I usually like to tweet out my predictions when it comes to semi-big fights. If it’s a PPV fight I’ll then resort to writing an article. However given the unusual circumstances of an action packed weekend of boxing with tons of intriguing matchups I find it necessary to write his article. Seven fights will be shown on HBO or Showtime this weekend. It’s one of those times where dedicated boxing fans will line up two televisions next to each other in the living room, invite some friends over, and get the drinks flowing. It starts at 8 pm EST on Showtime, and likely won’t end until 12am on both networks. The biggest thing about this weekend though, is not just the showing of seven fights, but the fact that for most of them no one clearly knows who’s going to win. That’s hard to say in boxing.
I don’t like to brag about my predictions. (Although our twitter followers would say otherwise). Predicting fights is fun, and keeping track of how good my picks are is also amusing. The fans like to see me pick wrong, especially when I pick against their favorite fighter. So I do this for the fans. Then they can go to twitter as soon as the fight is over and call me an idiot and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Some will likely do it after reading this article.
That said, let’s get to some breakdowns and picks for this weekend’s crazy boxing schedule. My record stands at 51-13 for 2013. I’m on a seventeen pick winning streak that I believe will end this weekend. Since September 28th, I’ve only picked one fight wrong in choosing Alvarado over Provodnikov. So there is my latest credentials. Let’s get to it!
SHOWTIME CARD STARTING AT 8PM EST
Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO's) vs Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO's)
This is an interesting fight that many don’t know how it will end up going. Both are fast, both can be explosive, but both are well past their primes. Judah has the power advantage however his chin isn’t as good as Malignaggi’s. One thing I can guarantee is that there won’t be a knockout. Malinaggi’s chin will handle Judah’s power, and Judah’s chin won’t be affected by Malignaggi’s power which is lacking. This fight is going twelve. In their most recent fights Malignaggi looked better against a better opponent. I think the work rate of Malignaggi is going to frustrate Judah, especially late in the fight.
Pick: Malignaggi by UD
Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KO's) vs Shawn Porter (22-0-1, 14 KO's)
This is my pick-em fight. Alexander is faster but he can be hit. The big question is can Porter get past Alexander’s speed. If he can, Alexander is in trouble. Porter is very explosive and he’s got some quick hands himself. However Alexander is more experienced in bigger fights which may work in his favor. Porter is going to go after Alexander the entire fight which will make this a good fight. Everything in my gut is telling me that Alexander is somehow going to win this fight. I have to go with him.
Pick: Alexander by SD
Austin Trout (26-1 14 KO's) vs Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KO's)
Pick-em fight number two. Everyone is expecting a defensive tactical fight that will draw yawns from the crowd. I’m wondering though. Both Lara and Trout are tactical geniuses fighting against orthodox fighters, but how are they going to do against each other? They are both southpaws. I was a southpaw when I boxed. I’ll be the first to tell you when in the ring with another southpaw, everything is different. And I got hit way more. This fight is going to be more exciting than people think. I can see both getting hit a lot more than they are used too. I think Lara is just a little better all-around and that’s why he will win this fight.
Pick: Lara by SD
Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KO's) vs Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KO's)
Beating Sakio Bika is no easy task. Four of his five losses are to Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe, Lucian Bute, and Jean Paul Mendy(where he was disqualified for throwing a punch when Mendy was on a knee after he had dropped him in the 1st round). Those are all world class fighters. If Dirrell wants to be a big name in the super middleweight division then this is the perfect opponent to test himself against. Dirrell has shown some skills. He can fight on the inside. I’ll be rooting for him, I just don’t think he’s ready for someone like Bika.
Pick: Bika by UD
HBO CARD STARTING AT 9PM EST
Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KO's) vs Joseph Agbeko (29-4, 22 KO's)
I think Agbeko is going to try his best to win this fight. I also believe his style is going to test Rigondeaux a bit. Truth be told though, Rigondeaux is way out of his league. He should cruise his way to a UD. Both fighters have been on the canvas a few times so this fight may present some knockdowns on both sides. If Rigondeaux can avoid a one punch KO, he’ll win easily with his masterful defense and precision punching. I think he does.
Pick: Rigondeaux by UD
Glen Tapia (20-0, 12 KO's) vs James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KO's)
For an HBO Co-Main Event, and two guys with smaller names compared to the rest, I fully expect the fireworks to explode in this fight. This will be the fight that steals the entire night on both networks. The first time I saw James Kirkland fight was in 2006. He was 11-0 with 9 KO’s. I shared a locker room with his team while I was training a different fighter who was on the same card. One thing I noticed about Kirkland was that he had some serious power, and some hardcore killer instinct in him. He’s coming for the KO. Turns out, I was right. He’s racked up 27 KO’s in 32 fights. The guy can knock people out, and he can fight. That said, he has a tough opponent in Glen Tapia standing before him. I never met Tapia but judging from what I have seen he’s got the same characteristics as Kirkland. This fight is going to come down to who lands the big punch first. I think Kirkland does.
Pick: Kirkland by 5th round KO
Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KO's) vs Lamar Russ (13-0, 7 KO's)
People are going to crucify me for this pick. This is what I like to call the upset special. Well kind of. I honestly don’t know who’s favored in all of the fights above. I do know that no one expects Russ to beat Macklin. Well, I’m going with the young guy. Russ has some good things working in his favor. Speed will be the key here, and he’s got some defensive skills. Not sure if he’ll be able to hurt Macklin but I think he can outbox him. I think Russ shocks people with a surprising victory.
Russ by UD