick Oscar because I want to see him win (and set up a Mayweather biggie) and I want to see Mayorga's mouth shut. So, it's Oscar by TKO9. Michael Katz
I can't say I have been on a roll of late having picked Raheem over Freitas; however, I have to go with De La Hoya over Mayorga. Fighting at 154 should give Oscar enough hand speed and movement for him to avoid Mayorga's gorilla tactics early on in the fight. Having smoked three packs a day since he was a kid has got to have taken some of the high end cardio capacity from Ricardo the Ruthless. Working to the body has been a tactic missing from the De La Hoya playbook for some years. Look for De La Hoya to go to the body of Mayorga and use his sound fundamentals to win over the distance.Patrick Kehoe
Skills get the job done and Oscar is light years ahead of the free-swinging Mayorga in class here. If a boxer beats a puncher, as they have been known to do, De La Hoya wins easily. I expect a few anxious moments as Mayorga tries to take advantage of the Golden Boy's ring rust early in the bout. After that it should be a precision attack upstairs and down behind a piercing jab and laser left hook that puts De La Hoya on the winning track again and champion once more.Joey Knish
Oscar was embarrassed by his weak showing against Felix Sturm. Getting KO'd by Hopkins with that body shot made him feel worse. He may not follow through on everything he says (he claimed he'd fight four times this year!), but I do believe he's in great shape and highly motivated. We don't know what he's got left in his legs...but I'm guessing it's enough to outbox the wild Nicaraguan. De La Hoya by decision. Zachary Levin
Not many will dispute Ricardo Mayorga has a big mouth with a tendency towards smack-talking. He's the bad guy of the pair and De La Hoya the good guy, the "Golden Boy," this contrast of personalities makes for an interesting backdrop to the fight. I stopped being a fan of De Le Hoya once he decided to become a promoter, singer, fighter and personality extraordinaire. Call me picky but I like it when a fighter focuses only on being a fighter and doesn't think he's above the harsh demands of the sport. Once a fighter starts off in other directions, it doesn't matter who he is and how skilled he is, he's not giving 100% towards the sport. After all, who does he think he is, Roy Jones (snicker, snicker)? De La Hoya has arguably lost his last three fights in a row including the Sturm fight yet he somehow has the audacity to think after nearly 20 months of inactivity he'll jump into the ring, beat up on Mayorga and then close out his career winning a superfight against Winky Wright, Floyd Mayweather or Felix Trinidad. Mayorga has a big mouth, De La Hoya a big head. This is one of those times when the dastardly villain may prove the "good guy" doesn't always win but I wouldn't count on it. Big head or not, De La Hoya is too skilled a fighter for Mayorga and thus, like him or not, De La Hoya via 12 round decision. That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised, or disappointed if De La Hoya ends up on his back in the later rounds of the fight.Scott Mallon
I think De La Hoya is in for a rougher night than he might think. While the smart money says he should win, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Mayorga stops him. In the end greats like De La Hoya often lose to someone they would have handled easily a few years prior. With no real enthusiasm, I pick him to squeak through this one to set up a sensational career finale with Floyd Mayweather Jr. De La Hoya W 12Robert Mladinich
Only Vargas has come close to Mayorga's verbal assault of the Golden Boy. If history holds true then Oscar should punish Mayorga worse than any fighter he's ever fought. De La Hoya comes into this fight well-rested and anxious to show us that he's still got his stuff. Mayorga's words were stuffed in his face against the hard-hitting Trinidad, but I suspect he'll give Oscar a more difficult fight considering how motivated and prepared he seems to be. Still, the difference in talent should be evident and I expect Oscar to survive an early onslaught and then outclass Mayorga, beating him up late in the fight and taking a clear-cut decision. Benn Schulberg
When last seen in the ring, Oscar De La Hoya was gasping for air after being dispatched by Bernard Hopkins. Now on Saturday night, about 20 months later, the Golden Boy will collect several millions of dollars more to challenge Ricardo Mayorga, the loose horse who won the vacant WBC super welterweight title about nine months ago. De La Hoya goes into the fight with a 2-2-0 record in three years, while Mayorga also is 2-2-0 in the last 29 months. That the fight is on pay-per-view is an indication of the lack of pay-per-view fighters, and whether the Golden Boy wins or loses, this should be the fight that cooks HBO's pay-per-view golden goose. De La Hoya, the up-and-coming promoter, obviously feels that Mayorga is the right opponent to send De La Hoya, the faded fighter, out a winner. I agree, but I would not bet the ranch on it, especially if Mayorga is still around late.Ed Schuyler
Ricardo Mayorga is crazy, wild, and stupid. However he has one show-stopping trait which cannot be taught or acquired over time... raw power. If De La Hoya shows all guts and no brains he will get caught, and he will go down in Vernon Forrest fashion. However, I don't see that happening. De La Hoya is too smart and ring savvy. Mayorga has already completed an arduous task in getting under the Golden Boy's skin, but this only seems to bring out the best in De La Hoya, as we saw in the Vargas fight. Look for Mayorga to come out fast and try to end it the same way. De La Hoya will escape the first two rounds with seasoned wisdom and begin to use his 4-inch reach advantage to put on a very smart, artistic boxing lesson for the next seven or eight rounds. After the systematic breakdown of Mayorga I believe De Le Hoya will settle his personal vendetta in the most brutal of ways. The Golden Boy TKO in 11.Alex Stone
There was a time when I thought Ricardo Mayorga had the potential to be a boxing superstar, but that moment has since passed. “El Matador’s” straight ahead charges have proven to be no match for a composed fighter with a moderate power and superior quickness, i.e. Oscar De La Hoya. Mayorga’s relentlessness will produce an exciting first three rounds, but De La Hoya’s attack will eventually pick him apart. De La Hoya by late round TKO.Aaron Tallent
My pred: you will get your money's worth on this one. Mayorga is always ready to rumble and Oscar has aged enough so that he's incapable of being too cute. He'll have to trade and I don't think he hurts Ricardo enough to keep the madman off him. Potential for upset here is great. What the hey – here goes.....Mayorga KO 7.Michael Woods
The closer it gets to fight time the more it looks like Mayorga is Oscar's most well chosen opponent since Arturo Gatti. De La Hoya in 8.
From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=98

