Boxing: Why Haye Destroys Fury & 9 Other Barn-Burners Analysed...
David Haye (26-2, 24 KO's) vs. Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KO's)
(non title fight) Heavyweights.
28th September, MEN Arena, Manchester, UK.
The two British heavyweights will square off this Fall in what sees former world champion Haye take on the undefeated 6ft 9” man-mountain that is, Tyson Fury. Never shy of words, the charismatic Fury has promised to “crush” Haye, referring to his September counterpart as nothing but a stepping stone to bigger things. Haye, usually the aggressor in pre fight trash-talk, took a more reserved approach during their press conference, laughing whilst Fury continued to clown him. If the fight has half as many fireworks as the build-up, it should be a memorable one.
David Haye:WIN (vs. Dereck Chisora, KO5)
Tyson Fury:WIN (vs. Steve Cunningham, KO7)
Fury has earned his shot at David Haye not just through his mouth, but legitimately through becoming a top 10 ranked heavyweight. With a significant height, weight and reach advantage on the Londoner, it isn't completely ridiculous to presume Tyson can win this one.
However, Haye is no stranger to fighting physically bigger guys, earning his world title in 2009 by defeating 7ft 2”, 23 stone champ Nikolai Valuev- even wobbling the giant's legs in the final round with a short left hook. Haye has real punching power, not just any punching power but pound-for-pound punching power, transitioning successfully from cruiserweight through to Heavyweight with only 2 of his career victories going the distance. With his agility and lateral movement, I see him being able to evade the jab, taking away the reach disadvantage and getting inside on Tyson, landing that trademark right hand. Fury, who was heavily dropped in his last fight against a career cruiserweight not regarded as a big puncher, won't be able to take Haye's power and will buckle under the first shot David really sits down on. I envision an emphatic knock-out win for the Bermondsey born fighter, and a cold dose of reality served to the brash Fury.
Haye by KO (early-to-mid rounds)
Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO's) vs. Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO's)
(WBC & The Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Titles)
28th September, Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada.
The light heavyweight division has seen somewhat of a surge in recent years, with all the top contenders and champions fighting each other in what has almost been a round robin-like tournament. On September 28th newly crowned WBC champ Adonis Stevenson will make the first defence of his title against the tough, rugged Tavoris Cloud.
Stevenson, who scored a devastating first round knock-out over Chad Dawson back in June, finds himself on the brink of stardom and will no doubt be looking to further impress the boxing fraternity with a win over the American.
Fresh off of suffering his first official defeat of his career to Bernard Hopkins, Cloud knows this may be his last chance at a world title. Prior to his recent defeat, Tavoris had looked less than dazzling in his very controversial win over Gabriel Campillo, in what most watching thought Cloud had clearly lost. However “styles make fights” as the saying goes, and Cloud's relentless, come-forward style should make for a fun fight this time out.
The winner of this bout will go on to fight British contender Tony Bellew, perhaps later in the year.
Adonis Stevenson: WIN (vs. Chad Dawson, KO1)
Tavoris Cloud:LOST (vs. Bernard Hopkins, UD)
Despite his last couple of disappointing displays, Cloud remains a threat to anybody at 175 lb's due to his sheer strength and aggressiveness. I expect him to bring the fight to Stevenson, pressuring him, looking to cut the ring off and land whatever he can. Arms, shoulders, chest – you name it, Tavoris will try to break down the champion.
Stevenson, who has the faster hands, will look to use his jab against the oncoming challenger and box in the early rounds, committing to power punches when an opening presents itself. Difficult not to see the more skilled fighter take this one, although Cloud will be game.
(Stevenson by Decision)
Carl Froch (31-2, 22 KO's) vs. George Groves (19-0, 15 KO's)
(IBF & WBA Super Middleweight Titles)
Date & Venue not yet specified.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has been brewing this stew for a while, and now it's official. The unified super middleweight champion Carl Froch will give fellow Brit George Groves his long awaited title shot when the two face off later this year. A win-win for Hearn, who promotes both fighters under his Matchroom banner, can rest assured after the fight he won't be losing a world champion from his stable.
Froch has seen his hard work over the years only recently pay off and fighting on Sky Sports has finally seen him capture the stardom and fanfare he feels he's always deserved. A real throwback kind of fighter, taking on all challengers, Froch has gained the boxing world’s respect from fighting the very best- and often going to their back yard in doing so. Although claiming to be in his prime, at 36 however, Carl has had his fair share of wars and it remains to be seen how he'll cope this time around against a younger, fresher, well-schooled opponent in George Groves.
Since defeating arch rival and Olympic gold medallist James DeGale, the undefeated Groves has revelled in being labelled one of Britain's most promising prospects. Fighting on high profile under-cards over in America, racking up knock-out wins, George has finally earned his title shot at the age of 25 and should prepare himself for the toughest fight of his career to date.
