Often in boxing when two styles match up well against each other it becomes almost simple to predict what fights can be headed to a Fight of the Year candidate and which ones are going to be boring to lay the eyes on. Two fighters don’t have to be the best fighters in the world to be a Fight of the Year candidate. They just have to have enough popularity to draw some interest, and their styles have to match up well enough to give the boxing fans a fight they keeps them on the edge of their seats, a toe to toe brawl with tons of action and not much pure boxing.
Saturday night when the hard hitting Argentinean Marcos Maidana takes on the exciting brawler Joseito Lopez at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, many are predicting that this fight could enter as a 2013 Fight of the Year candidate that already has Bradley-Provodnikov and Rios-Alavarado II leading the list. Maidana is a KO artist, having knocked out 30 of his opponents in 33 victories. Lopez is an inside slugger, and not a bad power puncher himself who is very good at putting together combinations. Neither one of them likes to back up. Every shot is thrown with bad intentions with the sole purpose to knock their opponent out. This isn’t a fight where two people are walking into the ring to outbox their opponent by using the jab, quick foot movement, or superior counter-punching. It’s the entire opposite. These guys are entering the ring to fight and knock each other out. And while some jabs and counter punching may be used, it’s only to set up the knock out punches that they will both be trying to land from the opening bell.
Marcos Maidana is going to try to do the thing that he does best. He is going in there to knock Lopez out with one punch, preferably his powerful right hand. Maidana has only lost twice in the last four years and they were to two very good boxers. Devon Alexander totally outclassed him with his quick hand speed and foot movement, and he lost a close decision to Amir Khan in a good fight. Both of those opponents have some of the quickest hands in boxing. Lopez doesn’t have that type of hand speed but he does pose a threat with combination punching. The good thing for the fans, and one of the reasons why people think that this can be an exciting fight, Maidana isn’t going to have to chase Lopez around the ring. Lopez is going to stand there with him and that is the type of fight that fans love to watch.
For Joseito Lopez, Maidana’s style is dangerous, but something that he welcomes. Lopez doesn’t like to chase people around the ring either. He prefers someone coming right at him so that he can use his combinations and body punching. Lopez showed no fear going toe to toe with Canelo so don’t expect him to against a smaller Maidana. He took Canelo’s shots at 154 for five rounds before being stopped. He can take a punch and dish it right back and he most certainly will. If he gets knocked down he’s getting right back up. He’s not going to back up when Maidana tries to put the pressure on.
The fact that neither one of these guys likes to back up, and they both like to exchange punches and knock their opponents out is leading everyone to believe that this fight can match up with Rios-Alvarado and Bradley-Provodnikov as a possible Fight of the Year. Many people predicted the first Rios-Alvarado fight to be a candidate in 2012 and that turned out to be true. This fight is expected to be the same. For the fighters it’s a crossroads fight that will lead to something better. No matter which one comes out victorious Saturday night one thing is bound to be certain, the fans will win either way.