Hatton-Collazo Fight Predictions

This Saturday night live from Boston in a fight broadcast on HBO, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton moves up in weight to challenge Luis Collazo for his WBA welterweight title. Since his destruction of Kostya Tszyu and Carlos Maussa in 2005, expectations have been running high for Hatton, and for good reason, but Collazo’s no slouch, far from it, and Ricky will have to do what he does best – overwhelm his opponent with relentless high-volume punching – which is exactly what he’s coming to America for. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Hatton vs. Collazo.
You have to wonder why Ricky Hatton would bother with the welterweight division. He is so effective and comfortable at 140 that it's a mystery as to why he'd move up seven pounds to a place where he may be physically overmatched. He'll be giving up seven inches in reach and three inches in height to Collazo, who, if he's smart, will box and utilize his natural advantages. Hatton's squat build doesn't appear to translate very well to the new division, and it's more difficult for brawlers who depend on strength and determination – and not speed – to pack on the pounds and fight naturally bigger men. Hatton is a special fighter, so he should get by a Collazo. But, given his physical disadvantages, it sure won't be easy. Hatton by split decision.Matt Aguilar
Ricky Hatton has passed every test that has been put in front of him. That’s how he got to be 40-0 with 30 knockouts. Fighting a slick southpaw and natural welterweight on his home turf is just one more test that the Englishman is going to pass. Hatton’s vast experience includes a strong 2004, in which he knocked out Ray Oliveira and Michael Stewart, two fighters who had never previously been stopped, and an even stronger 2005, in which he knocked out Kostya Tszyu for the IBF title and Carlos Maussa for the WBA title. Even at a higher weight, his relentless pressure and volume punching will be too much for Luis Collazo, who was stopped in his only loss and owns just twelve knockouts in 26 wins. Hatton overwhelms the WBA welterweight titlist for a middle round stoppage.David Berlin
Ricky Hatton has KOed much better fighters than Collazo. The Hitman convinced an all-time great like Kostya Tzyu to stay on his stool. Besides, Hatton won 30 of his 40 fights by KO and is still undefeated. He is also used to be the star of a major event, as he sold-out MEN Arena in Manchester many times and that’s a 20,000 seats building. On the other hand, Collazo has beaten only two major opponents (Jose Antonio Rivera and Miguel Angel Gonzalez) and is not used to the big time. I don’t think that he is more motivated because Hatton wants badly to make an impression on the U.S. scene and that’s enough to motivate anybody. Hatton by KO. Luca De Franco
Like a lot of people, I picked Kosyta Tszyu over Hatton and took a severe verbal beating from a handful of blokes from "over there" when Hatton won. I'm not going to set myself up for that kind of abuse again. Even though he's moving up a weight class and he's fighting over here, I can't see him losing to Collazo. Hatton wins by TKO in the eighth round.Rick Folstad
Hatton is in for a very rough night against smooth southpaw with fast hands. An upset is certainly not out of the question. It's probably the way to bet, but I have a feeling Hatton will have home court advantage on HBO and squeak out a decision.Michael Katz
Hatton is the prohibitive favorite to not only win but to win by a knockout. Seeking some major pay-per-view outings, Hatton understands he has to win and win impressively if he's going to establish a 'presence' within the North American sporting industry. That's why he let go of his title belt and has lined up Collazo; presentation and packaging are critical at this juncture for Hatton. Hatton can be cut and he's let his weight soar at times in the last three years, and yet all the incentive he's ever dreamed about stands before the English bomber. If that isn't enough for Hatton to train hard and wreak havoc on Collazo, well, then the Tszyu fight was just the young lion gorging the old lion and not a suggestion of anything like greatness.Patrick Kehoe
A year ago we picked Kostya Tszyu to beat Hatton, but Ricky's going to have to show a lot of slippage before we'll ever bet against him again. The ease with which Jose Rivera handled Terra Garcia last weekend is literally the only thing that gives one pause here, since when they fought a year ago Rivera couldn't put a dent in Collazo, but it's almost impossible to go against Hatton in this one. The promoters appear to be looking at half a house in the new Garden, and at lease half of those figure to be Brits, so it's going to be more of a home game for Ricky than for Collazo. Throw in what he's got on the horizon and it's actually a much more meaningful fight for the putative challenger than for the champion – not that this title is particularly meaningful anyway. And forget the fact that Hatton is moving up in weight. The 7-pound divisional jump gives him a chance to come in closer to his walking-around weight. Even when he had to make 140 he was usually 152 or so by fight time, which is just about what he'll be on Saturday night. Collazo will be game while he lasts, but Hatton will be too much for him. We like the Brit by a mid-round stoppage.George Kimball
Squeaking by a drained Jose Antonio Rivera and beating a shopworn Miguel Angel Gonalez is enough to make Collazo the WBA welterweight champ. But it doesn't make him a world beater...and only one of those is gonna best Manchester's finest. In fact, the pitbull Hatton may be that much stronger at 147, his fragile skin (now hydrated) less susceptible to cuts. The southpaw Collazo is a cutie and, on paper, looks to frustrate Hatton. By the middle rounds – say the 6th – is when the Brooklynite will wish he was facing The Hitman on paper and not in 3-D. That's when he gets stopped. Zachary Levin
Say what you want about Ricky Hatton, the fact remains he's 40-0 and in the last two years has proved he's more than legitimate. I'm not yet convinced by Luis Collazo however. Hatton's in a different league and this difference of class will show midway though the fight. Hatton via KO in round eight.Scott Mallon
Moving up against a fairly dangerous opponent like Collazo is pretty brave for Hatton. But it seems to me that he still has enough momentum in his favor to outpoint Collazo over 12 tough rounds.Robert Mladinich
Hatton’s coming here to wow America – not to win. Collazo fits the profile: good skills, no slouch – a champ…credible. But to most, he’s an opponent to kick off Ricky’s bandwagon I’ve not seen Collazo, but word is: He’s got an educated jab, good legs and some stones. He’ll need all of them – and some pop – to keep from being run over. The fly in the ointment: He’s a southpaw. Eamonn Magee, another portsider, had Ricky doing staggers in the first round with a straight left a few years ago…”Exposed” flashed to mind. But he survived with the W. That’s then. This is now. But you can bet Team Collazo has eyestrain watching that video. Seeing it is one thing, doing it another. If Collazo’s gritty, as I understand, he may last six. Bring on “Blue Moon”; I’m tired of “Rocky.”Joe Rein
I don't know much about Collazo. One thing I do know however, is that with the exception of his last two title fights, his last ten opponents before that presented an embarrassing combined record of, get ready... 90-91-8 (who cares how many KO's). Meanwhile, the relentless Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton has not been in with an opponent with anywhere close to a .500 record since 1999. That doesn't even matter though. What does matter is that Ricky Hatton is a psychotic maniac in the ring and he will plow through whatever... or whoever is put in front of him. The only opponent I honestly believe can defeat Hatton right now is "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather. I do think it would be a great fight, one in which "Pretty Boy" would not come out so pretty. Hatton would give him trouble through the first six rounds, trouble that he's never been in before, but using his untouchable ring wisdom, Mayweather would figure out the puzzle that is Ricky Hatton. But until that happens, let's focus on the fight at hand. Collazo is not known as a big puncher, but even if he was... it wouldn't matter. Hatton isn't afraid of getting hit considering he isn't the most pleasant looking one in the bunch. I think he's looked in the mirror enough times to know why he isn't called "Pretty Boy." Hatton wins this one in brutal fashion, TKO in 7.Alex Stone
Collazo does not have the pop to keep the relentless Hitman off his arse. An upset is not in the making. Ricky is on the verge of the big, big time. He's not going to muck it up by looking past Luis. Hatton TKO4.

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=97

Barrera-Juarez Fight Predictions

Live Saturday night from Los Angeles in a fight broadcast on HBO, the old pro Marco Antonio Barrera, aka the Baby-Faced Assassin, defends his crown against the very capable challenger Rocky Juarez. Barrera has been in a lot of wars and is at an age when he could grow old overnight, whereas Juarez is the younger, fresher fighter. But Barrera is a definite step up in class for the Houstonian. What happens when Barrera meets Juarez? This is how The Sweet Science writers see it.
Barrera hasn't fought anyone of note since Erik Morales on Nov. 27, 2004. You have to wonder if the "Baby-Faced Assassin" still has it in him to get up for these kinds of fights. Consider, the trio of Paulie Ayala, Mzonke Fana and Robbie Peden probably didn't win a single round between them against Barrera. Further, Juarez is six years younger, still very fresh, and talented, even though he lost his last big fight to Humberto Soto. If Barrera isn't on his game, or is a tad overconfident, Juarez has the stuff to beat him. Young, strong, active fighters, like Manny Pacquiao, can give Barrera problems. But, the champ probably still has enough to beat a comparatively green fighter like Juarez. In a great fight that may expose the Mexican's increasing vulnerabilities, look for Barrera to take a unanimous 12-round decision.Matt Aguilar
Marco Antonio Barrera has defeated Agapito Sanchez, Kennedy McKinney, Jesus Salud, Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Kevin Kelley, Paulie Ayala, Robbie Peden and many other top-ranked fighters. Rocky Juarez has beaten Zahir Raheem and nobody else. This match shouldn’t be made in the first place. If Juarez doesn’t put on a Rocky Balboa type performance, there’s no way he can win. Barrera by KO.Luca De Franco
Juarez is very strong and hungry so Barrera has to be at his best. Ultimately, Barrera has been in against much tougher competition than Juarez so I'll go with Barrera by late rounds TKO or unanimous decision.Ralph Gonalez
I'm still smarting over the Juarez/Zahir Raheem debacle. Barrera gets my vote on this without any doubt. He's still too much the warrior for the younger, fairly accomplished Juarez who won't have Dickie Cole and the state of Texas to get his back at this fight.Amy Green
Marco Antonio Barrera should win on points. Rocky Juarez is a live underdog, but he's very predictable and unless the Baby-Faced Assassin has grown very old, he should be able to survive a tough, entertaining fight.Michael Katz
Barrera is definitely an older worn fighter but he still seems to have enough fight in him to be at the top of the game. Some fighters get old slowly while others age from one fight to the next. When a younger, faster, harder hitting Manny Pacquiao broke Barrera down I was ready to write off the "Baby-Faced Assassin" as being past his prime. Apparently that would have been premature, but Juarez is a younger boxer-puncher and has the style to cause Barrera problems by beating him at his own game. Juarez works well stalking and also on the inside while Barrera would do best to get in and off first and then get out, but Juarez is the one moving up in weight so it may be a moot point. It is really tough to script this one as MAB can fight a brawling bout or box from the outside depending on how he feels once the fighters taste each other's power. I think he'll adopt the best fight plan as the fight goes on. It will be very close to call early but as the fight wears on I think Barrera will start to pull away as he shifts to plan B or C to get a close decision win.Joey Knish
This ought to be an excellent fight between two super featherweights with good power. I don't bet against Barrera – he's too skilled, too disciplined and even against someone as talented as Juarez, probably too much too handle. Barrera via the hard-fought, unanimous decision.Scott Mallon
Amongst the blood, guts and disappointment of Ricky Hatton's welterweight debut, this week's revelation that Scott Harrison likes a drink a little more than he should and the inevitable frustration of waiting to hear who Joe Calzaghe will tackle next, it was always comforting to know that one of boxing's classiest operators would soon be back in action. Like Oscar De La Hoya a couple of weeks ago, Barrera appears to have been an elite level fighter forever and yet despite a catalogue of wars and an isolated flat performance versus Manny P, he looks as refined, fresh and effective as ever. Juarez will hope youthful endeavor will close the gap in class. Sadly for him. It won’t. Barrera to close the show late.David Payne
It is always possible a combination of age and tough fights can catch up with Barrera. Juarez is tough and willing, but he is predictable. Based on experience and quality of opponents, I can only pick Barrera.Ed Schuyler
Since his loss to Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera has done nothing but show the dominance which made him a superstar. His string of exceptional performances will continue with Saturday’s bout with Rocky Juarez. Barrera by unanimous decision.Aaron Tallent
If it was like the good old Vegas days when you could always get realistic odds on fights all over, Juarez would be a very live underdog at around five or seven to one. Key factors are Juarez's youth (six years or so can be many professional lifetimes in boxing) to Barrera's tenure (almost twice as many KOs as Juarez has fights). If they both perform at their previous best, Barrera will stop him, but remember that when 2006 began it looked like it would be a year of the upset, and that trend could be revived. One trend that looks like a pretty safe bet is that involving exciting, top level boxing, before a large audience.

