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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Boxing Picks 2017- Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington (February 25th)

It is a big night of Heavyweight Boxing across the pond in Alabama as Deontay Wilder makes his return from an injury lay off.

Before that Gavin McDonnell looks to become the latest World Champion from Great Britain in a card in Hull, although he is the underdog in that fight.

Gavin McDonnell vs Rey Vargas
This is a big fight that headlines the card in Hull as Gavin McDonnell tries to match the achievement of his twin brother Jamie by becoming a World Champion. Have no doubt it is going to be a big test for McDonnell against the heavy-handed Rey Vargas although I don't think either fighter has been in with someone as good as they face on Saturday.

That alone makes it difficult to get a real read on whether one or the other has yet to be truly tested like you can see when other fights are put together.

Home advantage is important for McDonnell, but he is going to be facing someone with the power and height and reach advantage and I do think it is going to be very difficult for the underdog. He is someone who has shown heart in his fights and the ability to pace himself to the point of having plenty in the tank for the latter stages of a fight, but McDonnell has to try and frustrate Vargas and hope he can take the power shots that will be landed by the Champion.

People will point to McDonnell's win over Jorge Sanchez as proof he can bridge the gap in this one, but I am not convinced Sanchez is of the level that Vargas brings into the ring.

Only Vargas has been down before out of the two fighters, but I think the Mexican might just start finding his shots in the second half of the fight once he figures out his surroundings. It would be great to see McDonnell become the next World Champion from Great Britain, but I think Vargas may prove a little too tough and can earn a stoppage in the latter stages of the fight as his power is able to wear down McDonnell in the fight.

Dominic Breazeale vs Izuagbe Ugonoh
Dominic Breazeale makes his return to the boxing ring for the first time since being stopped by Anthony Joshua in Round 7 of their Heavyweight Title fight back in June 2016. The big American should be given some credit for being able to last as long as he did in that fight because Breazeale ate a lot of big shots before eventually being put away and this might already be seen as a fight to determine whether he is a contender or a gatekeeper in the Heavyweight Division.

The winner of this fight between Breazeale and Izuagbe Ugonoh could be positioned into a title shot in the coming months as the Heavyweight titles begin to be sorted out following Tyson Fury giving up the belts he worked so hard to win.

Ugonoh is trying to show that his potential can be turned into gold as the fighter representing Poland also looks to become the first World Heavyweight Champion from that nation. This is a chance to show he is more than just someone who has knocked over some of the tomato cans that have been put in front of him because I don't really think Breazeale is going to be someone that is capable of winning a World title.

That is no disrespect to Breazeale because he will likely do enough to position himself to earn another title shot at some time, but Ugonoh might have too much punching power for the American to handle.

None of the last five opponents that Ugonoh has faced have last beyond Round 4, but I do want to give Breazeale credit in saying that he will take a punch. Ugonoh has to be careful he doesn't punch himself out when he has Breazeale in trouble as Amir Mansour did in a defeat to the American.

The comparison will be with Anthony Joshua, but I think Ugonoh may have to wait a little while too with his own stoppage of Breazeale. I can see Breazeale taking a few shots on the way to wearing down and getting a little tired and I believe Ugonoh finishes the fight around the same time as Joshua did. However I will just simply look for Ugonoh to earn the win by a KO/TKO at odds against.

Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington
After hand and bicep injuries coming out of the fight with Chris Arreola, Deontay Wilder returns to the boxing ring with a real belief that 2017 will be the year for the big fights for him. The American has his fans, but some are questioning the standard of opponents even if Wilder has been a little unfortunate with a couple of fights that have fallen through because of his opponents testing positive for drug use.

Wilder is fun to watch with 36 of his 37 fights ending with a knock out and many of those have been highlight reel knock outs too. He has been trying to showcase his other skills too in some of his fights and that might be a reason that his last five fights have gone at least eight Rounds each.

His opponent might be raw and coming in as a replacement, but I fully expect Wilder to take his time with Gerald Washington and not allow the underdog to perhaps get off a lucky shot. Every Heavyweight fighter out there has a puncher's chance of winning a fight if they are underestimated and in reality that is the only way Washington is going to win is by finding a shot out of nothing.

Washington does have some decent names on his resume, but this is a huge step up from the fighters he has been in the ring with. He is a big man though and I think that will mean Wilder is going to take his time to work out what Washington is bringing to the ring before turning on the style as the fight wears on.

We all know the power that Wilder possesses and I do think he will end up knocking out Washington, but the fight may take a few Rounds to get going. The last four stoppages from Wilder have come in Round 9, 11, 9 and 8 and I will look for the WBC Champion to end this one in the second half of the fight as Washington tires and takes too many shots for the referee to step in.

MY PICKS: Rey Vargas Win Between 7-12 @ 4.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Izuagbe Ugonoh Win by KO/TKO @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units) 
Deontay Wilder Win Between 7-12 @ 2.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)

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