Wednesday, April 20, 2005

April predictions

By JE Grant

April 23 --: Shane Mosley (39-4, 35 KOs) vs. David Estrada (18-1, 9 KOs) - welterweights

Shane Mosley, once the king of the pound-for-pound club, is coming off consecutive losses to Winky Wright, which only compounded the problems caused by his consecutive losses to Vernon Forrest. He was a great lightweight, a good welterweight, and a passable junior middleweight. This bout marks a return to the welterweights where he figures his power will prove decisive. David Estrada, though ably backed by Angelo Dundee, is not to going to spoil the party. Mosley by KO in 8.

April 23 --: Kermit Cintron (24-0, 22 KOs) vs. Antonio Margarito (30-4, 21 KOs) WBO welterweight title

OK no one except the WBO considers this a championship bout. We have a true champion in the form of Zab Judah. Nonetheless this may prove to be a solid fight with long-term division consequences. Margarito has defended his belt but in his attempts at fellow WBO belt-holder for the 147 and 154-pound crowns he came up short. Cintron pulls this out with a 10th round KO.

April 23 --: Jameel McCline (31-4-3, 19 KOs) vs. Calvin Brock (24-0, 20 KOs) heavyweights

Folks say that Brock is taking a huge leap forward and is assuming risk. Really it is McCline who is taking the risk – and perhaps unnecessarily. Brock, the college graduate, hasn’t yet graduated to the elite level of the heavyweight division but a victory here gets his foot in the door. I believe McCline was robbed of victory against Chris Byrd, and along with it the IBF belt, but that isn’t saying much ask the list of other robbery victims vs. Byrd – Fres Oquendo and Andrew Golota. Brock cracks the top ten with a decision victory.

April 23 --: Wladimir Klitschko (43-3, 39 KOs) vs. Eliseo Castillo (18-0-1, 14 KOs) IBF heavyweight eliminator

Is Klitschko shot? This is a question that will be asked no matter how many more fights he has. Castillo is an earnest campaigner. He’s tough and workmanlike. He’s also not a huge banger. Klitschko will likely sport a 25-pound weight advantage to go along with advantages in height and reach. Klitschko is bigger, faster, and hits much harder. Castillo will hang in there with the hope Klitschko folds. It won’t happen on this night. Klitschko by KO in 3.

April 30 --: John Ruiz (41-5-1, 28 KOs) vs. James Toney (68-4-2, 43 KOs) WBA heavyweight title

John Ruiz, a heavyweight with a solid physical appearance is a stab-and-grab artist whose primary skill appears to be finding inartful ways to win. And win he does. James Toney is a heavyweight who will win no body beautiful contests but wins with as much artistry as anyone in the game today. His only problem going into this bout is that all of the masterpieces were created on middleweight through cruiserweight canvases. He has scored exactly two wins in the heavyweight division: he stopped a 40-something Evander Holyfield, merely confirming, again, what most of us have known for the last several years – Evander is way past his day. The other fight, against Rydell Booker, proved nothing. Toney is also starting to fall apart. A series of injuries has to catch up to him soon. April 30th will prove to be that day. Ruiz will punch, push, and mangle his way to a lack-luster 12-round decision.

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