Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Prediction Time

So every Friday, I will be doing a weekend fight report about some fights to look out for as well as some predictions.  Monday’s blog will include a report card and a running tally of my predictions.

It’s a lightweight weekend.

Henry Lundy (21-1-1) vs. Dannie Williams (21-1-0) At Mahsantucket, Conn. 3/30/12
This is an awesome Friday night fights main event.  We have two young lightweight fighters coming into the prime of their career.  The winner of this match will set themselves up nicely for a bigger chance at a notable title shot down the road.  The lesser NABF title will be on the line.  The bonus is that there seems to be some bad blood as they have exchange insults through twitter.  The difference between the two fighters is going to be Lundy’s speed.  Williams said he will not let Lundy build a lead on the scorecards and need a KO like Molina did.  I believe Lundy learned from the Molina fight and will use his boxing to stock pile rounds and win a victory via decision.  Winner - HENRY LUNDY

Jorge Linares (31-2-0) vs. Sergio Thompson (21-2-0) At Cancun, Mexico 3/31/2012
Golden Boy has chosen a solid fighter for Linares to try and bounce back from his DeMarco lost.  Thompson is on a 7 fight winning streak and is fighting in his home country.  Thompson is not as skilled as Linares, but he will bring it and test Linares.  He possesses a solid left hook and will mix his punches up, but even after 7 wins in a row there is not much substance behind it.  Linares will bring his extensive amateur career and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach to the ring.  Linares is more skilled, but sometimes lacks the patience that would lead to easier wins.  Linares will not shy away from contact and will initiate when necessary, but that also leads to one of Linares’s downfalls.  He cuts easily and frequently.  Thompson will go after it.  I expect this fight to be exciting early, but Linares to pull away behind his boxing ability, maybe even stopping Thompson.  Winner – Jorge Linares

This weekend is not an overly busy weekend when it comes to primetime fights, but the two fights listed will provide some future for the lightweight division, which is currently stacked.  Linares is expected to win.  A Demarco rematch is set with a Linares win.  The winner of Lundy vs. Williams will position themselves a top 10 lightweight and should be in consideration for a title shot.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

"The Gatekeeper"

The Gatekeeper is a very good boxer and a well rounded fighter.  One of two things qualifies a fighter to gatekeeper status.  They do not have what it takes to become a champion.  Or once was a champion/contender now on the downside of their career.  In many cases the actual definition of gatekeeper is open to interpretation. 

Some characteristics of a gatekeeper could include any one or more of the following:
-         Impressive resumes, filled with some of the best fighters in their division/era
-         Top talent that never one a title or successfully defend a title
-         Lost title and are on downside of career
-         Students of the game
-         Not overly popular

Gatekeepers are essential to the success of boxing.  It’s the final test for a prospect to graduate and become a contender.  Many cases it may be the final test of a contender to become a champion if a vacant belt if on the line.  Erik Morales showed he was game, but could have been viewed as gatekeeper in his most recent bout with Danny Garcia.  The same night many viewed Zab Judah in a similar position.  Instead the once proud champion schooled the young pupil Vernon Paris.  Paris failed his final test, Garcia graduated.

Paul “Magic Man” Malignaggi

I resign Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi to gatekeeper status.  Paulie is a former world champ, but for a limited period of time.  Paulie has been hovering in between contender status, champion, and stardom for close to 6 years.  Paulie has 4 loses, each standing out as a gatekeeper quality lose.  His lose to Miguel Cotto propelled Cotto to better opportunities in which he took full advantage.  Ricky Hatton was coming off the Mayweather lose and needed to test himself against a top level guy, Paulie provided him that.  The same could be said for the Baby Bull Jan Diaz after his lose to Marquez.  Paulie got revenge in what might be the exception to the rule.  Most recently Paulie lost a fight to Amir Khan which again propelled Khan.  On the horizon we have the Magic Man once again playing gatekeeper to 32-0 Vyacheslav Senchenko.  If Sanchenko wins he will set himself up for a nice fight, if he loses he will have failed the gate keeping test like many others.  

Fun fact, Paulie’s opponents combined record of when he lost to them is an astonishing 126-4-0.

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