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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Boxing Picks 2017- Mikey Garcia vs Adrien Broner (July 29th)

I've said it before and I will say it again- 2017 has been a wonderful year for Boxing with some huge fights being signed and yet another big fight takes place this weekend when Mikey Garcia is set to move up in weight to face 'The Problem' Adrien Broner.

It's a far closer fight than most initially expected and headlines at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, while back in the United Kingdom Carl Frampton returns from his first professional defeat to try and get back into a position to fight for a World Title. Whether that is against Lee Selby or a third fight with Leo Santa Cruz remains to be seen, but it does make for another interesting night of boxing.

Of course we are also less than a month away from Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor which is the fight that has captured the imagination of the casual fan. I still don't see anything but a comfortable win for 49-0 Mayweather, but that is a story for another day.

By that time we may also know who Anthony Joshua is going to take on next with the leading contender looking to be a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko under the bright lights of Las Vegas. That could be a special night in November, although there has been little sound coming from the Ukrainian who has yet to officially exercise his rematch clause.

That was supposed to be announced in June, yet here we are in July where Eddie Hearn and AJ continue working towards holding the event in Las Vegas. Cardiff is also being held as a back up in case Klitschko decides to call it a day and then it will be Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev who is the current mandatory for the IBF Title Joshua holds.

Any fight with Tyson Fury looked to move further away when the former Champion announced yet another retirement this past week, although I still think Fury will return for that mega-fight that won't happen before the summer of 2018 anyway.

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin continues to come forward at a pace and the very interesting World Boxing Super Series will also begin in September and the potential for some huge fights over the next ten months in that tournament too. All in all, Boxing looks to be in a wonderful place.

It isn't just the boxing fights that will have my attention on Saturday night as we see the long awaited rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier in the UFC. These two legitimately don't like one another and it really is the fight that will determine the best Light-Heavyweight in the UFC and makes for another intriguing fight. That one will be on record and I will catch up Sunday morning with my main attention being on the boxing on Saturday night.

Carl Frampton vs Andres Gutierrez
The return of 'The Jackal' will make for a big occasion for the Northern Irish fans who have followed their hero to the United States for two huge nights over the last twelve months.

Many would have hoped this was going to be the third of a mooted trilogy with Leo Santa Cruz, but the latter decided he didn't want to do it at Windsor Park and so Andres Gutierrez has been picked for the 'homecoming' fight.

Any time you get in the ring with a Mexican is not going to be an easy night though and Frampton will need to be at his best. Winning this fight opens the door to the potential rubber fight with Santa Cruz or for a huge domestic fight with Lee Selby, but a second consecutive loss would be tough for Frampton to recover from.

Like many from his nation, including Canelo Alvarez, Gutierrez started life as a professional when he was very young and at 24 years old he has had more Knock Out wins than Frampton has had fights. You do have to respect that Gutierrez is likely to be tough and rugged like the late Alejandro Gonzalez Jr proved to be when dropping Frampton twice in Texas when they fought two years ago.

Like Gonzalez Jr, the Gutierrez resume is not one that is littered with too many known fighters and he was beaten by Cristian Mijares on a Majority Decision when stepping up to face an opponent who had fought at world level before. The biggest win is probably the Unanimous Decision over Ray Perez, but that doesn't exactly mean he is cut it to beat Frampton in front of a raucous home support.

Gutierrez is the taller fighter and has a considerable reach advantage which may make life a little more awkward for Frampton. While the Frampton team are talking about him being ready to make a real statement, stopping Gutierrez won't be easy and it may come down to the scorecards again.

Five of the last six Frampton fights have gone the distance and he has won four of those. You would imagine he is going to be given credit for any really close Rounds and I will be looking for Frampton to likely win this one with a Unanimous Decision.

I am just not convinced Frampton has the punching power to stop Gutierrez who will be looking to make his mark on the big stage and unlikely to allow the Mexican spirit to waver. There is always a fear that the referee could get involved, but I think this will be a close enough fight to see all 12 Rounds completed and Frampton to earn the Decision by around 116-112.

The weight issue shouldn't be of huge concern as it feels like an error from Frampton rather than an issue that may be longer term.

EDIT: This fight has been called off after Andres Gutierrez suffered a freak accident the day before the scheduled fight.

Jarrell Miller vs Gerald Washington
There is a lot of hype around Jarrell Miller which 'Big Baby' has contributed to by calling out the very top names in the Heavyweight Division. The 29 year old will be fighting in front of his home fans on Saturday night and has a chance to put together a statement win over Gerald Washington who was last beaten by Deontay Wilder.

The 5th Round Knock Out showed that Washington has some way to go to win a World Title, but he was boxing well before the big punch landed. That may mean his resistance is a question mark when facing an opponent like Miller who has stopped 16 opponents in his 18 wins.

