Friday, February 13, 2009

HBO Triple-Header Predictions

Here are some predictions from The Boxing Bulletin regarding the triple-header this Saturday night. Despite all the troubles this card has seen, it looks like all three fights will go on as planned.

Sergio Martinez is a bit one-dimensional, (he doesn't seem to have much else than a jab and a straight left hand), and he would likely get roughed up by a solid pressure fighter. I just don't think Kermit Cintron is the man to exploit Martinez' limitations. I look for Martinez to survive some rough patches and use a busy jab along with swift foot work to win a 116-112 type decision.

Cosme Rivera is a normally durable fighter who, in my opinion, deserved a decision over Joel Julio. He further proved his status as a potential spoiler against prospects when he dropped and badly hurt Andre Berto in the following bout, so I'd be excited about this fight if he had a full camp geared towards Alfredo Angulo. Unfortunately, he had just five days worth of prep, and as it is, we have a career jr. welterweight/ welterweight being thrown in at the last minute against a strong, jr. middleweight knockout artist. I'm not sure of the particulars of what he was doing before he got the call to face Angulo, so he could be more prepared than I anticipate. But all signs point to Cosme being knocked out between rounds six and ten.

Most of us haven't seen any footage of Ali Funeka beyond the Zahir Raheem fight. That fight alone, however, told us that Ali is a bad man. Showing considerable power in knocking down Raheem almost at will, he certainly has a chance at upsetting the lightweight champion Nate Campbell.

A point of concern is that, at least on record, he has struggled every time he was involved in a fight that went 12 rounds. I expect Nate Campbell to thrash Funeka's body almost exclusively in the early rounds before moving up to the head. Funeka will keep it competitive in the first half of the bout, but I see Campbell sweeping the second half to win by scores of 117-111.

-Michael Nelson

Cosme Rivera is a very tough gate keeper that usually falls a division down from where he is fighting Angulo, and we haven’t seen him step up since the Berto fight. Rivera will give Alfred some good rounds but the size, skill and power will be too much. Angulo TKO6

For my money, Sergio Martinez & Kermit Cintron is the most interesting fight on the card. I think people may be getting a bit caught up in a win over Bunema and Sergio is a new prospect, not a young one. I think the style aspect favors Cintron and I doubt the rise in weight will hurt him at all. It may help him. Expect Martinez to box well and Kermit to press the fight. It may be more tactical than people expect and I see Cintron pulling out a very close decision.

Funeka can bang, but he hasn’t faced a chin like Nate’s. Look for the South African to come out early and set the pace behind his length and using his powerful right hand. It seems like Nate hasn’t had a fight in a decade, so some ring rust is to be expected. I wouldn’t be at all surprised with an upset here, but I’m guessing that lanky frame leaves too many openings for Campbell’s body attack, and as a result he stops Funeka in ten.

- Mark Lyons

Nate's got to be hungry to get back in the ring. I don't expect him to be very polite to this guy, but I think he might be in trouble, here. Funeka is a very tall fighter, who looks to be educated and strong. And unlike Diaz, he's not just going to walk right to the older man all night. It should be a close fight, either way. I think I'll go with the underdog in this one.

The style match here, is a terrific one. Cosme has been off since Summer, so you have to question his fitness going into this one such short notice. That will probably cause him to be stopped in about 10 rounds, but he'll land his share before he fizzles out. Angulo is very hittable. This fight is better than the one that was originally scheduled.

Not really sure what's gonna happen here. Martinez should get off first all night. Cintron could catch him along the way and end things. I think that if Kerm wins, he does it while behind on the cards. I guess I'll go with Martinez by decision. He may have to get off the canvas.

-Lee Payton


Lee Payton said...

This is exactly the kinda fight card you DON'T bet on. Last minute changes, guys not making weight, unknown opponents...

Anything can happen.

At the very least, I think this Funeka guy is going to make Nate look ordinary. Unless he just can't take a shot.

But I gotta say, watching him on film, his stance is very similar to...ok take a deep breath...

Bernard Hopkins.

Mark Lyons said...

Nate doesn't look real dried out. I'm guessing they realized he wasn't going to make weight and decided to stay strong and look for an impressive performance.

Everything is on the line for campbell tonight.

Andy said...

I'm looking forward to Campbell and Funeka. Don't have a clue what's going to happen though.