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=96

Corrales-Castillo III Fight Predictions

Saturday night live from Las Vegas in a fight broadcast on Showtime, Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo meet for the final installment of their legendary lightweight championship trilogy. Corrales won their first battle with an incredible come-from-behind KO, literally and figuratively snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Castillo came in overweight in fight two, a theme still being played out as of this writing, and collapsed Corrales in the fourth round to win the bout but not the crown. And now it’s time for the rubber match, the third and presumably last showdown between these two fantastic warriors. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Corrales-Castillo III.
Predicting the winner of this fight is like predicting the winner of the Gatti-Ward trilogy – how do you differentiate between two fighters who throw caution to the wind and aren't afraid to endure pain, who actually invite pain, to inflict their own? But I'll go with Corrales this time, who I'm guessing is still smarting from the last fight and Castillo's weight problems. Although Castillo should be the fresher fighter, Corrales should be hungrier; after all, he has to prove the last time was a fluke. Corrales by late knockout, maybe the 9th round. Mitch Abramson
The last time we saw Diego Corrales, he was struggling to make it up from a monstrous left hook from Jose Luis Castillo. However, that was hardly the only time in the pair's Oct. 8 rematch in which Corrales was shaken by the two-time WBC lightweight champ. In fact, he was shaken a lot – much more than he had been five months prior in their original war. And it could be that it had more to do with Corrales' rapid demise than Castillo's three-pound weight advantage. Corrales, thin and angular, isn't physically equipped to absorb the kind of punishment he sustained in the first Castillo fight (not to mention wars with Robert Garcia, Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas). Skinny fighters are supposed to box and jab. Corrales has rumbled his whole career, and it showed in the Castillo rematch. Castillo, thicker and wider, is too strong for Corrales in 2006. That's why, after another torrid affair, he'll emerge with a 10th-round TKO victory.Matthew Aguilar
The judges can stay home for this one. Corrales and Castillo have taken turns knocking each other out, and the rubber match promises to end the same way. Corrales would be wise to follow the formula which allowed him to avenge his knockout loss to Joel Casamayor, when he used his height and reach and movement to box his way to victory. But the bet here is that his valor will override his discretion, and that he will, for a third time, go head to head with Castillo. Both men can dish it out, but Castillo’s sturdier chin will spell the difference. Castillo captures the WBC lightweight title by 8th round knockout.David Berlin
Considering how easily Jose Luis Castillo knocked out Diego Corrales in their second fight, I predict him to do the same next Saturday. I don’t think that the first battle should have been stopped only because Corrales was throwing many unanswered punches to his opponent. After all, Castillo didn’t go down. When Corrales went down twice in the same round, the referee didn’t stop him. In the lighter weight divisions, ten consecutive punches are quite usual. Looking at flyweights or bantamweights, long exchanges are even more common and they don’t go down. I’m sure that Castillo-Corrales 3 will be a great show even if it may be closed by just one uppercut. Castillo by KO 5.Luca De Franco
I think Jose Luis Castillo is just too rugged and determined and Corrales' chin too available. Castillo by TKO.Ralph Gonzalez
This blood and guts, dramatic trilogy will come to and end Saturday and I'm going to go all out for Corrales. The injury delaying him and Castillo meeting up in February will have been to Chico's benefit, resulting in a healthier, stronger and more refreshed fighter. Combine a rested, mentally and physically fit Diego Corrales with the skill, the strength and the toughest make up of nearly any fighter around, and you will see him pound out a victory against Castillo.Amy Green
Castillo TKO 10. Or maybe Corrales TKO 11, or maybe draw, or maybe I don't know what the hell I'm doing. My only real predictions are (a) Corrales not quite as finished as some think and (b) therefore, this will be another great matchup. If Castillo makes the weight, it will indicate he trained hard and should prevail. Maybe. I like Zale if he and Graziano fight a fourth time. Mike Katz
Castillo has taken the time to get to weight properly this time. He won't fade down the stretch because there will be no late round stretch. Castillo wins by knockout in the middle rounds and it will be a summary judgment against Corrales' dreams of future mega-fights beyond his division.Patrick Kehoe
We'd like Corrales' chances even better if he could somehow restrain himself from engaging in another war. Alas, he probably can't, but if he boxes and they're the same size this time, we still like Corrales. If Castillo doesn't make weight all bets are off. George Kimball
The best way to look at this fight is to ask one question: Can Diego Corrales box for twelve rounds against Castillo without being drawn into a war? My answer is "no, he can't" and therefore I will go with Jose Luis Castillo by stoppage one more time. Corrales tends to cut more now, in addition to having been dropped about a dozen times in his career including three times against Castillo in their two fights. Corrales could use his jab and one-two his way towards breaking down Castillo late, but he won't and the battles he has been in have taken their toll and are starting to show. Corrales is an entertaining fighter and can't help but brawl with Castillo and therefore tilt the bout in Castillo's favor. I have always loved Corrales for the way he fights and he genuinely comes across as a good kid despite mistakes he has made outside the ring. Both men may go down but Castillo will stay around longer and get the stoppage win as Corrales beaks a cardinal rule in boxing by hooking with a hooker.Joey Knish
They're a lot of variables I, unfortunately, don't have inside information on. How compromised will Castillo's strength be by not just having to make 135, but by doing all of these scheduled weight-ins leading up to the fight? (That's not to say making the lightweight limit is a picnic for Chico, either.) How has Corrales been looking in camp...To what degree has the extra rest revitalized him...What does the battle-tested beanstalk have left at this point in his career? Also, will he consider using his god-given height this time, and work his jab and deadly straight right as he did in his rematch against Casamayor? Without having answers to these questions, I will assume that Chico will brawl on the inside as long as the fight lasts; that Castillo will be drained by making weight, but so will Chico. What is verifiable: While Castillo got stopped in their first match (and let's face it, that was something of a miracle), he doled out much more punishment overall; in the sequel, he dominated every round, and that left hook from hell that took Chico out was the worst single shot Chico's ever taken. So why should anything be that different this time around? It shouldn't. Castillo is stronger, more durable, and the better inside fighter. Castillo by TKO in the 10th. Zachary Levin
Castillo's weight may have made a difference in the second go-round, but not enough to sway the outcome. In their first fight, Corrales got lucky. I don't see him finding his four-leaf clover this time. Castillo has his number. He's too strong, too smart and did it too easily in the second fight to overlook his dominance of Chico. This time around, Corrales will hang on a little longer but not much; Castillo in six via TKO.Scott Mallon
Castillo nearly beat him the first time and beat him handily the second time. Whether or not he will beat Corrales without the weight advantage is yet to be seen. My guess is he does. Castillo TKO 6.Bob Mladinich
Castillo early. I believe he has the mental edge following the weight issues the last time they met; in a fight as tightly matched as this I think that will be the crucial difference. As an observation, the decision to allow Corrales to go through with the second fight in light of those weight disadvantages should be recorded as one of the worst pieces of career management I can recall. Hopefully, both men leave with enough fire left to engage in contests with the likes of Hatton, Cotto and Freitas after the fight. Because all are enthralling possibilities. Castillo KO5.David Payne
Diego Corrales isn't planning on slugging it out for the third straight time with Jose Luis Castillo. He fought Castillo's fight twice and is too smart to make that same mistake again. Instead, Corrales will try and use his height advantage and superior hand-speed to combat Castillo's attack. Whether or not Corrales can be successful in using his jab and keeping an effective distance is the key to winning this fight. Both fighters want this one badly and will seemingly go to any lengths to end the trilogy on top. Castillo's struggle to make the lightweight limit may make him more vulnerable in this fight and the revenge factor for Corrales has motivated him more than I've ever seen before. If you're betting on this fight, hold your breath and good luck to you. I like Corrales by decision in a more strategic fight that shows glimpses of the action-packed drama that captivated us all thirteen months ago.Benn Schulberg
Because he cannot adapt or because it is a matter of machismo, Corrales will once again fight Castillo's kind of fight and once again he will get knocked out.Ed Schuyler
This one's a toss-up, so let me grab a quarter. Assuming both fighters make weight, I see another repeat of their first fight, an all out fistic spectacular which will be fascinating to watch yet terribly hard to score. As a former wrestler and current pugilist my quarter just landed on heads... which means Castillo will probably resort to sucking "water weight" to avoid tipping the scales. It's fast, it's fairly easy, yet in the end – regardless of how much weight you put back on in a couple of hours – it kills your stamina. Considering that, I'll take Corrales by an extremely close decision or a late round TKO. Alex Stone
We all knew the first bout had tremendous potential, but nobody would have predicted the war that transpired. Both fights were thrilling from the opening bell to their abrupt ends and both had a cloud of controversy hanging over them. For their third bout, Castillo will make weight, Corrales’ mouthpiece will stay in, and the two will slug it out in the first major contender for Fight of the Year. Castillo by KO.Aaron Tallent
Who's got more mileage left in them? I'm leaning towards Castillo. They both have a ferocious hunger to win, but Corrales' chin will betray him midway through this bout, and Castillo will emerge as the Gatti to Corrales' Ward when this third (and final?) installment is finished.Michael Woods
After all is said and done regarding any questions left over from the first two encounters, Castillo and Corrales are basically back to square one in regard to picking a winner. In a match like this, checking out the weigh-in is crucial prediction-wise. That said, my original call was Castillo by TKO, so we'll go back to the future with that.

