Friday, March 6, 2009

HBO BAD Predictions: Kirkland vs Julio, Ortiz vs Arnaoutis, Guerrero vs Yordan

Like just about every boxing fan out there, The Boxing Bulletin writers can't wait for tomorrow night's HBO Boxing After Dark main event between James Kirkland (pictured right) and Joel Julio. Neither fighter is shy about mixing it up, and both have the ability to end matters early. Don't miss a second of this one, because we're in for guaranteed fireworks.

Here are our predictions for the headline match-up, along with the two attractive under-card bouts on what should be a great night of boxing.

Photos © Ray Kasprowicz

James Kirland 153.5 vs Joel Julio 154
"I'm picking Julio by stoppage. Kirkland is just too wide open, and he'll eventually get caught. The two fighters that Julio's come up short against, Quintana and Dzinziruk presented him with finesse issues he won't have to worry about against Kirkland. I also don't think Kirkland is that big of a puncher, he's just really strong." - Lee Payton

"Julio-Kirkland's a wild card in which both men are going to be hurt or down within the first three rounds. While Kirkland has more physical gifts, I favor Julio to pull off the upset for a couple of reasons:

1) He's far more seasoned, being in tough distance fights against a high level of opposition. He does fade in the later rounds, which favors Kirkland in a war of attrition, but I don't expect it to last that long.

2) Kirkland loves running head first into straight right hands. Julio has straightened his right as his career has progressed, and managed to catch the slippery Sergiy Dzinziruk with a number of them. I'm not sure how long Kirkland can catch right hands from Julio without falling for good.

So I figure it's going to be Julio early or Kirkland late, and in this type of slug fest, early beats late. Julio by KO in rounds 4-6." - Michael Nelson

"I have never been very impressed with Julio. His punches are telegraphed and he doesn't take a great shot. I think he will land and it should be explosive until Kirkland catches and finishes him. My guess is sooner, rather than later." - Mark Lyons

"I'm picking Kirkland. I just have a feeling he's the stronger man, with the ability to take more, but I'm hardly confident about that assessment and surprised the odds are slanted so heavily in his favour." - Andrew Fruman

Victor Ortiz 140 vs Mike Arnaoutis 140
"Arnaoutis has some qualities to give Ortiz trouble. But he has never been active enough to close the show. I think this is the closest fight of the night. Ortiz takes an 8-4 type decision in a very valuable learning experience." - Mark Lyons

"Victor Ortiz and Mike Arnaoutis are both physically talented, but Ortiz has more of a fighter's mentality. I think that mentality will carry him to a fairly close decision in a good fight. I expect him to get stunned at least once." - Michael Nelson

"Ortiz has been blowing guys out, but none of them are close to being at Mighty Mike's level, and this should be a good barometer of just how good Vicious Victor is. I think Ortiz will pass this test convincingly, but be extended the full distance." - Andrew Fruman

Robert Guerrero 130 vs Daud Yordan 129.5
"From the ten minutes of footage I've seen of Daud Cino Yordan, he looks like he has enough offensive skills to touch up Robert Guerrero some. The kid's also aggressive, so it should be an entertaining fight. His defense falls a bit short for me to be confident that he'll last 10 rounds. If he's tough enough to overcome his defensive liabilities, Guerrero might be in for a rough night. I'll say Robert by late round KO or competitive decision in a fight where Yordan gains a lot of fans." - Michael Nelson

Check out Michael Nelson's full preview of tomorrow night's show.


dread said...

I hope you guys keep a running tally. Would hate to see all these crappy picks go to waste.