Groves dominated veteran Glen Johnson last year, earning a shut-out unanimous decision, winning every round. This bettered Froch's efforts against the same opponent, beating the Jamaican, but in a very competitive fight a year prior.
Carl Froch: WIN (vs. Mikkel Kessler, UD)
George Groves: WIN (vs. Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, TKO5)
I'm going for the upset in this one. Groves, along with his trainer Adam Booth will no doubt take a systematic approach to the fight, and will focus on winning 12 rounds, rather than simply out-fighting Carl. Froch has already warned Groves that he should come to fight, claiming his tactical victory over DeGale in 2011 was “boring”- Froch wants a brawl, it's his style and that's what he's comfortable with. I see a battle of the jabs, both guys possessing stiff, snapping left jabs, but Carl may become impatient, lunging in on his younger opponent. If Groves can stick to his game plan, fights smart, and doesn't allow the occasion get the better of him, he has the tools to dethrone the Nottingham native, I believe.
(Groves by Decision)
Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KO's) vs. Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KO's)
(WBA Welterweight Title)
Date & venue not yet specified.
While not yet officially signed and sealed, this fight has created somewhat of a buzz amongst the fight scene. Broner, now a welterweight champion after his recent dethroning of Paulie Malignaggi, will be in against the biggest puncher he's ever stepped foot with into the ring when he collides with the hard-hitting Argentine later this year.
A three time world champion at the still relatively green age of just 24, Broner has been favourably compared to Floyd Mayweather, and as long as he keeps winning, the comparisons are unlikely to stop. Just his second fight in a new weight class, the Cincinnati fighter can't overlook an opponent as devastating as Maidana, who holds knock-outs in all but 3 of his victories.
The modern day Marcos Maidana is noticeably more refined than the crude, wild swinging fighter we've seen in the past. Since teaming up with new trainer Robert Garcia, Marcos has benefited from extremely competitive sparring with the likes of Brandon Rios, and the rest of the guys in Garcia's boxing academy. The fighter we saw beat down Josesito Lopez, was a lot more economical with his punches, placing them instinctively with precision and retaining good balance. Maidana's power was always devastating, but under Robert Garcia's wing he may now be better equipped to face slick boxers like Broner.
Adrien Broner: WIN (vs. Paulie Malignaggi, SD)
Marcos Maidana: WIN (vs. Josesito Lopez)
Broner, who has received criticism for being not quite as defensively sound as he perhaps should be, will need to stay away from Maidana's right hand. However, Broner still holds most of the advantages in this fight. Hand-speed. Skill. Accuracy. The American is where the smart man's money is- I like him to out box Marcos and cruise to a wide decision.
(Broner by Decision)
Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KO's) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO's)
(WBO Welterweight Title)
12th October, Thomas & Mack Centre, Las Vegas, USA
A real welterweight classic could be in store here when Timothy Bradley makes the second defence of the WBO title he controversially won off of Manny Pacquiao a year ago. Marquez is the opponent, the man who did what Bradley couldn't, in convincingly beating Pacquiao with a devastating right hand that put the Filipino to sleep at the end of the 6th round.
Bradley who went through a hard time after the Pacquiao fight, being cast as boxing's pantomime villain, gained everyone's respect in his thrilling and dramatic win over Ruslan Provodnikov earlier this year. Showing unbelievable heart, Bradley was badly hurt several times but rallied with big shots of his own, earning the unanimous decision.
Timothy Bradley: WIN (vs. Ruslan Provodnikov, UD)
Juan Manuel Marquez: WIN (vs. Manny Pacquiao, KO6)
Timothy Bradley's greatest attribute is his determination and will to win. Marquez, his boxing IQ and countering ability. Both guys have been in dogfights and both have proved their heart on numerous occasions, getting up from being knocked down to go on to win. This may be the hardest fight to pick of them all- I can't imagine this being a one sided fight in any case. I envision a close encounter going the distance with perhaps Marquez' technical ability winning him the majority of the rounds on clean punching. Don't sleep on Tim though.
(Marquez by Decision)
Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12 KO's) vs. Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KO's)
(WBO Light Heavyweight Title)
17th August, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, UK
Another great match-up coming out of the light heavyweight division. A real throwback affair here sees Cleverly and Kovalev face off in Cardiff this Summer in what promises to be a brutal war. Two undefeated fighters, both stepping up in class, with each other being the best fighter they'll come up against to date. Both fighters are aggressive in their approach and like to come forward, backing their opponents up. There's going to be two very proud and stubborn fighters in the ring August 17th, with neither man wanting to lose face by taking a backward step.