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=95

Cotto-Malignaggi Fight Predictions

The local kid Paulie Malignaggi takes on the Puerto Rican slugger and champion Miguel Cotto Saturday night at Madison Square Garden and live on PPV. This fight on paper and hopefully in the ring has something for everyone: a brash challenger vs. a strong silent champ, a quintessential boxer vs. a murderous puncher. Some think Malignaggi has bitten off more than he can chew and is in for a rude awakening. Some think Cotto’s days are numbered and Paulie’s speed and will make the champ look like a chump. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Cotto vs. Malignaggi.
Regarding the Paulie-Cotto fight, I've changed my mind about ten times as to who will win. One school of thought says that Cotto is too strong and powerful and will blast Paulie into the second row early. Another school, and these are people who know Paulie and have seen him from his days as an amateur, says that he is too quick and possesses the intangibles (good chin, technique, ring generalship - whatever the hell ring generalship is) to win a decision. I'll go with the New Yorker and say Paulie wins a majority decision and then spends two hours talking about it in the post-fight press conference.Mitch Abramson
Miguel Cotto has at times looked like a miniature Mike Tyson in blowing out the likes of Gianluca Branco, DeMarcus Corley and Mohamad Abdulaev. But those fighters have been stationary targets who stood in the center of the ring and traded bombs with the Puerto Rican slugger. Corley had the ability to box, but instead opted to brawl, and, after some brief success, paid the price. Don't expect the quick-fisted, smart Malignaggi to be so cooperative. Back in 1987, Marvin Hagler indeed looked marvelous against straight-ahead brawlers Thomas Hearns and John Mugabi. But when Sugar Ray Leonard came along, Marvelous suddenly looked old and slow. It proved the axiom that styles make fights true. Expect the same scenario Saturday. Cotto is by far the bigger puncher, but he is decidely slower than Malignaggi, and he'll become frustrated by his inability to land big punches as the fight progresses. He'll try to go to the body, but Malignaggi will simply tie him up and frustrate him some more. In the end, Cotto will be a bewildered, stunned loser, via 12-round unanimous decision. And boxing will have a new star.Matthew Aguilar
Before his fight with Billy Conn, Joe Louis famously said, "He can run but he can’t hide." I can’t translate that into Spanish, but I bet Miguel Cotto can. Like Conn, Paulie Malignaggi has fast hands and can box, but he doesn’t have the firepower to keep Cotto off of him or to test Cotto’s vulnerable chin. Cotto, slower but much stronger, will cut off the ring and will walk down his challenger. And eventually he will catch him. Cotto retains his title by late round knockout.David Berlin
Miguel Cotto is a terrific puncher, can get a lot of punishment without going down and has beaten many top-ranked fighters. Paul Malignaggi has only a few KOs in his record, has never been seriously hit and has never faced opponents ranked in any top-10. But styles make fights and Paulie is very good at throwing fast combinations and moves continuosly. Cotto will have problems hitting him. Also, Cotto didn’t go the distance in most recent fights and who knows if he will be weaker and slower from the 10th round on. To win, Paul Malignaggi has just to keep away from Cotto’s blows. Paulie on points. Luca De Franco
Cotto is both the champion and one of the better punchers in his division. Paulie has speed and ego in his corner. But his biggest win was over Denver's Donald Camarena, who has great potential, but he's not quite there yet. And how do you pick a guy with 22 knockouts to lose to a guy with five? Speed is the unknown quantity here, and though it might help Paulie survive 12 rounds, it's not quite enough. Cotto wins by easy decision.Rick Folstad
Paul Malignaggi has the stuff to outbox Cotto, but not the guns to keep him away over the championship distance. Cotto will find the range late and score heavily. It'll be Cotto by late round (10th) TKO...As for Tarver-Hopkins, if Tarver's weight was up around 220 when he filmed Rocky VI, I've gotta' hand the fight to Hopkins via a ninth-round TKO. It'll be ironic, because that's just what happened to Roy Jones Jr. when he tried to shed 25 pounds after beating John Ruiz...Too much weight in too little time.Randy Gordon
Malignaggi w12 Cotto - Okay, Billy Giles talked me into this outrageous prediction. I like Cotto, but he is slow-footed and he will not land too many punches. If Paulie's chin is anywhere close to his mouth, he will prevail.Michael Katz
Malignaggi has a clear advantage in speed, but it’s dubious that it can sustain him over 12 rounds without Cotto catching him somewhere along the way. Cotto by a late-round TKO, then. In the other principal bout, Duddy should handle Freddy Cuevas with relative ease, and we’d be surprised if it lasts more than four.George Kimball
Not sure how Malignaggi made it to the headline of a PPV event considering who he has fought. He is a fast moving, and even faster talking, motor mouth who needs three whacks at it to turn a light switch "off." Cotto won't know if the wind went by or if he was touched by Paulie and will keep coming forward cutting off the ring. It will take time, but heavy hooks to the liver and shots to the arms will gradually take their toll on the Brooklyn native and slow him down. Once PM slows down and Cotto starts to land Malignaggi will realize he bit off more than he could chew – at this point in his career. Cotto gets a late KO after Paulie looks good early.Joey Knish
Logic says Cotto is in a different league than Malignaggi, that it's almost a mismatch. Paulie will need to be flawless for 36 minutes in order to keep those heavy hands off him. Something tells me he will rise to the moment and be the King of New York come Saturday. Malignaggi by majority decision.Zachary Levin
I haven't seen Malignaggi yet but from what I'm seen and heard, Cotto might have some difficulties with him. Might but I don't think so. Cotto UD12. Scott Mallon
On paper Malignaggi should put up a gallant effort before getting stopped in his tracks by Cotto's power. But Malignaggi is no ordinary person. Nor is he an ordinary fighter. I'm probably picking with my heart rather than my head, but I believe Malignaggi is hungry and savvy enough to engage in the fight of his life and emerge with a decision victory in a highly entertaining scrap. Sometimes nice guys do finish first. Hopefully this is one of those times. Malignaggi W 12.Bob Mladinich
It may not be fair to Paulie Malignaggi (He seems a likeable wise-ass. Trade the spiked hair for a duck’s ass; he’d be Fonzy), I’ve only stumbled on a few rounds of him live -- seen highlight clips, the cock-sure, fuhgeddaboudit interviews and heard the growing gym buzz from N.Y. friends who make him a live opponent. Fools gold? All I can think of is W.C. Heinz’s great novel, “The Professional,” written from the challenger’s point of view: the inhuman training, the sacrifice…24/7 around him -- The growing confidence. The champ’s seen through the wrong end of binoculars…small, unthreatening – just another W. The way Conn viewed Louis…Chuck Davey, Kid Gavilan. The fight will have the same ending as the book; this time Cotto will be full size. It’ll be say-it-ain’t-so for Brooklyn fans. Cotto grinds-up Malignnagi in 7, after some early flash-‘n’-dash Camacho by the kid. It’d be a helluva lot more fun if Paulie wins; he’s a street-corner guy, like Pep and Graziano. Cotto has all the joy of Zora Folley.Joe Rein
Miguel Cotto vs. Paul Malignaggi should be a very exciting fight. You have a devastating puncher in Cotto, and one of the fastest, not to mention most underrated, fighters in the sport in Malignaggi. If Cotto finds Malignaggi, chances are that WBO Junior Welterweight title is staying right where it is. However, as "The Greatest Of All Time" Muhammad Ali would say, "You can't hit what you can't see." If it's the 7th or 8th round and Cotto has not yet found Malignaggi, he can kiss that title goodbye. This fight will be exhilarating, no doubt. Call me crazy, because most people will, but I just have a gut feeling that Malignaggi's speed and boxing skills will dominate Cotto's stalking power style. Malignaggi wins an easier than expected UD. Alex Stone
Since winning the WBO Light Welterweight title in September of 2004, Miguel Cotto has rolled through his five defenses, ending all of them in nine rounds or less. While the undefeated Paul Malignaggi will prove formidable, this one will not go the distance either. Cotto by TKO.Aaron Tallent
Bless Paulie – I think his rap is refreshing and since I'm based in NY, I've seen him so much that familiarity has led to fondness. That said, I fear he may step in with Cotto, and Cotto will toss a bomb unlike anything he's experienced...I've heard from folks that Paulie has more pop (in sparring) than he's shown. OK. But I don't know if he has enough pop to put off Cotto. My heart says Paulie, my gut and brain say Cotto. But I'm rooting for Paulie. Go Brooklyn!

