Monday, May 02, 2005

May predictions

By JE Grant

May 7 --: Joe Calzaghe (38-0, 30 KOs) vs. Mario Veit (45-1, 23 KOs) WBO super-middleweight title

Joe Calzaghe has engaged in 16 title fights, including 15 title defenses and the boxing world does not know if he really has the goods. He seems content to hold onto the WBO belt despite the obvious evidence that it has cost him the notice and money that he claims to want. This fight is more evidence of the same. Calzaghe stopped Mario Veit in 1-round in their previous meeting. Veit was pushed forward to number-one contender status – in the minds of the WBO rating committee and no one else -- and Calzaghe was “forced” to defend or risk having the title vacated. He should’ve dumped the belt in the river and demanded a money fight with the willing Jeff Lacy or stalked a superstar such as Bernard Hopkins. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. In this fight Calzaghe beats Veit again…says he wants a big name…laments the fact that he isn’t accorded the respect he deserves…and plans another meaningless defense of his WBO belt. A vicious cycle. Calzaghe by KO in 5.

May 7 --: Jose Luis Castillo (52-6-1, 46 KOs) vs. Diego Corrales (39-2, 32 KOs) The Ring Magazine world lightweight title / WBC and WBO belts

At 31 Jose Luis Castillo is already a 15-year veteran of the ring. He’s tough and can hit. Corrales, a proven puncher, has had good success since leaving prison – except, of course for his slugfest stoppage loss to Joel Casamayor, later avenged. Both fighters have come up short against Floyd Mayweather, but he won’t be in the ring on this night. Look for Corrales to edge out Castillo in power and control the fight. Corrales by 12 round decision.

May 14 --: Winky Wright (48-3, 25 KOs) vs. Felix Trinidad (42-1, 35 KOs) middleweights

Perhaps the most important non-title fight of the year. Winky Wright has proven brilliant in applying an array of skills against a diverse set of contenders and champions. Of course until his twin victories over Shane Mosely, he never received the acclaim that he was due him. Trinidad, long renowned for the power that carried him through 18 defenses of the welterweight crown, actually created the most attention of his career following his two-year hiatus with a stunning knockout of Ricardo Mayorga. It is still possible that too much is being read into that victory. After all, it was Mayorga’s first real fight as a middleweight and just two fights removed from his loss to Cory Spinks for the welterweight title. Winky will expose some flaws that Mayorga simply couldn’t. He will pick apart Trinidad from angles he hasn’t seen in years. Wright by decision.

May 14 --: Zab Judah (33-2-1, 24 KOs) vs. Cosme Rivera (28-7-2, 20 KOs) world welterweight title

Zab Judah was at the top of his game in his title-winning effort over Cory Spinks. He won’t need to reach very far into his bag of tricks to pull this one out. Rivera shows nothing in his record that rates a shot. In his last fight his opponent didn’t even have a winning record. Judah wins by KO in 2.

May 20 --: O'Neill Bell (23-1-1, 22 KOs) vs. Dale Brown (33-3-1, 21 KOs) IBF cruiserweight title

O’Neil Bell has been steadily harnessing a strong punch and improving his skills. Except for former champion Arthur Williams, much of his resume does not contain a list of the best and brightest. Brown, on the other hand, has already contested against the best: Wayne Braithwaite; Vassiliy Jirov; and Jean-Marc Mormeck. In each instance he was chopped up and stopped. There’s no clear reason for him to be in a title fight. Bell will step up and take a belt. I hope he ventures on to a match with Mormeck. Bell wins by KO in 7.

May 21 --: Lamon Brewster (31-2, 27 KOs) vs. Andrew Golota (38-5-1, 31 KOs); WBO heavyweight title

Lamon Brewster, holder of the fringe – but suddenly important – WBO belt, is quickly dismissed as a one hit wonder. That’s what losses to Clifford Etiene and Charles Shufford will lead to. Don’t rule out the possibility that his power is the real thing. We should also recognize that with his victory over Wladimir Klitschko came a boost in confidence – confidence gained from coming back from the brink. But hold that thought, Andrew Golota, easily a candidate for boxing’s wasted talent award for past misdeeds, is coming in with some boosted confidence of his own. Robbed in successive title shots at Chris Byrd and John Ruiz, Golota should be fighting a title-unification bout with Brewster instead of challenging. He has a proven ability to go the distance and fight hard along the way. He’s not a great hitter but he’s very strong and his chin, if not concrete, is solid. He’ll get to Brewster late. Golota by KO in 10.

May 21 --: Paul Briggs (23-1, 17 KOs) vs. Tomasz Adamek (28-0, 20 KOs) vacant WBC light heavyweight title

What title are they fighting for? The WBC title you say. Didn’t we watch Antonio Tarver lose that title along with The Ring belt and every other meaningful championship to then IBF-champion Glencoffe Johnson? And of course Tarver and Johnson knocked-out all-everything Roy Jones. One of these men will walk out of the building with a title, but unless the victor faces someone named Johnson or Tarver this is a nothing title. I, like almost all of the rest of the world, do not know either of these guys. No pick.


Blogger Mac said...

Hey, this is a nice blog you have going. I have been searching for other fellow boxing bloggers. I will post a link from to your blog.

10:13 AM  
Blogger curlygc said...

Hey JE! I've finally got my Castillo/Corrales predictions up:

8:30 PM  

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