Golovkin vs Cotto – Can it happen?

Last week we wrote about Miguel Cotto and the speculation regarding his next opponent. Following Gennady Golovkin’s impressive dismantling of Daniel Geale last weekend, everyone has been putting two and two together and guessing that it will be Golovkin taking on Cotto. A neat fit yes, but will it fit it with the plans of both boxers? Do both of them want to take on the other at this point in time?

Make no mistake, if it somehow were it to happen and go ahead, this would be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) fights of 2014.

The win against Geale took Golovkin to 30-0 with 27 total knockouts and an astounding 17 in a row.  Golovkin’s 90% KO rate is the best among active boxers. Many pundits felt Geale would take Golovkin the distance. We ourselves predicted it to go 10, but the Australian was simply outclassed. Golovkin hasn’t gone the full length since 2008.

Following the Madison Square Garden fight, Golovkin himself brought up the subject of fighting Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) saying he wants to be the best middleweight fighter in the world.

Golovkin against Cotto would be a great fight and it would prove extremely lucrative to both fighters, the question is if it can actually happen and happen in 2014? There would certainly be tremendous upside to the winner but the risk of losing it could outweigh the upside.

Golovkin is 32 and Cotto is 33, so they are pretty close in terms of age. At 5”11, the 5”7 Cotto would be conceding four inches to GGG.

In Cotto’s favor could be the fact that Golovkin hasn’t faced the same quality of opponent. Cotto is one of the few fighters to have fought both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Cotto may want to bypass Golovkin in order to use his end of year fight as a springboard to take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May 2015.

If this is the case, Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (48-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) could be possibilities for Golovkin. He could also find himself up against Sergio Mora (26-3-2, 9 KOs) or Australian Sam Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs, 1 NC). None of these fighters are the same caliber as Cotto, but like Pacquiao against Mayweather, Golovkin against Cotto could turn out to be one fight that fans will have to dream about.

Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto – A Tale of Two Fighters

The victor gets the spoils and this is definitely the case in boxing. One need not look any further than the aftermath of the June 7 Sergio Martinez – Miguel Cotto fight.

Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) was knocked down three times in the first round and couldn’t recover. The aging knees of 39 year old could take no more and the Argentinian had to say goodbye to his Ring, Lineal and WBC Middleweight titles.

He isn’t throwing in the towel yet and recently said he wants to regain a world title. He has a strong spirit which is something we always knew about Maravilla, the issue is how able his body is.

Against Cotto he suffered concussion and has been dealing with hand and knee injuries for a while. The reality is that he may never truly be 100% injury free again. If he continues fighting, he will have to choose his future bouts very carefully.

As for Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs), he has similar but different decisions to contend with. He also has to decide who his next fight will be against, but he has far more leverage than Martinez in determining it. There will be a WBC middleweight title defence in December and it’s looking as though the likely opponents will be Saul Alvarez or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

For the 33 year old Puerto Rican, there is much to consider as his next fight will have a big say as to rest of his career. Following successive losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr and Austin Trout, Cotto had to make his way back with fights against Delvin Rodriguez and then Martinez. Against Mayweather he received $8 million and would command even more for a rematch.

The original fight happened as Mayweather couldn’t come to an agreement with Manny Pacquiao. This fight put Cotto on the map and was the second-biggest non heavyweight in history. Since then, Mayweather has fought Robert Guerreo, Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. With the two having a rematch in September, it would appear as though he won’t be fighting Cotto in December.

So who will Cotto fight? Whomever it is, it should be an entertaining fight.

Pacquiao vs Algieri Fight

FIGHT LOCATION & DATE:

Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao in Macau – November 22nd, 2014

HOW THIS FIGHT CAME TO BE

The fight between Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) that looked like it may not happen will infact take place on November 22 in Macau. Time was running out if the bout was to take place so Algieri and his team met to hammer out the deal’s sticking points.

Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title will be on the line. Should Algieri win, there is a clause for a rematch. Algieri will receive his first million-dollar-plus payday and the fight which will be showed on HBO will also give him piece of the PPV pie.

Algieri was on a roll following his defeat of Ruslan Provodnkiov in June – a win that put him on the Manny Pacquiao radar.

The problem then became money. Algieri was originally offered $1.5 million as well as a share of the PPV sales, but this wasn’t enough for him. This resulted in back and forth and stalling, so much so that if a deal wasn’t hammered out quickly the clock would have the final say.

