Fight Night Preview 28th Feb-1st March

By Steve Bateson on February 28, 2014
Fight Night Preview 28th Feb-1st March
Burns and Crawford collide in Glasgow for the WBO Lightweight Championship

Showtime- Friday 28th February

Mayweather promotions is presenting this show out of New York tonight with two of the stable’s most promising talents in action.

J’Leon Love (16-0 with 9 KO’s) takes on Vladine Biosse in a ten round super middleweight contest. Love is moving up in weight for this one, after competing at 160 lbs, and it will be certainly interesting to see how he deals with the change of division. His opponent shouldn’t cause him too much trouble and a victory seems inevitable, but how will Love fare when he steps up his level of competition?

Badou Jack (16-0-1 with 11 KO’s) is likely to face Britian’s James DeGale in a final eliminator for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard but he faces a tune up this evening against the durable Derek Edwards. Edwards went nine rounds with Matt Korobov in his last outing before succumbing to the pressure. I expect a similar outcome this time around. Jack has fast hands and good combinations, when he wants to, and should have more than enough to impress the fans ahead of his big fight in May.

HBO- Saturday 1st March

Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr and Brian Vera collide in a re-match to headline this bill from San Antonio, Texas. It was last September when these two first clashed and although Chavez (47-1-1 with 32 KO’s) got the UD after ten rounds the general consensus was that Vera (23-7 with 14 KO’s) had done more than enough to secure the victory. A win for Chavez Jnr, the betting option, will likely propel him into position to challenge the WBC Super Middleweight Champion later this year whilst Vera will fall back in line as a perennial gatekeeper to aspiring superstars. Chavez Jnr is not even a quarter as talented as his father and his dedication to the sport is highly questionable, however, his chin is strong and he has power in both hands so I expect him to grind Vera down this time around. Vera is a good boxer but he isn’t likely to wobble his larger opponent and a points victory is unlikely as well. Look for a stoppage in rounds eight or nine.

The co-main event represents a chance for a new piece of history to be made as Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0 with 1 KO) looks to become the man to win a world championship in the fastest time when he challenges WBO Featherweight Champion, Orlando Salido. Lomachenko has a glittering amateur record and all the tools necessary to be a star in the pro ranks but Salido, the wily veteran, will not just roll over and surrender his strap. Lomachenko will look to work the body from the outset and befuddle his opponent with his punch variation whilst Salido will do what he always does; look for a fight. This should be a great battle but my pick is for Lomachenko to etch his name in the history books with a late stoppage.

The undercard:

Juan Diaz looks to move back into Lightweight title contention against Gerardo Robles whilst there are outings for undefeated prospects: Oscar Valdez, Ivan Najera, Jose Zepeda, Alex Saucedo and Jerren Cochran.

Sky Sports- Saturday March 1st

The WBO Lightweight Championship is on the line in the main event of this Matchroom show as champion, Ricky Burns (36-2-1 with 11 KO’s) battles the undefeated challenger, Terence Crawford (22-0 with 16 KO’s). Burns has the hometown advantage, fighting in Glasgow, but he is coming back after suffering a broken jaw against Raymundo Beltran in his last contest so it will be intriguing to see if he fights with any caution. Burns was fortunate to hold onto his championship against Beltran and he will need a big performance to ward off the challenge of the very talented switch-hitter from Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford is very fast, varies his angles well, and has the ability to hurt opponents when the chance arises so Burns will need to keep busy and mix up his own work to keep Crawford guessing. This should be a great battle, likely to go the distance, with my pick edging Crawford to leave as the new champion.

The undercard:

John Murray (32-2 with 19 KO’s) is on the comeback trail and in his way stands the battle-hardened John Simpson (25-10 with 11 KO’s). This one has fight of the night written all over it with two men who have no concept of when to back up and rest on their boxing abilities. This will be a war and Murray is likely to be the winner with a late stoppage. It would be nice to see Murray against fellow Mancunian, Anthony Crolla or the winner of Gary Sykes-Liam Walsh later in the summer.

Anthony Joshua (4-0 with 4 KO’s) continues his learning in the Heavyweight division against Hector Avila whilst Anthony Ogogo (4-0 with 2 KO’s) will carry on his progress at 160lbs; these two are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Boxnation- Saturday 1st March

It is the trilogy fight between WBO Super Middleweight Champion, Robert Stieglitz (46-3 with 26 KO’s) and his challenger “King” Arthur Abraham (38-4 with 28 KO’s). The two men swapped victories and the belt in the last two years but it was Stieglitz’s victory in March that was most significant; becoming the first man to stop Abraham after brutalising him for three rounds. Abraham has significantly slowed and his dominant years at Middleweight are well behind him so the prediction here is for Stieglitz to inflict yet another defeat upon his Armenian-born opponent. Stieglitz is a good boxer and should be able to move in and out whenever the mood takes him, easing him to a points victory, although if he turns up the pressure there is no reason why he couldn’t stop Abraham once again. “King” Arthur has the power to change a fight so Stieglitz will have to be wary but I expect he will have more than enough to pull the win off. Unification bouts or bigger paydays could beckon for Stieglitz later in the year if he is successful.

Channel 5- Saturday March 1st

James DeGale (17-1 with 11 KO’s) will also warm up for his final eliminator for the WBC Title on Saturday night when he faces unbeaten Gevorg Khatchikian (20-0 with 8 KO’s). DeGale’s opposition has been nothing short of uninspiring and this fight will be no different. I expect him to toy with Khatchikian and force a stoppage if and when he feels like. With a world championship match around the corner DeGale should be facing opponents who are actually going to test him, not some hand-picked unknown to add another win to his ledger.

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