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=94

Vargas-Castillejo Fight Predictions

The on again/off again career of “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas (26-2, 23 KOs) of Oxnard, California is on again this Saturday on HBO. “El Feroz” meets Javier Castillejo (58-5, 39 KOs) of Madrid, Spain in a junior middleweight bout from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Expectations regarding the Ferocious One are not what they once were, but his undiminished tough guy-ism keeps his loyal fans lining up for more. Whether Vargas can recapture the glory of his bygone years is anyone’s guess, but his bygone years were a lot more glorious than Castillejo’s. This is how The Sweet Science writers see this weekend’s fight.
It's sad watching Vargas fight now. He's not the same fighter he was earlier in his career. It's pretty clear that Trinidad ruined him as an elite boxer. His reflexes have slowed down; he doesn't react the same when he gets hit, and he isn't aggressive offensively anymore. He hasn't looked impressive since he beat Ross Thompson five years ago. I don't think Castillejo is going to win, but I do think he will go the distance with Vargas. Vargas by unanimous decision in a repeat performance of his win over Raymond Joval.Mitch Abramson
Vargas seemed to lack fire last time out against Joval. He may need it back if he hopes to beat Castillejo, a tough veteran who will be there every step of the way. You have to wonder how effective a 27-year-old Vargas is anymore. It's been almost three years since his last significant fight, the loss to Oscar De La Hoya, and he has been riddled with injuries ever since. Castillejo, meanwhile, is 7-0 since losing to De La Hoya in 2001 – though the level of opposition isn't of the highest quality. Talent-wise, it's no contest, and Vargas should win a unanimous decision. But, without the intensity of his earlier career victories, you have to wonder if this may be "Ferocious Fernando's" swansong.Matt Aguilar
Ricardo Mayorga may want Fernando Vargas to beat Javier Castillejo more than Fernando Vargas. Mayorga, who won the WBC super welterweight belt Saturday, said he will be in attendance for Vargas' bout. That said, Vargas will have a little extra pressure in facing Castillejo. The added incentive of giving Mayorga, who would likely think nothing of Vargas using an M-16 in the ring, could be enough for Vargas to put on a display far exceeding his less than impressive point victory over Raymond Joval.Jesse K. Cox
Though he's only fought once in something like 20 months, Vargas is still young and still one of the top 154-pounders out there. Besides, he's got to be a little hungry. He stops Castillejo in the 10th.Rick Folstad
Fernando Vargas, unanimous decision. I just can't go with a 37-year-old fighter who lost to a guy named Del Bryant when I was still in high school.Tim Graham
At 37, the former WBC titlist Castillejo is engaging in his last hurrah. In virtually every department Vargas is better that Castillejo was at his peak. It is certainly the case that with a seven fight win streak Castillejo has rebuilt some confidence since being essentially shutout by Oscar De La Hoya. But, each of those wins came against nominal opposition at home in Spain. The central difference in this fight is that Vargas is faster, punches much harder, and even boxes better than Castillejo. Other than that … Vargas is simply a fighter in a different class than Castillejo, who is no doubt a skilled and able journeyman. Vargas will out-punch and outwork his Spanish opponent throughout and, in the end, overwhelm him. Vargas by KO in 8.JE Grant
The big question regarding Fernando Vargas revolves around his overall conditioning and ability to hold his defensive discipline over the distance of championship level fights. If he's trained as responsibly as he and strength coach Ferguson say then beating Castillejo should be very doable. Look for Vargas to counter with authority when he can and work the jab attempting to get to Castillejo's body. The Ferocious One knows there's a pay-per-view rematch with De La Hoya waiting for him; if ever he needed a reason to perform at his best, he got one now. Vargas TKO9 Castillejo.Patrick Kehoe
Castillejo is certainly durable, but he's not exactly a road warrior, never having won a fight in a non-Spanish speaking country. (He's 57-2 in Spain, 1-0 in Mexico, and 0-3 in the rest of the world.) Once again he's a stranger in a strange land, and at 37 nearly a decade older. Even an off-the-juice incarnation of Vargas should have enough to beat him. Fernando probably won't knock him out – nobody does – but we see it as a comfortable decision. Vargas in a 10-round decision.George Kimball
Castillejo certainly can box a bit and we all know that Vargas may be just a bit chinny, but Vargas looks to be more of a boxer now and less of a slugger that'll go out and purposely take one just to land one. Key here is the Vargas jab, which should find a home all night long. Castillejo hasn't met a jab he didn't like – the taste of, that is – and let's remember that Vargas out-jabbed the jabbing machine Ike Quartey. When he needs to use the jab it can be a great weapon for him and will be tonight in order to set up the right hand. Not overly concerned with Vargas' back problems and subsequent inactivity, Castillejo hasn't fought since June of last year, and Fernando was in the ring just five months back. After outboxing Castillejo for much of the night look for Vargas to start sitting down on his heavy rights and hard left hooks to "one up" De La Hoya by stopping the Spaniard late. (Oscar won a unanimous decision over Castillejo in 2001.)Joey Knish
Castillejo is no world-beater, but he's a tough solid pro who should last the distance against Vargas in a one-sided but semi-entertaining bout. Vargas by decision. Bob Mladinich
I don’t like backing inactive, ageing fighters like Castillejo, but then again I don’t like backing previously banned, badly bludgeoned, inactive, injury prone and potentially past peak fighters like Vargas either. But I like Vargas' name, and the size of his future purses to secure him a narrow points victory regardless of his performance.David Payne
If you are open for a good laugh, check out 37-year-old old Javier Castillejo's last four opponents: The Spanish 154-pounder stopped Alberto Campos in five rounds more than 14 months ago; Campos Is a Uruguayan light-heavyweight who has lost 11 of his last 13 fights. Before him, in April of 2004, was Genaro Rio, a Nicaraguan light-welterweight whose last five opponents before Castillejo were 0-28. For Castillejo, it was like betting on Secretariat after he had been slipped into a claiming race for 8-year-old maidens. Rio departed in the third round. The Omelet fought twice in 2003: Ignacio Solar, a Columbian welterweight, who has lost his last six fights; and Diego Castillo, of the Cali, Columbia Castillos, who has a record that can only be spawned in South America. Castillejo's nickname is El Lince de Parlo, which translates out roughly to "the sharp-sighted one of Parla," which is as refreshing as it is obtuse. OK, so you didn't need to know that. Since the emphases on the overly rested Castillejo's training appears to lean more to wind sprints than sparring, I think I will take a flyer and pick Fernando Vargas by decision.Pat Putnam
I figure for about four, five rounds Vargas can hold it together – even look crisp – before his back acts up and he has to go through the motions till the final bell. Castillejo, though accurate, isn't the same puncher Tito is, so he shouldn't be able to stop Vargas. Castillejo brings to mind Piccirillo, and endless European fighters: worlds of stamina, a bothersome flicking jab, and circling at full-gallop left and right so far away that rope burns are the only concern. It's been a long time since I've seen either man, but I think Castillejo will put enough rounds in the bank to earn a split nod. Between Vargas' back and Castillejo's non-electrifying style, it should be all about if "El Feroz" can pull the trigger. Not at this stage of his career – too much wear-and-tear. He's more menace than substance.Joe Rein
Is Fernando Vargas a fading fighter or a more mature one? That is the biggest question surrounding his sporadic career since his loss to Oscar De La Hoya in 2002. Regardless, Vargas will have very little trouble with Javier Castillejo and fight fans will not gain any more foresight on El Feroz’s future. Vargas by TKO.