Algieri was walking a fine line. If he missed out on the opportunity, it may very well not return so he had to be careful not to lose it. It wouldn’t have been ideal, but Pacquiao could have turned to Mike Alvarado or Luis Carlos Abregu. Alvarado lost his last two fights including one to Marquez and Abregu has even less of a profile than Algieri. Juan Manuel Marqeuz who is the mandatory challenger was unable to do it and then there was Provodnikov who would have been the logical and probably only contender had he not lost to Algieri.

This was indeed the fight that put Algieri on the map. He wasn’t much of a name until he upset Provodnikov. This opened doors for him, but still it was wishful thinking to think that the coffers were simply going to open up for him as a result of it. He had some leverage, but maybe not as much as he thought. He received $15,000 for a fight earlier in the year and $100,000 to take on Provodnikov so these seven figures are a massive purse for him.

Now Algieri has to deal with the hype and razzamattazz that comes with a fight of this nature. For Pacquiao, this is just another fight against some challenger and it could very well be that Algieri is overshadowed by the occasion – we will have to see and will have a fight preview closer to the time.

As far as Pacquiao goes, one can only wonder how many more fights he has in him. He is clearly slowing down and after having two fights in 2012 had just one in 2013 followed by one so far in 2014. Aged 35, even if he continues to flight like others fighting into their 40s have, how many more fights does he have?

Whatever happens, it promises to be an exciting November night in Macau.

Mayweather VS Maidana Rematch

FIGHT LOCATION & DATE:

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – September 13th, 2014

Mayweather VS. Maidana II Discussions

Floyd Mayweather is doing something that is considered uncommon for a world champion: he is granting an instant rematch to someone he just defeated. Marcos Maidana lost a closer than expected 12 round majority decision back on May 3rd, to Mayweather, but for whatever reason, is getting another shot at Mayweather’s closet full of WBC Welterweight belts.

The question is, why would Mayweather agree to this fight? If Maidana came a lot closer than people expected, why risk losing to him in a 2nd bout? He already defeated him by MD the first time.

The obvious, yet unconvincing answer, is that because Maidana put up the best effort that Mayweather has seen in some time (probably since Demarcus Corley in 2004 or Zab Judah in 2006), Mayweather wants the biggest challenge available. Also, because there are ostensibly no other fighters of Maidana’s caliber available, Mayweather can claim that he is fighting the best.

Another answer might simply be that because the Mayweather fight was awfully close – perhaps too close according to some people, Mayweather wants to quiet his critics with a second win over Maidana.

Mayweather himself said that the fans want a Maidana rematch. To be honest, I think more fans would prefer a Pacquiao fight, but because of a combination of politics, drug testing, and money division, that won’t happen anytime soon, unfortunately.

Assuming that the Mayweather vs Maidana rematch will go on as expected this coming Fall, Mayweather is certainly the favorite coming into this rematch.

Mayweather vs Maidana recap

The May 3rd fight was exciting because in the early rounds, Mayweather looked beatable. Maidana pushed Mayweather to the ropes a few times, and looked awfully close to landing a big right hand knockout punch, but never connected the way he wanted against the defensive Mayweather. Ultimately, Mayweather defeated Maidana the same way he has against many opponents: staying consistent, finding a rhythm, and landing more and more punches as the fight bore on.

One takeaway from the fight is that Mayweather isn’t as young he used to be. A 37 year old Mayweather might have more trouble than his younger self, in terms of being able to dance a bit in the ring and move positions more fluidly.

Mayweather vs Maidana II Prediction

I don’t see any reason for Mayweather to lose this fight. The only Achilles Heel that Mayweather possesses is his age, which is currently 37, against the in-his-prime 30 year old Maidana. The problem is, Mayweather hasn’t really shown signs of age, and his less than stellar performance against Maidana may be testament to Maidana and less to Mayweather’s advanced age.

I expect this fight to go 12 rounds, but this time, end in an unanimous decision in favor of Mayweather.

Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Firat Arslan

FIGHT LOCATION & DATE:

Messehalle, Thüringen, Germany: August 16th

HERNANDEZ VS. ARSLAN PREVIEW

If you’re confused by this fight, don’t be. Sure, Firat Arslan (33-6, 21 KO’s) is 43 years old and has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, but he’s still a popular fighter in Germany. That is precisely why he will get a crack at current IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-1, 14 KO’s), a boxer whose entire professional career has been fought in Germany. Most will say this won’t even count as a title defense for Hernandez, since Arslan is not ranked in anyone’s top 10 list. The question is, who does this fight look worse for, the IBF or Hernandez?

