Wladimir Klitschko v Eddie Chambers
TITLE: IBF & WBO Heavyweight Titles
PREDICTION: Wladimir Klitschko
Eddie Chambers has been calling out for his opportunity to fight one of the Klitschko brothers and now his chance has finally come, how will he do, will he restore the faith in American heavyweights or will he fall woefully short like Chris Arreola, and Kevin Johnson have recently. Eddie has surprised me a lot recently I had never really been that impressed with him, he was the smallest heavyweight around and although he had great hand speed I thought that was pretty much all he had, in the fight with Alexander Povetkin it looked like he didn’t want to win, he couldn’t seem to assert himself to throw enough punches to win any rounds never mind the fight and prior to that he was very lucky to get the win over Calvin Brock, a fight I believe he lost. Since that fight he was eased back in with 3 easy wins before stepping back up in class against Samuel Peter, I thought Peter would beat him but a lackluster performance from Peter combined with a great performance from Chambers earned him what I thought was an easy win, even though one of the judges saw it as a draw. Then came the huge test for Eddie, he went overseas again to take on an undefeated prospect in the form of Alexander Dimitrenko (29-0) who already had a number of good wins against tough opponents. Chambers to his credit went out there and destroyed Dimitrenko, even knocking down the giant, and even though one of the judges saw the fight as a draw, a more accurate score was seen by another judge 117-109 for Chambers. Now Chambers faces the 2nd biggest challenge in the division, Wladimir Klitschko, Klitschko has generally only been beaten in the past by guys that can punch, he was stopped in all of his 3 losses, he also holds wins over Peter and Brock who gave Chambers a tough fight. The big question is can Eddie win this fight, my initial reaction is no, he is too small, he doesn’t punch hard enough and when the going gets tough he tends to go into his shell. Klitschko is very difficult to box, he gives very little opportunities to hit him and he doesn’t care about making it an exciting fight to watch. I think Eddie will give it a go for the first 3-4 rounds but when he finds it impossible to get inside on Wladimir he may go into his shell or he might face being stopped for the first time in his career, either way I would be very surprised if Chambers was able to pull this one off.
Johnathon Banks v Travis Walker
VENUE: ESPRIT arena, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
PREDICTION: Johnathon Banks
Since stepping up to heavyweight former cruiserweight contender Banks has won 3 straight 2 via knockout and a close but good win over Javier Mora. I personally think he would have been better to stick to cruiserweight I think when he steps up against the real big guys in the division he will struggle. Banks has a big heart but a debatable chin, he was down and almost out against Eliseo Castillo when being knocked down twice in the opening round twice, before Castillo gassed out and was eventually stopped himself in the 4th, he was also stopped but Cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek when being taken out by a right hand. He has an interesting test here, Travis Walker has a great record but it has been mainly manufactured, but he is a big heavyweight and carries a lot of power, he also has no chin so this fight could be decided on whoever lands first, Walker was knocked out in each of his 3 losses and inside 3 rounds, he has also won 28 of his 34 wins via knockout. Banks has won 16 of his 23 via knockout and seems to have carried his power up to heavyweight, so don't blink or you could miss this one, I think the heart and fitness lies with Banks but Walker will be very dangerous for the first 2-3 rounds, I think if both men are still standing by the 4th this will be Banks fight but I will be surprised if it lasts this long. Walker knocked down Chris Arreola a job that Vitali Klitshko could manage so don't underestimate him, as I said for the first few rounds there will be fireworks, I am edging with Banks to win the fight but it is not with a great deal of confidence, probably inside 4-5 rounds.
Odlanier Solis v Carl Davis Drumond
VENUE: Key West, Florida, United States
PREDICTION: Odlanier Solis
Cuban heavyweight amateur star Odlanier Solis is ripping through the heavyweight division, he is currently unbeaten in 15 fights and has already notched up a number of great wins, noticably last time out against tough gate keeper Monte Barrett whom he despatched in 2 rounds, 3 rounds quicker than current WBA champion David Haye, a man that I am sure he is gunning for. Haye will also be looking for revenge against Solis who defeated him in the 2001 world championships in the final and Haye was left with the silver medal, Haye started well and shook Solis to his boots in the opening round with tremendous right uppercut, but Solis recovered and eventually stopped Haye in the 3rd after Haye picked up a shoulder injury, Solis also went on to win gold at the 2004 Olympics, he also held impressive wins in the amateurs against Sultan Ibragimov and Felix Savon. It must annoy him to see Haye a man that he beat already the heavyweight champion, so I am sure should they both keep winning they will eventually meet again. Standing infront of him on this occassion is the highly regarded Costa Rican heavyweight Carl Davis Drumond, Drumond was up until recently 26-0 with 20 stoppages, he was however fairly easily matched, he stepped up in class in his 27 fight and he lost a fairly close points decision to former WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev when the fight ended prematurely in the 6th round due to a cut that Chagaev suffered from an accidental clash of heads and the judges had Chagaev marginally ahead, Drummond then suffered his 2nd defeat in his very next fight when being out boxed by Derric Rossey over the 10 round distance in a fairly one sided affair. This is the biggest test Solis has had as a professional but I think he is a world class athlete and I think he will be up there with the title challengers real soon, he is short for a modern day heavyweight at only 6'1" but he is weighing in at an average 265lbs so he has the weight advantage in this fight. I think Drummond should put up a decent fight and may last the distance but I think Solis will win, I would go for a late stoppage or a decent points win.
