It’s by far our most popular column. FightNights editor Gabriel Gonzalez tries to predict the winners of this weekend’s fights. He’s 14-3 on the year with his predictions since starting this column and looks to continue to try his best to predict the fights right. He can be followed @GabeJGonzalez on Twitter. Let’s see what he has to say about this week:
The June 8th weekend is stacked with fights! Both HBO and Showtime will have doubleheaders featuring some very good fights and fighters. This week we have Maidana-Lopez, Angulo-Lara, Dawson-Stevenson, and Gamboa-Perez. This is interesting. Each one of these fights is not a given. Every underdog poses some sort of threat. These picks haven’t been as easy as I thought they would be when they made the cards and I’m also positive an upset is looming somewhere. Let’s see if I can get them all right. Here are my official predictions for this weekend:
It’s being called a possible Fight of the Year and they haven’t even stepped into the ring yet. The heavy hitting Marcos Maidana takes on the resilient Joseito Lopez. Lopez isn’t a super great boxer with fast hand speed. Unfortunately, I believe that you have to be to beat someone like Maidana. Lopez would need to be faster and quick on his feet to avoid the hard shots Maidana throws to win this fight. He would have to box and move around like Alexander and Khan did. I don’t see it being that type of fight. Lopez loves to brawl. He tried to go shot for shot with Canelo even though I’m sure he was told that would be suicide. The game plan for Lopez will be to box if he wants to have a shot at beating Maidana. It’s very hard for a fighter not to turn into their old form despite the game plan. I expect a Fight of the Year type fight with Maidana winning by KO.
In the case of puncher vs boxer in Angulo vs Lara, I am going the opposite way. Lara can box, and he can avoid the heavy, slower punchers from Angulo. He’ll use the entire ring to pick and choose his battles while avoiding any sort of exchange with Angulo. Angulo is going to try to land those heavy shots but I feel he will miss his mark most of the fight. Lara by UD.
There’s a lot of people that are picking Dawson to walk through Stevenson and I’m not so sure about jumping on that bandwagon. This is going to be a very tough fight for Dawson. Stevenson can hit, and Dawson has been down before. Dawson also looks too comfortable at times when he is in that ring as though he is just sparring his way to victory. He can’t be like that in this fight. Dawson also tends to fade out late in fights which I think is also a big no-no here. I think Dawson is the better fighter but I think Stevenson gives him a run for money. I’m inclined to pick the upset here but I’m not going to. Dawson finds a way to win by UD.
Does Darley Perez stand a chance? Very little. Lucky for him though Gamboa loves to get knocked down in fights. If Perez puts him down, which he might very likely do, can he keep him down? I tend to think not. Gamboa is a very talented fighter. Perez has had an easier road to this fight than Gamboa has. Gamboa is the better fighter, has faced the more experienced fighters, and he knows how to win. I like Gamboa by UD.