Featured post

Weekend Football Picks and Fantasy Football 2020 (February 8-17)

The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Boxing Picks 2019- Errol Spence Jr vs Shawn Porter (September 28th)

We are now entering the final three months of the 2019 calendar year and in Boxing terms that does mean the 'second half' of the season when the cards come thick and fast weekend after weekend.

The really big cards begin on the final Saturday of September with a Unification fight in the loaded Welterweight Division as Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter look to put themselves just two belts from being Undisputed in a very tough Division.

The third of those belts is held by Manny Pacquiao and him being an in-house fighter means we are very likely to be in a position to see the winner of Spence Jr-Porter taking on the the Filipino legend in the early part of 2020. Personally I don't think Pacquiao really wants anything to do with Spence Jr, but it might be the only avenue for him without dropping the belt and hopefully in twelve months time we will be looking forward to Terence Crawford taking on the winner of this mini-tournament.

With Boxing I won't hold my breath, but for now I am looking forward to a decent looking card coming from Los Angeles.

The Boxing Picks have not been as strong as 2018 thanks to a poor run of form and the last selection was Sergey Kovalev beating Anthony Yarde on points. It got close before Yarde ran out of steam having emptied his tank to almost stop the Champion and he was eventually stopped in the Eleventh Round.

I have a very slight profit for the 2019 season, but it has been tough sledging of late and I am looking for much better in the 'second half' of the year.

Josesito Lopez vs John Molina Jr
Just take a look through some of the names in the 147 Division and you will see how difficult it is going to be for people to get into a position to win World Titles considering the Champions in the Welterweight Division.

This is something of a crossroads fight for Josesito Lopez and John Molina Jr as the two friends put that aside and look to move into a position to have one more really big bout.

Both Lopez and Molina have won thirty plus fights in their careers while also suffering eight defeats as they have just found a ceiling to their talent. The losses have come against some top level names, but Lopez has been given another chance after getting very close to stopping Keith Thurman back in January which would have derailed the then unbeaten Champion from his big fight with Manny Pacquiao.

John Molina Jr was beaten the next month by Omar Figueroa and you have to believe the losing fighter is going to have to contemplate retirement. Neither is a young fighter in terms of age or miles on the clock and I don't think either is going to be the same out of this Ten Rounder in which I expect both Molina and Lopez to stand in the middle of the ring and refuse to take a backwards step.

There is a lot on the line for both with the winner potentially being moved back into a position to fight for a World Title. For some veterans it might mean being a little more cautious to make sure you can put the win on the board, but I think Lopez and Molina Jr can only really fight one way and they are looking to entertain the fans.

I think it will be a tough fight and both have shown they can hold their own, but they have faced some stoppages too. Whether the other hits hard enough to do the same in this one is not clear, but I do think Molina Jr in particular might have lost some of the punch resistance and I am favouring Lopez to win the fight.

However I can't completely dismiss Molina Jr's chances because he does have a big shot in the locker that can change the fight in his direction. He might have some early successes, but I think Josesito Lopez will begin to wear him down and start finding some openings with both hands being let go.

The smart play has to be the favourite winning this one on the cards in the shortened Ten Rounder, but I think Lopez might be able to put a flurry together to get this done within the distance. Both won't have to go looking for the other and I think Lopez can put enough together in the second half of the fight to get the referee or the corner to jump in for a tough Molina Jr who will want to end this by going out on his shield.

Mario Barrios vs Batyr Akhmedov
If you judge on prices alone, this is the most competitive fight at the Staples Center on Saturday as Mario Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov put unbeaten records on the line to win a vacant World Title in the 140 pound Division.

The winning fighter will be in a position to go into some huge fights in the months ahead in a loaded Division that is going to have a clear Number 1 when the Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor bout is completed at the end of October.

Barrios has moved up the Divisions and the decision has looked a good one as he seems to have brought some power up to the Light Welterweight ranks. The American has stopped the last eight opponents he has faced, but this is a different sort of test against someone who has amateur experience and a team that clearly feels Akhmedov is ready to take the next step in his career as he goes in for a Title in his eighth professional fight.

Both have a couple of good looking wins on the resume which has to be respected, but I have to really like the way Barrios was able to beat Juan Jose Velasco. He stopped Velasco in the Second Round which is six Rounds quicker than Regis Prograis was able to do it and Barrios clearly has some pop.

The fact that Akhmedov has been put down has to be a concern too and Barrios has the height and length to really work his way into a strong position in this fight. I expect there will be some caution early on, but Barrios may begin to turn the screw the deeper we get into this fight and it might be a step too much at this stage of his career for the Russian.

I do always have to have respect for Eastern European fighters who have a decent amateur career when they head into the pro ranks, especially those who seem to be comfortable going in for World honours very early on in their careers. The team clearly believes in Akhmedov and this is the 'easiest' way to win a World Title when facing off for a vacant belt, but I think Mario Barrios is set to keep his good times rolling and be in line for some big fights in the next twelve months.