Jackson Osei Bonsu v Randall Bailey
VENUE: Lotto Arena, Merksem, Antwerpen, Belgium
PREDICTION: Randell Bailey
Randell Bailey had a very up and down 2009, he knocked out Francisco Figueroa in a classic 4 round contest that saw both men hit the canvas before Bailey delivered one of the best punches of his career which knocked Figueroa cold before he hit the canvas, this earned him a title shot against Juan Urango. This was another classic fight Bailey started the strongest winning the opening rounds and knocked the usually hard chinned Urango down in the 6th round, as the fight drew on the constant pressure of Urango finally broke Bailey and he was knocked down Bailey twice in the 9th, once in the 10th and twice touched down in the 11th before being pulled out by his corner. After a fairly easy win over decent Germaine Sanders last time out Bailey now gets another shot at an eliminator fight, this time however he has been forced abroad, Belgium in fact and he squares off against currently the number 1 P4P fighter in Belgium Bonsu. Bonsu is an impressive 31-3 but he has mainly faced decent european level fighters and not too many world class fighters, Bailey is a world class fighter and Bonsu has always struggled against punchers, he was knocked down 3 times recently on route to a 9th round TKO loss to Selcuk Aydin, and I would be surprised if this one goes any differently, Bailey is a good finisher and if he manages to catch Bonsu early this one could only last a few rounds, Bailey will be struggling to get a points win out in Belgium so if it does go the distance then Bonsu would be the favourite, but I doubt it will, I think Bailey will win in the mid rounds if not earlier.
Deandre Latimore v Sechew Powell
VENUE: Buffalo Bill's Star Arena, Primm, Nevada, United States
PREDICTION: Deandre Latimore
A very interesting rematch, Latimore won by stoppage in the first meeting between these two, this came as a surprise to many boxing experts and fans as Powell was being lined up for a title shot against Cory Spinks, Latimore won the fight and got the shot and pushed Spinks very hard and was a little unlucky to fall to a close points decision. Once again this fight will mean the winner will go on to fight the winner of Cory Spinks and Cornelius K9 Bundrage. This time around Latimore is the favourite to win the fight, prior to the stoppage last time out this was a very even fight, all of the judges had scored it even. Both of these guys can punch and both have very similart records, if it should go to the cards it could be a very difficult for the judges to seperate the two, I think Powell will be wary of Latimores power this time around as I think he underestimated him first time around. It should be a great fight and I am going to edge with Latimore doing the double over Powell, but don't rule out a big performance from Powell.
Martin Lindsay v Jamie Arthur
TITLE: British Featherweight Title
VENUE: Indoor Sports Centre, Leigh, Lancashire, United Kingdom
PREDICTION: Martin Lindsay
A very interesting contest, after suffering 2 nasty cuts which cost him two losses against limited opposition former amateur star Arthur retired from the sport in 2005, in 2008 he decided to make a return and has stormed through the rankings winning 7 fights in a row, including an British title eliminator against the formely undefeated prospect Akaash Bhatia, he now faces the toughest challenge of his career against another undefeated fighter Martin Lindsay, the prize awaiting is the vacant British title. Lindsey at 15-0 has got less amatuer experience and less pro fights than Arthur, however he has competed at a higher level and holds some great wins over great fighters himself, he exploded onto the scene with a tremendous stoppage win over former British champion Derry Mathews, he then went on to destroy on of the hottest prospects in the division Paul Appleby who has not been seen since. I think it should be an interesting clash of styles and a fairly decent fight, neither of these guys are big punchers, but Lindsey is the harder hitter of the two, a lot depends on how the face of Lindsey holds up, he is always at risk of cuts but barring injury this fight should be decided by the judges, I think Lindsey is one of the hottest prospects in the country at the weight and will be tough to beat it would take a career best from Arthur to win this fight, don't rule him out but I would go for a points win for Lindsay.
