Lucian Bute v Edison Miranda
TITLE: IBF Super Middleweight Title
VENUE: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PREDICTION: Lucian Bute
I think if this fight had happened last year Bute would have had a far easier nights work, Miranda was becoming well known as a one dimensional fighter that can punch, he lost when he stepped up in class against the likes of Pavlik, Abraham, and Andre Ward, however something has changed since the Ward defeat and that is Miranda has been taken under the wing of ledgendary trainer Joe Goossen, Goossen has rebuilt Miranda and these days he is looking a different fighter, he is a lot slicker, he has a lot more to his game rather than just relying on the right hand all the time, he also manages his weight a lot better, he used to come down from around 190lbs to 160lbs in a matter of weeks, now he walks around at 175-180lbs and fights at 168lbs. Do I think he has made enough changes to beat the likes of Lucian Bute?, no I don't, but I am sure Miranda would beat a number of top super middleweights out there, I am sure he would have beaten Robert Steigliez a guy he was suppost to fight for the WBO title against in January but was forced out through illness. I think Bute is potentially the top guy in the division at the moment, he reminds me a lot of Joe Calzaghe in his movement and hand speed, he also learned his lesson well against Librado Andrade the first time around when being dragged into a fight and almost knockout in the final round of the contest, he came back in the rematch and despatched Andrade inside 4 rounds, I think Miranda will put up a great fight and I think he has a chance of winning, a better than probably most believe, but I think Bute is a smart boxer and he will be tough to beat in Canada, look for a close points win for Bute.
Sebastian Zbik v Domenico Spada
TITLE: interim WBC middleweight title
VENUE: Bordelandhalle, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
PREDICTION: Sebastian Zbik
An interesting rematch between these two, in the first fight Zbik won 115-114 on all of the judges scorecards, I was a little surprised as I though Zbik won a little more clearly than that, he was also involved in another controversial points win over previously unbeaten Emanuele Della Rosa last time out with one of the judges scoring the contest 115-113 for Della Rosa and another scoring 120-109 for Zbik, I am guessing these guys were watching different fights, again I thought it was a close evenly matched fight but I though Zbik edged that one too, but definatly not by the 11 point margin see by one of the judges. This should be another well matched fight and a lot depends on who brings their A game, both of these guys have the ability to win. Zbik is the obvious favourite as the champion and the winner of the first contest and as his promoters are backing the show if it is close which it is likely to be then he will get the decision. Nevertheless it should be an entertaining fight Zbik winning a close decision on the cards.
Danny Green v Manny Siaca
VENUE: Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
PREDICTION: Danny Green
Not quite the big fight that Danny Green was expecting when he despatched Roy Jones Jr inside a round, instead Roy Jones has the big fight against Bernard Hopkins and Green is left with Manny Siaca, take nothing away from Siaca he is a decent fighter but he is not a big name nor will he draw world wide interest. One thing Green will have in mind is that Siaca actually caused a big upset in Australia already back in 2004 when beating home town favourite Anthony Mundine on points, who actually is only one of two people that have beaten Green. Siaca has not been busy and has only had 5 fights in the last 5 years, and has been out of the ring for over a year already since his last win over journeyman George Klinesmith, he actually weighed in at 159lbs for that fight, he will be fighting Danny Green at cruiserweight, potentially a 41lb swing. I think Siaca back in his day may have given Green a really good fight but he has not shared the ring with a decent opponent since Branco (2006) or Kessler in 2004, both fights he lost, in fact his only really big win was against Mundine, 6 years ago. I am not sure what Siaca will bring to the ring but I would be very surprised if it is enough to beat Green, the safest bet would be a Green points win but don't rule out ring rust affecting Siaca and if Danny jumps on him as he jumped on Roy Jones it may well be over much quicker.