Nathan Cleverly:WIN (vs. Robin Krasniqi, UD)
Sergey Kovalev:WIN (vs. Cornelius White, TKO3)
Another extremely tough fight to call. Cleverly the champion has the advantage of fighting on home turf and has fought the better opponents, with Tony Bellew being better than any fighter either man has faced. Kovalev is more of a volume puncher and sets a fast pace whilst the Welshman remains slightly more composed, often countering his opponent. Cleverly likes to bang to the body which could pay dividends if the fight goes past six. The power lies with the Russian, demonstrated by his higher knock-out percentage, while Cleverly has a 1 inch height and 2 inch reach advantage. Nathan has shown a very strong chin in his past bouts but has never fought anybody who hits as hard as Kovalev. With the crowd roaring him on I lean towards the champion, but wouldn't be shocked if there's a new WBO king crowned that night.
(Cleverly by Decision)
Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO's) vs. Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO's)
(WBO International Welterweight Title)
23rd November, Cotai Arena, Macao, China
The long awaited return of the Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao sees him leap right back into the deep end against the feared Brandon Rios. Two fighters coming off a defeat- Pacquiao, the brutal knock-out at the hands of rival Marquez, and Rios losing out on points to Mike Alvarado in a rematch that was just as action packed as their first memorable fight. Both guys have a point to prove, and neither man will want to suffer back to back defeats. Stylistically it's a match made in heaven, but the question that will define the outcome of the fight will be Pacquiao's ability to take Rios' power, and whether the Filipino is the same fighter after being rendered unconscious by Mexican legend Marquez, a year ago.
Manny Pacquiao:LOST (vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, KO6)
Brandon Rios:LOST (vs. Mike Alvarado, UD)
We, the boxing fans, have seen Pacquiao excel when in against aggressive fighters that come forward- Margarito and Hatton, both serving good examples of this. Marquez, a technical boxer, was able to give Manny problems over their fights because of his movement, feints, and counter punching- not something Pacquiao will have to deal with November 23rd. Rios is a no nonsense kind of fighter. A guy that will take a punch to give one and smile whilst doing so. Brandon has the tools to make it an uncomfortable night for Manny, but ultimately gives away a significant speed advantage and is going to be well within range of the Filipino all night long. It's a style that is suited to Pacquiao, and assuming he goes into the fight in a good psychological state, should handle business.
Pacquiao by TKO
Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KO's) vs. Saul Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KO's)
(WBA & WBC 154 lb Titles)
14th September, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA
Undefeated pound for pound star Floyd Mayweather returns this September as he squares off against Mexico's biggest phenom on the eve of the nation’s independence day. Partaking in his second fight this calender year for the first time since 2007, Mayweather looks to make young “Canelo” Alvarez victim number 45 in his quest of going down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Alvarez, a staggering 13 years Mayweather's junior, hopes to also maintain an undefeated record as he looks to knock the 5 division champion off his throne.
The two fighters have recently completed the monster press tour which saw them hold conferences in 11 cities across the United States, reaching out to mass audiences- which subsequently saw fight night tickets sell out within just 24 hours. The fight is expected to challenge for the all time PPV record, an accolade shared by Floyd Mayweather with Oscar De La Hoya in their 2007 super fight. The biggest boxing event of the year, we can only hope the fight itself is equally as enthralling as the hype surrounding it.
Floyd Mayweather: WIN (vs. Robert Guererro, UD)
Saul Alvarez:WIN (vs. Austin Trout, UD)
Canelo brings a daunting combination of size, speed, skill and punching power that may make him Mayweather's toughest test to date, before even factoring in Floyd's age. The bout is to take place at a catch-weight of 152 lb's, but on fight night it’s expected that the Mexican will out weigh Mayweather by some 15-20 lb's. It's a factor that certainly compliments itself with Canelo's imposing style- it's no doubt Alvarez is the bigger, stronger guy going into the bout.
However, it's Mayweather's polished skill set that allows him to jump weight classes to challenge the bigger guys. “Weight don't win fights, skills win fights”, as the Mayweather clan like to preach, and it's a common belief in today's game that nobody is going to out-box the American. While some will point to Floyd's age, Mayweather looked sharp as ever in his last outing and by staying active and fighting again so quickly, is only likely to maintain his reflexes and expert timing.
Canelo goes into the fight off the back of his biggest career win, a unification victory over respected junior middleweight Austin Trout- a fight that many had 50/50 going into it. Alvarez has flashes of brilliance, and anyone can see the kid is very talented. However the Mexican has been accused of taking rounds off, tiring late in fights and allowing his opponent to claw back rounds back. Mayweather- a guy that sometimes spars 15 rounds with different sparring partners swapping and rotating, excels in the championship rounds and condition could very well make a difference in this fight.