From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=93

Klitschko-Peter Fight Predictions

The heavyweight division gets some serious shaking up this weekend when Wladimir Klitschko meets Samuel Peter in Atlantic City. Although certainty is a fool's game in the best of times, and flimflam in the worst, it looks like someone's gonna fall Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall and on HBO. Does Dr. Klitschko take Peter to school? Or is time for Sam the Man to graduate? This is how The Sweet Science writers see it.
It's easy to dismiss Klitschko as a weak-chinned, heartless fighter, someone who bullies weaker fighters and falters at the first sign of adversity, so I'm going to do what's easy and take Peter by third round KO and continue to beat the drums that younger brother was one of the most over-hyped fighters in recent memory. I think his fight with Sanders ruined him as an athlete, and not that I'm a huge fan of Peter, but he hits too hard for this to be a competitive match. Mitch Abramson
Based on experience, physical advantages and pure ability, the edge on paper would have to go to Klitschko. He is an accomplished boxer who has the tools to completely befuddle the still-green Peter. But it's hard to ignore Wladimir's two crushing losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. In the Sanders fight, Klitschko was ambushed. In the Brewster fight, he was outlasted. Either way, Klitschko appears to have neither the chin, the toughness, or the mental fortitude of a legitimate threat. It's not clear exactly when Peter will win, but it will be the "Nightmare" by knockout – whether it's early devastation or systematic deterioration.Matt Aguilar
I'm going to pick Peter in a TKO by the seventh round or earlier. I think that Emanuel Steward, who I have great admiration and respect for, has gone the wrong route, Klitschko should be fighting guys who aren't big punchers.Irish Bobby Cassidy
I'm picking Klitschko. I visited his training camp and I think he has it all together – his mind, his body. I think he's going to control the fight with his jab and then stop Peter in the 10th round.Robert Cassidy Jr.
It's a wonderful little game we play when underestimating a Klitschko. Wladimir could be discounted for not being an aggressive knuckle flinger, but he's dangerous enough with a jab that sets up his devastating right hand. Unfortunately, it's about the time you invest yourself in a Klitschko – one that hasn't been out of the ring for what seems like ages – that you find yourself wondering what made you think you had him pegged. The hype surrounding Samuel Peter will prevail in the form of a TKO in the latter rounds.Jesse K. Cox
Peter sounds like the second coming of Mike Tyson, but he still hasn't beaten a top contender. Though considered by many to be the underdog, Klitschko still has pop in his punch and more experience than Peter. Going with the upset. Klitschko by knockout in eight.Rick Folstad
I can't help thinking Klitschko vs. Peter bears similarities to Lennox Lewis vs. Andrew Golota ... Emanuel Steward training a fighter who is at a career crossroads decides to put his charge in against a hard-punching heavyweight on the rise – one who not many other heavyweights are keen to face. Hard to believe now, but after effectively ending Riddick Bowe's career (whilst losing twice!) not many heavyweights were lining up to face Andrew Golota way back when. Steward insisted that Lewis needed to make a statement stateside and eventually got his way, and the rest is history. It looks like a similarly high-risk, high-reward strategy is in play here. However, Wladimir Klitschko is no Lennox Lewis, and I suspect Samuel Peter is more dangerous than Andrew Golota ever was – largely because Peter's psyche has not been cobbled together with a deck of playing cards, as was the case with the Foul Pole. Though Peter has appeared unrefined and plodding at times, I suspect that Wladimir Klitschko will not be able to withstand the pressure the Nigerian Nightmare will apply. Look for Klitschko – he undoubtedly has some tools – to control the action early behind the jab and some effective power punching, but the huge Ukrainian will inevitably begin to tire and Peter will get to him. The days of opponents fighting scared against Wladimir Klitschko – think Jameel McCline – are long gone. Behind steady pressure, Peter eventually gets to Klitschko. Peter by TKO 7Chris Gielty
How many out there remember Mac Foster, who faced Jerry Quarry back some 35 years ago? Foster was something like 24-0, winning all by KO. He was expected by most to make it 25-0 by pounding JQ. It didn't happen. In fact, the only pounding was dished out by Quarry. I know that the younger Klitschko doesn't have JQ's whiskers, but he is a terrific offensive fighter with a monsterous, Category 4 (see Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) jab. Plus, like Mac Foster, Peter – who may be a contemporary Mike Tyson – has fought "record builders" in lieu of facing quality opponents. Certainly, Klitschko is by far and away the best fighter Peter has ever faced. Most of Peter's opponents have not been able to withstand his early, all-out assaults. I believe Klitschko can. It is for that reason I see Wlad – employing newly-added stamina – wearing Peter down rather quickly with an assortment of punches, tools and tricks and handing him his first loss. Klitschko in five.Randy Gordon
Samuel Peter, KO-8. These are two flawed heavyweights, but Peter's relentlessness will conclude with a fight-ending haymaker.Tim Graham
It can never be said that Wladimir Klitschko is taking the safe route to redemption. In facing the young bull, power-hitting Samuel Peter, he is attempting a complete image repair in one fell swoop. For his part, Peter is also making a giant leap into the great unknown. Perhaps the main motivation for the bout for both is the fact that neither fighter is in the promotional stable of Don King. That means that for either to get a shot at any of the numerous alphabet belts their name must appear as a “mandatory” defense. They won’t be anyone’s optional defense, ever. Klitschko still brings significant skills, speed and power into the ring. While no one doubts any of his athletic ability, it’s the one necessary heavyweight attribute he may be missing that gives this fight its allure – his chin. Peter, the relative neophyte, brings, if nothing else, an ability and willingness to punch hard and with abandon. It’s assumed by many that if one of his wide mega-punches clips Klitschko on the chin it will be Corrie Sanders revisited. On this night, however, despite being a very exciting prospect of undeniable energy and strength, his lack of polish and diversity of attack will relegate him to a being a willing but unsuccessful youngster who will return another day better for the lessons he will take away from this fight. Klitschko will establish his jab early and continuously pull Peter out of position and land hard counters. Peter will give it his all but will wind up exhausted and without answers to the many puzzles Klitschko will present. Klitschko by KO in 9.JE Grant
Much as I'd like to say "the bigger they are, the harder fall," Wlad will probably gain a win by unanimous decision. If prepared and conditioned, he's too big and too much experience wise for Samuel Peter. If we see the Wlad that fought Corrie Sanders or Lamon Brewster, the "Nigerian Nightmare" will have a happy ending.Amy Green
I can't see Klitschko lasting more than 4 or 5 rounds. Frankly, I will be amazed if he gets out of round one, let alone round two. I think Peter knows full well he needs to close off Klitschko, walk him down and punish, first the body and chop at the head. Just let those bombs fly and Peter is going to hit serious pay dirt. Can Klitschko fight a rugged affair? I doubt it. He's going to get clocked. And I suspect Emanuel Steward knows it too!Patrick Kehoe
Last I checked, Mad Wlad and his team never did figure out why his body gave out against Brewster (as it had against Ross Puritty years ago) and how DaVarryl Williamson was able to hit him so often. He certainly can win this fight by staying outside and using his jab and right to keep the Nigerian Peter off him. The question is: Can he do it for 12 rounds or until Peter goes down? The answer is "no." Samuel Peter is no great fighter, but he does pack a heavy punch and looks built to take a licking and keep on hitting. He has big legs and a shock absorber neck suggesting he can withstand Klitschko’s shots long enough to land one of his own to end the bout. I think Wlad will look good for the early rounds and then start to fade, to the point where he is dropped and stopped once more.Joey Knish