I’m guessing that the IBF simply figured that Arslan’s big name status in Germany, fighting someone who Germans are familiar with, would be reason enough to grant Arslan yet another shot at a world title. Unfortunately for other fighters out there, Arslan does not in any way deserve a shot at the belt.

Firat Arslan Profile

Anyone who thought that Arslan could make a late career comeback was quieted when Arslan lost to Marco Huck in the 6th round just 6 months ago. The only other fight we can look to is Arslan’s completely meaningless victory over journeyman Tamas Bajzath (9-11-1, 5 KO’s) in an 8 round decision. It seems that the IBF is more about politics. To be fair, I wasn’t able to even watch the Bajzath fight, since it wasn’t syndicated anywhere. So to properly talk about where Firat Arslan stands, as a competitor, I can only look to the Huck fight, which was not pretty for Arslan.

The truth is, Arslan didn’t look half bad early on against Huck. But when a 43 year old fights a 29 year old, stamina becomes a very real issue. (Although, Robert Guerrero is proof that age is not a disqualifier). Sure, Arslan’s slow, methodical, and heavy punches seemed to lay into Huck, but the sheer quantity of Huck’s onslaught was too much for Arslan, and by the 6th round he was done. As for how Arslan will hold up against Hernandez, unless he scores a miraculous early knockout, there’s really no evidence that he can eek out a victory.

Yoan Pablo Hernandez Profile

Hernandez has had a pretty solid career thus far, and has won 14 consecutive fights, all in Germany. The truth is though, that his opponents have not been top notch, and YPH has not really dominated the way a champion should. In fact, his last few fights were not all too convincing. This has led to speculation that should Hernandez have to face someone dangerous such as Lebedev, Usyk, or even Huck, he’d get flattened. That doesn’t sound like much of a champion.

The other issue with Hernandez is his injury. He was supposed to fight Kolodziej  in March, but he got sick with gastritis and therefore couldn’t train properly. Maybe he was ducking Kolodziej? Hard to say, but Arslan is a lower level competitor.

Prediction

The only way that Hernandez loses this fight is if the injury bug catches him again. Since that probably won’t happen, I predict Hernandez wins by UD in 12.

Golovkin vs Geale Preview

FIGHT LOCATION & DATE:

Madison Square Garden, NYC: July 26, 2014

Golovkin vs geale BOXING ODDS:

Golovkin (1:14) vs Geale (9:1)

Golovkin VS Geale PREVIEW

Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (29-0, 26 KO’s) will fight the Australian Daniel ‘Real Deal’ Geale (30-2, 16 KO’s) in Madison Square Garden for what many are calling a one-sided bout, with the heavily favorited Golovkin having huge odds in Vegas.

You wouldn’t know it from their pre-bout quotes. Golovkin seemed to be overly respectful to Geale: “I’m happy to be fighting at Madison Square Garden once again. Fighting in front of the great fans in New York City for the third time is an honor for me and I will train hard to defend my titles in style by giving the fans an exciting show. Daniel Geale has a lot of world championship experience, is a big international name and I look forward to this challenge.”

Geale was slightly more confident in his remarks: “I’m pleased to be making my way back to HBO against Gennady Golovkin, a fighter who everyone thinks is invincible,” said Geale. “A victory will get me back to where I want to be. The people of Australia believe in me and that’s what drives me, my countrymen. I want to show them they have a great champion. On July 26th the world will see me back on top.”

This fight is important for one reason that I can speculate on: the winner will likely get a crack at Miguel Cotto or Sergio Martinez, which means a big paycheck and a chance at global stardom.

Golovkin Profile

If there is one thing about Golovkin, it is that he throws punches. But not casual punches- Golovkin’s hits his opponents really hard, and this is evidenced by one statistic: a 90% knockout rate. With 26 knockouts in his 29 fights, he holds the highest KO ratio among all middleweight champions. He’s defended his WBA title 11 consecutive times, and doesn’t look vulnerable in any way, shape, or form.