Mayweather by Decision
Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KO's) vs. Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KO's)
(WBC & WBA Junior Welterweight Titles)
14th September, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA
This Fall all eyes will be on the most prestigious fight of the year when Floyd Mayweather clashes with Canelo Alvarez, but there's a fight on the under-card that night that the hardcore boxing fan knows should NOT be slept on.
Undisputed 140 lb supremacy is up for grabs in a mouth watering clash between feared knock-out sensationalist Lucas Matthysse and tough Philadelphia-born Danny “Swift” Garcia in a fight that may well steal the show from the main event itself.
Garcia, the champion, has seen his stock soar in the last couple of years since twice defeating Mexican legend Erik Morales, destroying Amir Khan in 4 then successfully defending his titles against crafty veteran Zab Judah in an entertaining fight. Danny goes into the bout an underdog, something that he's used to in the ring and out; rising from the mean streets of Philly to become one of the best young fighters around today. Come September Garcia, 25, will look to honour his beloved home town, overcoming adversity and proving he's a great champion, following in the footsteps of fellow Philadelphia legends such as Joe Frazier and Bernard Hopkins.
Lucas Matthysse may just be the most feared man in the sport right now. The Argentine machine has blitzed through an assortment of tough challenges in the 140 lb ranks earning recognition as one of the most devastating punchers pound for pound. Many ring experts and observers consider Lucas an undefeated fighter, with his only 2 defeats coming from very controversial decisions against Devon Alexander and Zab Judah in which he knocked both opponents down. The setbacks have only added fuel to his fire, going on to stop his last 6 opponents since the Alexander decision in 2011. Fresh off his most stand out performance, a 3rd round obliteration of former champion and well respected Lamont Peterson (a knock-out in which Garcia was ringside to witness), Matthysse is on a hell of a hot streak right now which he'll no doubt look to continue when stepping into the squared circle with the young champion come September 14th.
Danny Garcia: WIN (vs. Zab Judah, UD)
Lucas Matthysse: WIN (vs. Lamont Peterson, KO3)
In what promises to be a brutal war for as long as it lasts, it's the smallest of technicalities that may decide the outcome of this one. As hard as Danny Garcia hits, the power advantage isn't something he'll have in the ring against Matthysse, who has more knock-outs than Danny has fights. A short, stocky junior welterweight, Garcia throws a lot of hooks, and often leaves himself exposed down the middle. Amir Khan had a lot of success with straighter, more precise punches down the pipe for the best part of 3 rounds and that's definitely something Matthysse can exploit. Lucas will for sure have his chin tested in this fight, but with his sheer physical strength it's difficult not to see the Argentine having the edge during the punch exchanges.
Matthysse by KO
Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KO's) vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO's)
(WBO Light Welterweight Title)
19th October, First Bank Centre, Denver, USA
Perhaps it's a fitting testament to the depth in talent that the sport has to offer, that at number one we have a fight in which the casual boxing fan is somewhat oblivious to.
October 19th none other than Denver, Colorado, holds stage to what has all the components to be fight of the year. Mike Alvarado will make his homecoming appearance in defending his new WBO title in his own backyard against a man known as “the Siberian Rocky”, Ruslan Provodnikov. Two fighters coming off two classics fights- Provodnikov on the wrong end of a decision in his barn burner with Timothy Bradley, and Alvarado getting revenge in his rematch with Brandon Rios, snatching his rival's world title.
Despite losing the fight, Provodnikov almost knocked Timothy Bradley out on more than one occasion, and had the 147 lb champion hurt throughout. It's a fight that brought Ruslan's name to the forefront of welterweight contenders and media attention alike. The Russian's display of guts and relentlessness in defeat earned massive amounts of respect from the boxing world, and is now rewarded with another title shot for his trouble. Provodnikov has no issue in dropping 7 lbs and going to the champion’s home town to fight. It's no doubt that under famed trainer Freddie Roach, the “Siberian Rocky” will be well prepared this October.
Alvarado has been a regular participant in slug-fests in recent years. Wowing fans with his war with Columbian puncher Breidis Prescott, before his sizzling 19 rounds with Rios, avenging his only career defeat. If this fight is anything like their recent string of contests, this bout will be an unforgettable one.
Mike Alvarado: WIN (vs. Brandon Rios, UD)
Ruslan Provodnikov: LOST (vs. Timothy Bradley, UD)
War. Vicious exchanges, standing ovations, blood, sweat, tears and drama will be in store when these two finally meet in the ring. Whilst never backing down from a toe-to-toe scrap, Alvarado has deceivingly good boxing skills. A high school wrestler, Mike understands leverage and how to use his body in close quarters. His favourite punch- the right uppercut, may well be an important tool against a pressing fighter like Provodnikov. I expect the Russian to be the aggressor, with Alvarado staying on the outside working the jab early on, but it's only a matter of time before bombs are exchanged.
Alvarado by Decision