I've been see-sawing on this fight. But, no matter which fighter I'm partial to on a given day, I never feel too confident about my pick – that's how it goes with great matchups. I love that both fighters possess such promise ... yet have big question marks looming over their heads. What has swayed me towards Klitschko was Fox Sports Net's most recent installment of "Nothing But Knockouts." Last Sunday's show had a young Lance Whitaker – before he went Goofi on us – facing journeyman Thomas Williams in 2000. Whitaker was 19-1 (16 KOs) at the time. His sole loss was a split decision to a vastly more experienced Lou Savarese. Whitaker had beaten B-level guys like Alex Stewart and an undefeated Monte Barrett. After he dispatched Thomas Williams in two rounds with a crushing right hand, he went on to stop an undefeated Robert Davis and Oleg Maskaev – also in two rounds apiece. Then like so many prospect/contenders of the last several years, he proved to be The Next Big Bust. My point: With all of his great attributes of size, heavy hands and decent skills, Mount Whitaker looked every bit the future champ we hope Sam Peter to be. He had the boxing industry and fans salivating over him, the same way many are doing over Peter now (actually, Peter is being marketed better). How soon we forget: Andrew Golota, Michael Grant, David Tua, Ike Ibeabuchi, Kirk Johnson, Dominic Guinn: All heartbreakers, all busts, all hyped at one time or another by HBO Boxing and resident pundits Merchant & Lampley. I would suggest that Peter is just the next behemoth in a long line of disappointments, a humble offering to the desperate masses searching for a heavyweight to believe in. Those of us who see greatness this early in the raw Nigerian are wearing the boxing equivalent of beer goggles. Like the young Whitaker, he has beaten a few B-level guys, he has displayed good power. And that's all we have thus far. Does he have stamina? How does he handle adversity? Can he punch upwards (Wlad. is a good five inches taller)? Can he take a punch? Don't tell me he looks like he can – Bruce Seldon had a thick neck too. Wladimir Klitschko, on the other hand, has answered some questions for us that Peter has not. Some of them have been the wrong answer. All this has been well-documented. Assuming (and I'm putting extra emphasis on that word) Manny Steward can put Humpty Dumpty back together again – at least apply enough enough Crazy Glue to his cracks to get him through this challenge – then we should not forget what an awesome offensive weapon he has been on occasion. When he uses it, he has the best jab in the division, perhaps the heaviest right hand; he throws punches straight down the pike. I don't believe he will punch himself out as he did against Lamon Brewster, or if he does, he won't fade as early. So I expect Wlad to punish an in-rushing Peter – who will learn that skills pay the bills, not brute strength – and turn his face into hamburger by round five. I see Peter's corner throwing in the towel by the mid rounds, and preserving his chance to overcome this loss down the road.Zachary Levin
On paper Samuel Peter wins this fight by KO. But the bout will be fought in the ring and not on paper. I don't believe Wlad is as bad as many people think and I suspect that Peter isn't quite as good as many people think. We know that Peter can bang and if he taps Klitschko on the chin it's over. However, I'm going with Klitschko here. Wlad and his brother are smart, tough men who still feel they have a lot to prove. This is basically Wlad's last chance. I think he guts it out, gives a gritty performance and stops Peter late. Don't forget, Klitschko can hit like a ton of bricks as well and we've never seen Peter's chin get tested.Marc Lichtenfeld
This is one of those heavyweight bouts that hopefully will give the division a much needed shake and stir. Both fighters need to prove they belong and both can bang so this should be interesting for the short period of time it lasts. While Klitschko has the big-fight experience, history normally repeats itself and since he's folded in the past, my feeling is he'll fold again. Peter is young, strong and most importantly doesn't know what it's like to lose. Sure he's raw but once Klitschko tastes the "Peter Power," the fight is over. Peter will follow Klitschko around the ring for a couple of rounds and once the fight settles into it's natural rhythm, the bells will toll for Klitschko and he'll end up stumbling around the ring wishing he was back in med school. "Peter Power" in four via bludgeoning.Scott Mallon
Both guys are as talented as they are likeable. Considering Klitschko's suspect chin, it is easy to see him getting destroyed by Peter. But I have a feeling a highly motivated but still cautious Klitschko, working behind his pulverizing jab, will wear Peter down in much the same fashion he wore Jameel McCline down. Klitschko TKO 7. Bob Mladinich
I love Klitschko in this fight. People forget how well Klitschko can box, how fluid he can be, how much range and variety he has and how much more athletic than his older brother he can be. Though I seem to disagree with Emanuel Steward instinctively, I have to agree with him on this one. Peter is based on ten months of hype amongst fans and writers desperate to unearth a Tyson-like savior for a derelict division. But the gulf between Tyson and Peter is too large to measure or describe, but I believe the big Nigerian's limitations will be ably highlighted this weekend. And, ironically, the guy highlighting those shortcomings may yet emerge, belatedly, as the closest thing the division has to a savior. Remember, at 29 Klitschko is still younger than those bracketed as the “next generation” of heavyweights - Harrison, Brock, Valuev, Guinn, Ibragimov et al. Klitschko KO7David Payne
OK, so I was disappointed that the Wladmir Klitschko-Samuel Peters heavyweight dance was not going to be on the Comedy Channel. Dr. Glass Jaw meets the Nigerian Nightmare. Hey, I’m a big boy; I can handle it. How do you have it scored, Hal? “Well, Jim.” Mute button. Zap! If they were telecasting this one from a bowling alley, Wlad the Horrible would be the One Pin. Must be a terrifying feeling, seeing all that power hooking toward you, nowhere to run, bam! Falling. Lights out! And the other guy, the Nightmare, hits like a mule. Has the boxing skills of one, too. Undefeated king of the heavy bags. Can even hit one when it swings; a little. Has the moves of Joe Louis; the white marble one that stands on the ground floor of Caesars Palace. Thinks a jab is what you do with a fork to a piece of porterhouse. What happens after the fight is even funnier; the winner gets to fight either Chris Byrd or John Ruiz for one of the world’s Best Whale titles. Byrd, who won’t fight; Ruiz, who can’t. Oh, yeah, a pick: if it goes six or less, the Nightmare. If it goes more than six, they’ll both play Humpty Dumpty.Pat Putnam
Wlad's a big, agile athlete – more fluid and varied with his arsenal than his brother, though not the tactician. He knows what he wants to do – has heavy hands – and if he can keep people on the end of a busy, stiff jab, he can keep them away. If they give him room to follow that jab with combinations, unless a man's unusually durable they'll fall. His Achilles' heel (Besides a fragile constitution and psyche) is: he freezes (The deer in the headlights syndrome) if a jab comes back his way, just long enough to catch him with the follow-up right hand, the way Williamson dropped him in the first round – textbook. Peter is ponderous, both of hand and foot; and though he lumbers – as Jeremy Williams can attest, he hits-a-ton. If Wlad can't take-him-out with his initial blitz of unquestionably quicker hands, the glacier will catch up to him about the 8th or 9th round.Joe Rein
The biggest question in this fight is Klitschko's stamina. He collapsed against Brewster after dominating him early and hasn't given me any reason to believe that he will be able to sustain himself in this fight. Peter is untested with knockout power in either hand. His biggest weakness is his immobility but he will offset that by coming right at Klitschko and being the aggressor. I like Peter by KO in round 4. Even though he hasn't fought on this big a stage, he's the more confident fighter and that will show.Benn Schulberg
This is a watershed fight if there ever was one. Wladimir Klitschko has sloppily battled his way back into heavyweight contention. If he wins Saturday, he can also regain some of respect lost after his embarrassing defeats to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. However, there is just one problem. Klitschko has a clay chin and his hungry opponent has star-making punching power. My only question is how many rounds will Samuel Peter’s coming out party last? Peter by KO.Aaron Tallent
Michael Grant. Joe Mesi. Dominick Guinn. Wladimir Klitschko. These names represent the most recent crop of "can't miss" heavyweights. The question is, are we going to be able to replace Klitschko's name with that of Samuel Peter after Saturday night's fight? I think so. It is reasonably certain that Klitschko is the more gifted fighter of the two. His physical advantages, along with the higher quality of opposition he has faced should guarantee that he will be more poised than the rather green Samuel Peter. Peter's heavy hands have given him a certain feeling of invincibility, and we have all watched as that type of hubris has led to the downfall of many a good heavyweight suspect through the years. Look for Klitschko to come out strong behind his big, long left jab. As Peter is no defensive master it shouldn't be too long before Wlad sees an opportunity to drop an overhand right behind his jab. Say what you will about his whiskers, but Klitschko's power is at least the equal of his opponent. It is how Peter will react once he is hit hard that will dictate the outcome of the abbreviated fight (there is no way for this to go more than three sessions). My money is on Peter to panic, trying to get his way out of trouble by throwing caution to the wind with counters, which will give Klit the opportunity of setting off a barrage of leather against the shorter, slower man. Klitschko by second round stoppage.
From http://www.muaylok.net/boxingrec/index.php?id=92