Manny Pacquiao v Joshua Clottey
TITLE: WBO Welterweight Title
VENUE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, United States
PREDICTION: Manny Pacquiao
Following the fall through of mega fight Mayweather v Pacquiao both guys have moved on and are looking like they are facing new opponents, Mayweather is in talks with Matthew Hatton and Pacquiao is on the verge of signing to fight Cotto's last opponent Joshua Clottey. Clottey is a very strong guy and has been a little unlucky not to have established himself more in the boxing world, he was leading to Antonio Margarito before breaking his hand mid fight and losing out on the cards, he also lost a split decision in a close fight with Cotto a fight that he should have won. Pacquiao however is a different type of fighter, the way that he took Cotto to pieces was amazing, if he can perform on the same level against Clottey then this will be his fight. Clottey is very tough and very durable so I would be very surprised if Pacquiao is able to stop him, but I think he will win and win well. Look for a clear points win for Pacquiao if this fight even happens.
Humberto Soto v David Diaz
TITLE: vacant WBC lightweight title
VENUE: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, United States
PREDICTION: Humberto Soto
A very interesting contest, Diaz was out of the ring due to a knee injury for over a year, he returned in September 2009 with a sub par performance against Jesus Chavez and was very lucky to win a very close points decision. Prior to that Diaz was establishing himself as one of the top guys in the division, wins over the likes of Erik Morales and Jose Armando Santa Cruz and picking up the WBC title put in him there, he was then stopped for the second time in his career against Manny Pacquiao, losing the title. Soto has also had a very up and down career he has been a professional for over 13 years, but amazingly he is still only 29 years old. he has won 7 out of his last 8 but to be honest he is very unlucky not to be claiming 8 wins from his last 8 as he was very harshly disqualified against Francisco Lorenzo when knocking down Lorenzo twice then going in for the kill as he dropped for the third time and Soto caught him on the top of the head as he hit the canvas, many expected referee Joe Cortez when he stepped between the men to stop the fight and raise the hand of Soto, however Cortez indicated Soto had committed an intentional foul hitting Lorenzo while he was down, and he allowed Lorenzo 5 minutes to recover, even if Cortez had given him an hour there was no way Lorenzo could have continued to fight and after a lot of messing around and even asking members of the front row of the crowd Cortez decided to disqualify Soto to the shock of him and the majority of the crowd. The WBC refused to award Lorenzo with the title due to the controversal ending and a rematch was ordered. Soto won the rematch with ease on the cards winning every round. Ok so back to this fight, Soto is also stepping up a weight division, he has mainly competed at lightweight, wereas Diaz although an inch and a half shorter has competed all the way up to welterweightand generally weighs in at around 135lbs. Soto weighed in at the heavyest of his career last time out and destroyed Jesus Chavez the man that Diaz limped to beat in his return to the ring. That fight puts Soto as the favourite to win, I think it will be a great fight and if Diaz can show some of the form that he showed in the past don't rule him out but I think Soto will be tough to beat, Diaz is tough and only been stopped by hard punching Kendall Holt and Manny Pacquiao so a stoppage win for Soto here will put him on an exclusive list, I actually think he can do it, his power is great his finishing skills are lacking, I think Diaz might hit the canvas maybe more than once, the safe bet is on a points win for Soto, but I think he might get the stoppage in the later rounds.
Marco Huck v Adam Richards
VENUE: Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany
PREDICTION: Marco Huck
Please can someone tell me how this joker has managed to pull of a world title fight, Richards is nicknamed the Swap Donkey and that pretty much exibits how he fights, 3 fights ago he was knockout for the second time in his career against limited heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon, that is far and away the best opponent he has ever faced, most of his opponents have had negative records, in fact 15 of his 23 wins have come against guys with negative records, his last fight that he only just scrapped through with a split decison was against a guy with a record of 9-10-1, now he is stepping up to face a world champion, come on guys is that the best you could find. Well Huck is a class act and he should blow the swamp donkey away fairly easily, look for Richards to be out of there within 5 rounds.
Yoan Pablo Hernandez v Cesar David Crenz
VENUE: Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany
PREDICTION: Yoan Pablo Hernandez
What should be an easy night for cuban prospect Hernandez, he was shocked by Wayne Braithwaite when he was stopped in 3 rounds after having Braithwaie on the canvas, but there should be no shocks here Crenz has lost on the occassions he has stepped up in class, look for a mid round stoppage win for Hernandez or potentially earlier if he catches Crenz, Crenz is a very tall cruiserweight at 6'5" so he may be able to keep Hernandez at bay for a while.