Steve Molitor v Takalani Ndlovu
TITLE: IBF Super Bantamweight Title
VENUE: Casino Rama, Rama, Ontario, Canada
PREDICTION: Steve Molitor
An interesting rematch, these two first met in July 2007 and Steve Molitor won the first meeting when stopping Ndlovu in the 9th round of his first tile defence of the IBF title, a title he went on to make a further 4 defences. They have both also fought Fernando Beltran Jr, Molitor beat Beltran via a one sided 12 round decision, where as Ndlovu lost a close points decision, taking these fights into account then you would assume that Molitor should once again win this fight. The only doubt I have is that some fighters are never the same after a loss especially being knockout, Molitor suffered a deverstating defeat to Celestino Caballero when he was taken to pieces and stopped inside 4 rounds. Molitor has come back with 3 wins but he has been far from convincing, he was very lucky to get a points win over Heriberto Ruiz, his other two opponents have been limited his latest fight he again didn't look convincing against the limited Jose Saez. If he performs to that level then he could have a tough nights work as Ndlovu is no push over, despite this a 70% Molitor should win this fight, it may not be as convincing as the first time round and I think the fight will go the distance this time, with Molitor winning.
Yuriorkis Gamboa v Jonathan Victor Barros
TITLE: WBA Featherweight Title
VENUE: Sporthalle, Alsterdorf, Hamburg, Germany
PREDICTION: Yuriorkis Gamboa
Barros comes into this fight unbeaten his record currently stands at 28-0-1, and on paper he looks likes a worthy opponent however he has only fought in Argentina and Uruguay, and he has never faced an opponent anywhere near world class. So when Gamboa knocks this kid out in 2-3 rounds it will look great on his record but I really doubt Barros will put up much resistance, I think he will be outclassed very quickly. There is the occassional guy who comes out of smaller countries who turn up on the world scene and shock everyone, Edwin Valero is one of those guys, so don't rule out a big performance from Barros completetly but he hasn't beaten the limited opponents he has faced as convincingly as a world class fighter should, for example Guillermo de Jesus Paz 15-18-3 he narrowly beat on points, were as 24-3 Bruno Horacio Godoy knocked him out in the opening round, I will look forward to a good fight but I doubt this guy will be able to keep up with someone of the class of Gamboa.
Oleydong Sithsamerchai v Yasutaka Kuroki
TITLE: WBC minimumweight title
VENUE: Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan
PREDICTION: Oleydong Sithsamerchai
33-0 Sithsamerchai should have another fairly routine defence, Kuroki has never fought anywhere near this level, he has a decent record but don't rule out a big performance and a shock but the champion should come through on the cards.
Koki Kameda v Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
TITLE: WBC Flyweight Title
VENUE: Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan
PREDICTION: Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
Kameda exploded on the scene recently winning the WBC title against Daisuke Naito in a surprisingly one sided contest, now he faces another huge test against 78 fight veteran Wonjongkam, who is desperate to get his belt back, Wonjongkam has actually faced Naito 4 times himself, winning 2 losing 1 and 1 draw. The victories span back to a 1st round Ko win in 24 seconds back in 2002, in the rematch 3 years later saw a cut end the bout prematurely in the 7th and Wonjongkam won a technical decision, In 2007 Naito stormed to a great points win, and in the final fight between the two it ended in a controversial draw. It is a very tough fight to call, Wonjongkam has all the experience and I think this might be the major factor in this fight, I am going for Wonjongkam but this could go either way.
Raul Garcia v Nkosinathi Joyi
TITLE: IBF Minimumweight Title
VENUE: East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
PREDICTION: Nkosinathi Joyi
5th defence for long time champion Garcia, he does however face his toughest test of his career to date against the unbeaten hometown hero Joyi. Garcia has had a number of very close decisions go his way and could quite easily have 3-4 defeats. They have both faced Florante Condes, Joyi destroyed him over the distance winning every round whereas Garcia limped to a split decision win. I think with the home town advantage Joyi has a great chance of snatching the title, don't rule out the champion he is the more experienced and is the favourite coming in, but I think Joyi might get a fairly close decision on the cards.
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.