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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Boxing Picks July 23rd- Amir Khan v Zab Judah

I haven't made any boxing picks since the Bernard Hopkins win over Jean Pascal as I haven't really found the value I have been looking for, but I feel tonight there may be a couple of plays to make.

In the UK, we have the big British dust-up between Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora, with the added incentive that the winner is likely to be propelled into a World Title fight against Wladimir Klitschko.

Later, we have the Light-Welterweight Unification bout between Amir Khan and Zab Judah out in Las Vegas in the early hours of the morning. This fight is being screened on pay-per-view by Primetime, a little known channel in the UK, after Sky showed little interest in the bout. I actually think that is a fallout from the previous Khan fight with Paul McCloskey which failed to sell enough pay-per-view packages on Sky Box Office that the Khan management decided to move to Primetime.

Both fights tonight are significant and I am hopeful both will be ones to rememeber.

Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora
Both fighters have similar records coming- both are 14-0, Fury having 1 more knockout on his resume than Chisora.

Fury has wins over John McDermott (twice) while Chisora effectively ended Danny Williams career and beat Sam Sexton (twice).

Neither has been very active of late- Fury has fought just once in 2011 while Chisora has not fought since September last year as Wladimir Klitschko pulled out of two fights that had been scheduled through injury.

The key to the fight is how well Chisora can defend against the boxing ability of the much taller Fury. For his 6 foot 9 size, Fury is not really a concussive puncher and I actually believe Chisora is the bigger hitter in the contest.

It will also be interesting to note what kind of tactics the teams employ. Chisora has a low centre of gravity and I am sure he will look to get on the inside early and try and get the job done. A big concern must be the fact that Chisora has never gone beyond the 9th Round, and he reached that in his last fight with Sexton.

In saying that, Chisora did look a little knackered in that fight before finding a huge punch that was the beginning of the end for Sexton. It is interesting to note that Sexton's camp believed their man was just about to win if he could have taken it to one more round.

Neither man likes one another but that doesn't always lead to a dust-up and I have a feeling Tyson Fury will look to use his size effectively and keep Chisora off by throwing plenty of jabs and maybe trying to walk the smaller man onto a bigger punch.

I can see the early rounds maybe seeing a bit more action but then stamina issues effecting Chisora as he is dragged into rounds he is not used to competing in. Fury may just end this one late, but I would stick with my original thinking and pick Fury to take the win on points.

I'll look for the scorecards to read 116-112 in favour of the underdog.

Amir Khan v Zab Judah
Reading and listening to the British press and you could be forgiven for thinking this is a gimme fight for Amir Khan as he continues on his collision course with Floyd Mayweather next Summer.

But don't be fooled- Judah is a slick boxer with plenty of power and speed and even at 33 I expect him to cause problems. His southpaw stance only makes it possible for him to throw shots from angles that opponents dont see coming.

He was one of the brightest prospects in boxing in his early days and it looked like Zab Judah was going to follow his idol Mike Tyson by becoming the next truly big thing out of Brooklyn.

In 2001 he suffered a crushing defeat to Kostya Tszyu in the 2nd Round of a unification fight and that remains his sole defeat at Light-Welter.

Judah seems to always come up a little short in his biggest fights as defeats to the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Tszyu showed. However, he did record a huge win over Cory Spinks to become the undisputed Welterweight Champion of the World, albeit in 2005.

He has grown up and matured recently and now knows this is his final shot at the big time. Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whittaker was brought in as a trainer and Judah has looked decent in his last 2 fights and is definitely a live dog in this one.

Amir Khan reinvented himself after a crushing loss to Breidas Prescott and is now in line for the biggest year in his life if he can overcome Judah. Freddy Roach has worked wonders with Khan but there are still some unresolved issues that could lead to his downfall.

Khan has plenty of speed and power, but his footwork remains poor and his movement seems restricted to straight lines. That is bad news against a fighter that has the speed and power to hit from awkward angles and there is a real chance Khan is caught with a punch he doesnt even see coming.

The British fighter has not fought anyone of the speed and power combined that Judah brings to the ring and his victories since the Prescott defeat have come against fighters that are fairly one-dimensional.

The biggest win was last December when he just about beat Marcos Maidana, but there was a real stage in that fight where it looked like Khan was going to be stopped.

I just cant help thinking the British bookmakers have completely and utterly disregarded Judah at the  prices being offered. It is clear that Judah is not the same name as a Mayweather and Pacquaio in England, but anyone who follows boxing will know how dangerous he is and what he can do.

I may be holding out hope for Judah to land something a little special, but he has the speed to throw a punch from an awkward angle and hurt Khan with 'the one he doesnt see coming', the most dangerous punch in boxing.

I'm going to go for the upset in this one.

MY PICKS: Tyson Fury to win on points @ 5.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Zab Judah @ 5.00 BetFred (1 Unit)


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