The one knock on Golovkin might be that he lacks speed, but to be fair, he more than makes up for it with both power and timing. That’s why he hasn’t really been tested yet in his career (although Macklin was a tough opponent). And don’t forget- Golovkin’s career doesn’t just span 29 professional fights; he’s got about 375 total fights in his career and has never been knocked down. That’s probably because he possesses the extremely underrated ability to maintain his balance at all times. As for Geale being able to be the first person to knock Golovkin off his feet? No way in hell.

Geale Profile

The jury is still out on Geale. Though he is a big underdog, he’s a formidable opponent. Critics will point to his losses to Mundine (in 2009) and Barker (2013) as proof that he’s not ready for prime time. I can definitely defend Geale’s lost to Mundine by saying that he’s improved a lot since then, and got revenge against him in January of last year. The Barker fight, on the other hand, was a heartbreaker for Geale. He lost the IBF Middleweight Title in a 12 round split decision. His comeback fight against Garth Wood was convincing, and I think Geale is as ready as he’s ever going to be in going up against Golovnik.

The only real chance that Geale has is if Golovnik is caught off guard because Geale probably has the strongest right hand that Golovnik has seen thus far. Also, Geale can hope that Golovnik might get distracted by rumors that he will get a shot at Miguel Cotto or Sergio Martinez after a victory here. But otherwise, Geale is not at all expected to win here.

Prediction

Golovkin will win in 10 rounds by KO.

golovnik vs geale poster

Credit: HBO

Canelo vs Lara Fight Preview

FIGHT LOCATION & DATE:

MGM Grand in Las Vegas: July 12, 2014

Canelo Vs Lara BOXING ODDS:

Canelo (-165) vs Lara (+135)

Fight Undercard:

Abner Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs) VS Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs)

Canelo vs Lara PREVIEW

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO’s) is set to take on Erislandy Lara Santoya (19-1-2, 12 KO’s) for what Canelo considers to be a dangerous fight.

“Every fight is key. I’m going against an opponent who is presumed to be the most dangerous at 154 pounds…I’m training for a very strong oppoinent, a very strong fight. He’s a very tough opponent, he has everything to gain. He is left handed with many qualities, he’s dangerous.” Though Canelo qualified his statement with this: “I’ve fought every style and we’ll be ready for Lara”. 

Many in the boxing world were surprised that Canelo chose Lara as his opponent, considering that Lara is not a big name and is definitely more dangerous than a lot of other boxers that Canelo could have chosen. Canelo does deserve respect for this, basically by answering Lara for calling him out: “I’ve never tried this hard to get a fight, and actually get it like I did for this one…I went to extreme measures, doing things I’ve never done before. I’m a pretty laid-back guy, but I did everything I could to challenge him and make people, the fans and the media demand that he fight me. It’s all because I want to prove that I am the best 154-pound fighter in the world.” 

I also commend Lara for his tenacity in trying to nab this fight- if he can beat Canelo, then the road is wide open to a bigger opponent such as Pacquiao or Cotto down the line.

Canelo Profile

Canelo’s camp is already on record stating that they are not looking for the knockout. The question is, can Canelo go toe to toe with Lara? The knock on Canelo only started after his Mayweather defeat, in which Mayweather easily dispatched him over 12 rounds. However, Canelo regained his prowess with his Angulo beatdown. Angulo is a real brawler, and after Canelo landed a brutal 37 of 62 punches in the opening round of their fight, it was already clear that Canelo was back to the peak of his game.

At 5’9, Canelo matches up pretty well with Lara, but gives up 4 inches in reach to Lara (71 vs 75 inches). Canelo’s best asset is his combo – if he can get close to Lara and land a consecutive medley of punches, then it might be a quick fight.

Lara Profile

Don’t be confused by his small record – Lara is 31 years old – 7 years older than Canelo, and has had a colorful career and solid experience. Considered to be one of the best amateur boxers to emerge from Cuba, Lara won three consecutive national titles at welterweight, and has been better than advertised since he turned pro in 2008.

Lara presents an interesting matchup against Canelo. For one, he’s a southpaw, but as Canelo stated, a dangerous one. He is pretty much unbeaten in his career- his one loss to Paul Williams was extremely controversial (and avenged in just 94 seconds in his next fight against Hearns), and his last two fights against Angulo and Trout were pretty convincing. (To be fair, Lara’s convincing victory over Angulo wasn’t convincing until he bruised up Angulo’s eye pretty badly). I would say that the one thing Lara needs to watch out for is letting himself get hit too much. If Lara lets Canelo get too close to him, he could be knocked out. But if Lara tightens up his defense, and lasts all 12 rounds, then he could score a 12 round UD.