A small interest in Barrios being able to close the show inside the distance is the play and I see that coming in the second half of this fight as his length begins to judge the distances better between him and Akhmedov. A late stoppage from the ref or the corner is the play.

Anthony Dirrell vs David Benavidez
This was a World Title that David Benavidez held before being stripped of it after using recreational drugs, but he can return to the ranks of World Champion by beating current holder Anthony Dirrell.

The Champion was perhaps a little fortunate to get away with the Title in his hands in the win over Avni Yildirim which saw the fight ending on a Technical Decision after Dirrell received a cut. He looked to be tiring in that fight and it was very close on the cards at the time of referee going to the cards.

Talk of retirement is never a good thing for a Boxer and I do wonder if the veteran has enough to hold off a young, hungry fighter in David Benavidez. The fact this is for a Title that he did not lose in the ring should be motivation enough as Benavidez looks to move towards the top of the Super Middleweight Division which has some quality operators involved in it.

Anthony Dirrell is on a five fight winning run which has to be respected and I do think he is a tougher fighter than his brother. Andre Dirrell is a slick Boxer, but I always felt he would look for a short way out of fights when the going got tough, but that is not the way Anthony Dirrell has operated and I do think he will give his all for as long as he is in the ring.

You don't want to judge a fighter by his last performance, but I do think Dirrell at 34 years old and with a single bout in eighteen months is ripe for the taking. He looked like he was doing just enough to beat Yildirim which suggests he may have concerns about his gas tank the longer this fight goes on and I do think David Benavidez is going to make him work and can wear down the veteran.

This is not a deep resume which makes it hard to know how much pop Benavidez has, but the stoppage of Rogelio Medina looks a good one considering he went the distance with James DeGale and Caleb Plant, the latter after he had already been stopped by Benavidez.

Stopping Anthony Dirrell won't be easy and I am not sure Benavidez will do it with a pure Knock Out- however I can see a situation where the younger and more motivated fighter is putting too much on the veteran where the referee or the corner perhaps steps in with the fight getting away from their man.

There were times in the bout with Yildirim where it felt like the younger man was getting a lot of pressure on Anthony Dirrell and I think that will be key to the outcome of this fight. David Benavidez will be looking to take his title with  statement win and I will back him to win this in the second half of the fight as he wears down a Boxer who has retirement firmly on the mind.

Errol Spence Jr vs Shawn Porter
This might not be the fight that most Boxing fans want to see in the Welterweight Division the most, but I do think there is plenty to like about Errol Spence Jr versus Shawn Porter. It is a Unification for starters and we will get that much closer to a potentially Undisputed fight in one of the glamour Divisions in Boxing over the next twelve months.

I am very high on Errol Spence Jr and I honestly feel he is the best fighter in the Division- the shut out of Mikey Garcia might have been against an ultimately overmatched opponent, but there were plenty of voices out there that thought Garcia would win and Spence Jr ended up winning pretty much every Round and was one or two punches away from stopping a durable and tough fighter.

Some may have questioned the power Spence Jr possesses having failed to stop an opponent who came up a couple of Divisions for the challenge, but I am not one of those. Mikey Garcia was in survival mode from very early on and he is a savvy enough Boxer to know how to get through the Rounds without being hurt, although even then he was close to being pulled out.

Shawn Porter seems like a genuinely nice bloke so I can always root for someone like that, but I can't help feel he is overmatched in almost every department. This is a fighter who has been used to taking on bigger men than himself, but Porter has never really come close to being stopped and his amateur experience can't be disregarded, but I don't see which tactics he can employ to hold off a Boxer that I consider to be elite.

Errol Spence Jr has the size and the power to either box his way to a Decision or to go on and stop a Porter trying to close the gap. The favourite has suggested he is going to push for a statement stoppage, but I do think the most sensible outcome to predict is backing Spence Jr to win on points.

However I do tend to believe that a stoppage could come for Spence Jr in this one if Porter does really believe he has a chance to win this fight. Unlike Garcia, I am expecting Porter to try and close the gap and find a way to turn the tide on the momentum of the fight and doing that will give the southpaw Spence Jr the chance to time him coming in and hurt Porter.

I think that is something we will see in the final three or four Rounds and Spence Jr will be looking to close the show in spectacular style. Shawn Porter is good enough to make it interesting early as he tries to rough up Errol Spence Jr, but I expect the latter to begin to warm to his task around the halfway stage and then he will push on and begin to really settle into his punches.

The toughness of Porter can't be underestimate at all and he has given many opponents fits when he is at his best. I just feel there are some miles on the clock and Spence Jr might be the biggest puncher he has faced and I am looking for a small interest in the IBF Champion to pick up both belts on the line and really make a statement to everyone at 147 and 154 about his intentions.

MY PICKS: Josesito Lopez Win Between 6-10 @ 5.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Mario Barrios Win Between 7-12 @ 5.50 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
David Benavidez Win Between 7-12 @ 3.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Errol Spence Jr Win Between 7-12 @ 5.00 Sky Bet (1 Unit)

Boxing 2019: 19-37, + 0.87 Units (87 Units Staked, + 1% Yield)

No comments:

Post a comment