Tarver-Jones III Fight Predictions

HBO PPV goes all out with Tarver-Jones III. Roy Jones Jr. wants to set the record straight. He wants revenge for his kayo loss to Antonio Tarver in their second fight. Revenge may be sweet, but the sweet science can be bitter, as even casual fans are aware. But Jones was the man to beat forever. If anyone can beat the odds, it’s Roy Jones. Is there enough in Roy’s tank to befuddle the Magic Man? Or is it Tarver Time in Tampa? This is how The Sweet Science writers see it.
I may not even watch the Roy Jones-Tarver fight. I'm afraid of what may happen to Jones. I was watching the promo for their fight the other day and Jones sounds like a guy who is going to take a severe beating, like Eric Harding when he fought Tarver the second time. Jones didn't sound over-confident, but he looked – and I'm basing this purely on an insignificant interview on HBO – like a shot fighter, mumbling how he's a warrior and this is what boxers are supposed to do. After watching Leavander Johnson's fight again on tape, I may skip this one and watch the Showtime card instead.Mitch Abramson
I think Tarver knocks him out inside of five rounds. Jones is at a tremendous psychological disadvantage, facing someone who has already knocked him out. I think Tarver will box aggressively. I think he's a good puncher and I think he'll get to Jones and knock him out again.“Irish” Bobby Cassidy
If the old Roy Jones is really back – both physically and mentally – Tarver will be in for a long night. If it's all still just a game to Jones, he won't survive six rounds. I'll be cheering for Tarver, a Tampa guy. But if I had to put money on it, I'd pick Jones. He wins by decision.Rick Folstad
I've changed picks more times than I change my workout clothes in a seven-day week. I can make and defend arguments why Antonio Tarver will win and I can make and defend arguments why Roy Jones will win. I can also turn it around and explain why each cannot possibly win. I've made list after list of pros and cons for each. When it's all said and done, my lists show Tarver coming out victorious. Why then am I picking Jones? In two fights against Tarver, he's been life-and-death in one and starched in another. Then, he got starched again in his next outing. Blasted, then starched! Then, he took a long hiatus. Rust had to have formed on his already fading skills. Yet, I've seen Jones at his best. The last two times I saw him completely motivated were the nights he breezed past John Ruiz to capture the WBA heavyweight title and the night he smoked Montell Griffin. I know just how pumped he was that night against Griffin. I was the promoter for Jones-Griffin II at the Foxwoods Casino that night. Prior to the fight, Jones told me I could expect the outcome that he delivered. I see the fire in Jones' eyes again. I feel that for one more night, he'll put it all together for the victory, probably by decision. Hey, he's Roy Jones Jr. Ya'll must've forgot!Randy Gordon
The late great Archie Moore referred to opponents that he just couldn't figure out as a "cousin." A cousin is someone who has your number despite the fact that he may or may not prove as convincing against mutual opponents. For Moore, that man was Ezzard Charles. Despite meeting him on numerous occasions in the ring, Moore could never get past Charles – even though he would later achieve greatness and hold the light-heavyweight title for 10 years. Antonio Tarver has seemingly mastered the puzzle of Roy Jones. In their first meeting Jones never figured out Tarver and I think deep down he knows he lost the match. Of course there was no doubt in the rematch. Add to that, although he and Jones are the same age, there is little doubt that they are at very different places on their individual career paths. Jones may indeed be a spent fighter while Tarver may have a few big fights left in his tank. Of course the great thing about top fighters who are willing to put it all on the line is that we don't have to endlessly speculate. Anticipate Jones to start fast and try to gain respect. He'll want to prove he has truly committed himself to the task at hand and prove that it's all been just a big set of flukes that led to his recent knockout losses. Tarver will once again take his deliberate southpaw approach and befuddle Jones. Roy Jones has proven his greatness over an extended period but he has met the one man that he just can't figure out. Tarver by KO in 10.JE Grant
Antonio Tarver is the same age as Roy Jones but has been fighting for half the time Jones has and also has had half as many fights. At the age they are, that translates to more of an edge in being fresh for Tarver than it does to Jones having the nod in experience. Jones has been off for a year, hasn't taken a tune-up fight, and has been stopped in his past two fights (by both Tarver and Glen Johnson). I think the move up to heavyweight has damaged Jones for good because he did it so late in his career; his body just isn't what it was before the move up. Tarver hits hard enough and is technically a sound fighter, one good enough to beat Jones for a second time on this night. Not concerned about Tarver taking Jones lightly, no way, they don't like each other.Joey Knish
What does Roy Jones have left? My mind says nothing, my heart says something – at least enough to defy the odds one last time and (somewhat) restore his tarnished legacy. Jones hunts and pecks his way to a split decision victory.Zachary Levin
I've never been one impressed with Antonio Tarver and his fighting style. Something about it rubs me the wrong way. For some reason I'm of the feeling Roy Jones is training his ass off and is going to be ready. Do I think he's the Roy Jones of old? No way. But neither is Tarver. And I see Jones sticking and moving his way to a close, probably boring decision.Scott Mallon
Tarver arguably beat Jones two times already. There's no reason to believe he won't do it a third time. Tarver TKO 8. Robert Mladinich
Save your $50. Give it to a hurricane disaster fund. Buy a new bowling T-shirt for your wife. Go to a saloon. (That’s two “o’s.”) Pay $50 to watch Roy Jones play tarpaper shack in a Cat 5 hurricane? You’ve got to be kidding me. The guy was boring when he could fight. Sorry, when he could box. He never fought, not in any real sense of the word. That china chin of his was the best-kept secret in sports. He did not just avoid honest combat, he ran from it. He was the fastest and the most skilled, but on any given day, 1000 other guys in leather mittens and short pants ranked far ahead of him as the bravest. His last two fights ended with him on his back, looking up, wondering where his legs had gone. With cable television paying him millions to fight tomato cans, he took his show to Portland, Oregon and Biloxi, Mississippi and Mashantucket, Connecticut. He fought people Lou Del Valie and Reggie Johnson and David Telesco. He won by scores of 118-9, 119-109 and 118-109; and 120-106, 120-106 and 120-106; and 120-108, 120-106 and 120-108. He gave new meaning to the phrase brilliantly boring. So, if you want to blow fifty bucks to see Jones’ chin go three-for-three, be my guest. Or, you can flip to the other big cable channel and watch James Toney take the measure of somnambulist Dominick Guinn, followed by Chris Byrd winning a six-day dance marathon over a dangerous but frustrated DaVarryl Williamson.Pat Putnam
Tarver showed what champions are made of in his return with Johnson. Armed with that confidence – the chance to secure his legacy and make Jones eat crow, he should be a coiled spring at the bell. His ring walk should be “All jacked up!” Jones, in seclusion, has one image fueling him: jumping to the top rope, punching the sky, “Y’all must’ve forgot! So, it comes down to a superbly conditioned, motivated Tarver against a rededicated Jones at his best. At his best, he’s better than Tarver – more gifted – more fluid – more ring savvy – more spontaneous. But is it worth a hill-of-beans when Tarver “brings it”? (An understatement.) Fresh with the memory of cold-cocking Jones, Tarver’s itching to prove the left wasn’t Haley’s Comet. For the first time since James Toney, it’s personal with Jones – a man’s humbled him in the ring and rubbed his nose in it. He doesn’t want to win; he wants a pound-of-flesh. Between both these guys, if you could bottle pride, you’d have something to rival cold fusion. I think Jones is going to surprise the doubters and stuff the haters. He’ll reach down and find the brilliance that made him the unquestioned marvel of the sport. Tarver will do more, but Jones will do more effectively and win a UD.Joe Rein
Roy Jones, Jr. keeps making excuses about his back-to-back knockout losses. He says this time will be different and the old Jones, Jr. will return. Despite the fact that his father has rejoined him in his corner and he's worked harder than ever to prepare for this fight, I don't see the young Roy ever returning. Tarver is a southpaw who's bigger, sharper, and punches harder than Jones, Jr. Tarver may not catch Jones, Jr. as quickly as he did in their last fight, but catch him he will. I like Tarver by KO in Round 5.Benn Schulberg
Antonio Tarver has had 24 tough rounds with Glen Johnson since knocking out Jones. Jones has had no rounds since suffering his second straight knockout, by Johnson. Could Jones possibly be fighting to just last the distance so that his career does not end on consecutive knockouts? Tarver by decision?Ed Schuyler
Roy Jones is not a shot fighter. He is simply a humbled one. This Saturday, he will enter the ring more prepared and focused than he has been in years. The fight will feature a lot of pressure on both sides, but in the end Jones will have prevailed. This time, there will be no controversy. Jones by unanimous decision.