Prediction

It depends on how careful Lara is. Ultimately, I see Canelo bruising his way past Lara and knocking him out in the 10th round.

 

2014 Ringside World Championships

The 2014 Ringside World Championships will take place in just a few weeks and anticipation is high for what will be a week-long celebration of amateur boxing.  With overrwc_14_final 1,500 boxers, six rings and over 1,000 bouts, the sheer size of the tournament makes it a sight to behold.  But the competition and associated numbers are but the tip of the iceberg, what the layman sees on the exterior.  Although impressive, it’s the rest of the ice, underneath the water, that truly defines the experience like no other.

What most people don’t see is the long, uphill path that was traveled just to get to the tournament, the months of preparation, hard work and sacrifice.  The event itself is the end of a specific journey, the mountain top.  Competitors will have logged miles of road work and countless rounds in the gym BEFORE they step into the ring to give everything they have, both mentally and physically, for victory.

boxing requires teamwork

What most people don’t see is the teamwork necessary to take part in the event.  For most of the competitors, there is at least a two-person team, fighter and coach, who undergo the experience together. Some teams include a whole contingent of boxers and coaches.  Regardless of the size, teamwork plays an integral part in the experience before, during and after the tournament.  As a team, they push each other during training, support each other during competition and celebrate with each other after a hard fought match.

relationships

What most people don’t see are the special relationships formed as a result of participation in the tournament, most of which don’t end at the conclusion of the event but last a lifetime.  Boxing is a unique sport with its own exclusive requirements of courage, focus and determination.  To be a member of this exclusive group and truly understand the experience, one must be intimately involved in the process.  This shared experience serves to strengthen and reinforce these lifelong bonds of mutual respect and friendship.

support

What most people don’t see is the unyielding support given to the athletes by coaches, teammates, family and friends.  This too, starts months before the tournament and carrieskid-with-gauze on long after it has concluded.  These supporters are in the boxer’s corner literally and figuratively.  Who can deny the steadfast, intimate support given by a coach, as he wraps his fighter’s hands and makes final preparations in a secluded corner of the arena?  Who can deny the dedicated, energetic support of the teammates, family and friends, as they root on their fighter during a match, pushing him to the finish line and then offering a congratulatory embrace as he climbs down from the ring?

contributions

What most people don’t see is the generous contribution of the officials and ringside physicians, who selflessly donate of their time and money to administer the tournament.  They perform this sometimes unforgiving task not for personal gain but for a simple love of the sport and the athletes that participate in it.

reunions

What most people don’t see are the reunions.  For many, the tournament is an opportunity to reunite with old friends and past competitors, a time to retell old stories and catch-up on the new ones, a time to simply share time together.  Not to mention the new friendships forged through competition and a shared goal.

More than a boxing tournament

The 2014 Ringside World Championships is much more than a boxing tournament.  It’s an opportunity to showcase the best in all of us, to promote all the positive attributes that make-up our great sport.  We hope you will be there to share in the experience. Click here for more information on the 2014 Ringside World Championships.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Albert is a retired boxer and long time Ringside team member. He was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team (Atlanta, GA) and former member of USA Boxing’s Board of Directors. Albert is a three time USA Boxing National Champion, as well as the 1992 National P.A.L. Champion. He also medaled in the 1993 World Championships, 1994 Goodwill Games and 1995 Pan-American Games. Albert continues to share his extensive boxing knowledge by coaching, blogging and assisting with tournament administration at events supported by Ringside.

Robert Guerrero vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai Fight Preview

FIGHT LOCATION & Date:

StubHub Center in Carson (Showtime) on June 21st

boxing odds:

Robert Guerrero -1200, Yoshihiro Kamegai +800

co-feature fights:

Gary Russell Jr. VS Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO World Featherweight Title)

Devon Alexander VS Jesus Soto Karass

Guerrero vs. Kamegai PREVIEW

Robert Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KO’s) is set to return to the ring against Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KO’s) and start his road to recovery after his loss to Floyd Mayweather last year. Guerrero used to be a household name, and aside from his Mayweather drubbing, has eked out a pretty solid career. To say that he is confident that he will do away with Kamegai is an understatement.

He has already Tweeted this remark: “I have no doubt that I’ll be victorious in my return!” Kamegai, though still unknown to most boxing fans, has had a pretty solid career so far, and the power he packs is what has gotten him to this point.