It has been almost a year since Miller was last in the ring though and I think that could be an issue if he is not able to get Washington out early as he has been suggesting. While Miller wants to win this one in quicker fashion than Wilder to put his name out there as a future World Title challenger, I can see a situation develop where tiredness becomes a factor.

No matter how many Rounds of sparring have been completed, boxing a real fight is a much different story. Washington hasn't exactly been active, but he did have that fight with Wilder where he would have learned he can box with a World Champion and have success, which was highlighted in the cards at the time of the stoppage.

We saw Dominic Breazeale bounce back from his World Title defeat to Anthony Joshua with a solid win as the underdog, and I think Washington may be able to produce the upset. I will be looking for Washington to avoid the threatening Miller early in the fight and perhaps out box him when Miller begins to get tired as he surely will at some point.

Scoring Knock Outs is what the Heavyweight Division is all about, so you can't ignore the fact that Washington may be able to put Miller away, but I think the tactic will be to out box him. Being 'away from home' makes going for a Decision a risky move, but I can see Miller being frustrated if he hasn't got rid of Washington early and ring rust to take over.

Of course Washington may be someone whose whiskers could struggle when tested again, but having a small interest in the underdog to win this one on a Decision could prove to be a big price.

Jermall Charlo vs Jorge Sebastian Heiland
The move to Middleweight begins for Jermall Charlo who will be fighting at his heaviest weight in his professional career on Saturday. The door has been opened for the unbeaten former Super Welterweight World Champion who will be in line to face the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin super-fight in September.

He faces a rugged Argentinian in his first fight at this weight and Jorge Sebastian Heiland will be hoping to spoil the party. However it is his more natural weight compared with Charlo, although it does feel like the American is going to grow into this weight easy enough with the height and reach to be dangerous.

The question will be about the punching power and whether that also makes it way up the weights. Seventeen of Charlo's last nineteen fights have ended inside the distance, but Heiland has never been stopped and this is not going to be easy for Charlo.

However I think Heiland has not really fought at this level and this feels like a coming out party for Charlo at Middleweight and potentially set up a huge fight with the winner of Canelo-Triple G in 2018. It might take some time to break down someone with the experience Heiland has, but I can see Charlo potentially working his way into a position to earn the stoppage as we reach the second half of the fight.

It may even take the referee or the corner to pull Heiland from the punishment the longer the fight goes, but eventually I expect to see Charlo in that position. Heiland is tough, like many from Argentina tend to be, but this is a chance for Charlo to 'steal the show' as he has been promising and I can see him showing off the power from the Super Welterweight level as a fully fledged Middleweight and earn a stoppage later in this fight.

A small interest in Charlo getting it done in the second half of the fight is worth taking here. Backing that to happen between 7-9 Rounds looks to be worth a small interest.

Mikey Garcia vs Adrien Broner
As soon as this fight was announced, I was really intrigued by it and why the two fighters had decided to go in this direction.

It felt like both Mikey Garcia and Adrien Broner could have headed elsewhere than taking on what looks like arguably the biggest challenge of their careers. That especially feels the case for Garcia in all honesty with Broner having tangled with the likes of Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana and I was a little surprised that 'The Problem' has been written off by many when the fight was announced.

A lot of that has to do with a 'lazy' attitude and perhaps not being very likeable with the hope that Broner will lose and allow Garcia to move on to better things. However Broner has looked good in making weight and I really think he can surprise the oddsmakers with a career best performance that once again makes him a big name.

Broner is a name, but his recent struggles in and out of the ring has reduced the appeal and he is coming in as the 'B' side of this promotion. That does mean he might be unfavoured in tight Rounds which is a concern, but Broner has shown toughness and I am not sure Garcia will be able to hit as hard as the likes of Maidana who put Broner down twice in his win over the American.

You can't always be sure what kind of frame of mind Broner will turn up in, but I think he will be the bigger man on the night and Garcia might find him a little awkward. If Broner is feeling up to the task, he can certainly give Garcia so many issues to resolve and I think there is every chance he is able to impose himself on this fight.

I really think it will be close, much closer than the layers seem to believe. I have been convinced by Broner's attitude leading up to the fight and him making the weight in the manner he did is a positive, while Broner doesn't look drained like many feared he could.

Being the 'B' side may mean Broner has to work a little more to win the Rounds than he is used to, but he has been in with some tough competition and I think that shows up here. Broner needs this fight more than Garcia who can go back down a weight and put together some big fights, and I think that is something that makes a difference.

I can't imagine Broner doing enough to stop Garcia, but I can see him taking a tight Split Decision points win and I will back 'The Problem' to be find the answers in a Decision win.

MY PICKS: Gerald Washington By Decision/Technical Decision @ 6.00 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Jarmall Charlo Win Between 7-9 @ 6.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Adrien Broner By Decision/Technical Decision @ 7.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)

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