Guerrero followed it up with this confident statement: “Although I’ve been out for a while, make no mistake about it, I’m in great shape. I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to the challenge Kamegai presents. I am just happy to be fighting again while bringing excitement to the hottest division in boxing, the welterweight division. I have no doubt that I will be victorious in my return.” 

Kamegai returned the favor: “It’s good to fight in the United States again at StubHub Center, especially after I was treated so well by the fans there the first time,” said Kamegai. “This time though, I’m going to get the win. While Robert Guerrero is a great fighter, I will be better than him on June 21.”

Robert Guerrero Profile

Guerrero is a household name boxer, and unfortunately, fell short in his career-defining moment against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather. Nicknamed The Ghost, Guerrero is known for maintaining a solid balance of power, accuracy, and speed into his 5’8 frame. Until his Mayweather loss, Guerrero had been undefeated since 2009, though none of those 8 wins were knockouts, (except for the TKO over Arrieta in April 2010).

In terms of pure skills, Guerrero is the clear favorite against Kamegai. The real question lies in his mental toughness, coming off a PPV loss in front of millions of people. Guerrero had really put in a lot of years and bouts to earn the national stage he got to, and then it all came crumbling down. Though people still know his name, he does not evoke fear from any other boxers, and fans seem to understand that. Kamegai certainly doesn’t appear nervous. The question, then, is whether Guerrero can reclaim that mental strength that he carried up until May 2013, when Mayweather beat him.

Yoshihiro Kamegai Profile 

Kamegai is returning to the StubHub center for the second time, and the first time was not so good, when he lost convincingly to the unheralded Johan Perez. Talk about a mental hurdle to overcome. The good thing for Kamegai though, is that he lands his hits strongly, and has 21 knockouts in his 24 victories. He looks hungry, and his Perez loss did not seem to be nearly as damaging as the Mayweather loss that Guerrero took.

That is why this fight becomes a battle between urgency and ambition. Kamegai still has the ambition, as the overall arc of his career is still on the rise. Guerrero, on the other hand, might have lost that ambition during his Mayweather pounding, but has replaced it with a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency should give Guerrero both the physical and mental strength to pull out the W. Granted, Guerrero might be rusty, but think about the level he was at before Mayweather- I’d say that level is still higher than Kamegai’s current level.

Guerrero vs Kamegai Prediction

Guerrero will start off slow, but recover in the middle rounds to eke out a UD in 12 rounds.

Pulev vs Klitschko Preview

FIGHT LOCATION:

O2 Arena, Hamburg, Germany

BOXING RECORDS & ODDS:

Wladimir Klitschko (62-3, 52 KOs) VS Kubrat Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs) ODDS TBA

uNDERCARD:

TBA

Pulev vs Klitschko Preview

Wladimir Klitschko wants one thing: to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Unfortunately, that plan will have to wait. Instead of getting a title shot at Bermane Stiverne, the current champion, Klitschko was ordered to face a mandatory challenger: the undefeated Kubrat Pulev.

Pulev, though undefeated, is not expected to put up much of a fight against Klitschko. The only risk here, however, is that Klitschko is too focused on Stiverne and doesn’t adequately prepare for the Pulev bout.

Kubrat Pulev Profile

Pulev won the IBF belt in 2011 with a unanimous decision over Travis Walker. (Interesting sidepoint: Walker knocked down Adamik, the same person who turned down a fight with Pulev in order to get a shot at Klitschko). Pulev is big: at 6’4 and 247 lb, he packs power. The problem for Pulev, however, is that he didn’t show much power in his last fight, which was a 4th round RTD over Perjovic. Pulev looked careful, possibly to his detriment, and didn’t seem to unleash his capable barrage of power against Perkovic. Maybe we was just being conservative, and felt that if he could win with a steady flow of jabs, then why waste energy and strength. Pulev definitely has the power, build, and age to defeat Klitschko. Unfortunately, his last fight was not at all convincing.

Wladimir Klitschko

What is there to say about Klitschko that boxing fans don’t already know? At 38 years old, he’s been dominating boxing for close to two decades now, and hasn’t lost a bout since 2004! And still, he has never held the WBC belt, mainly because brother Vitaly held it until his retirement, and the two never wanted to fight each-other.

Unfortunately, Wladimir will have to wait a bit before he gets a shot at the WBC belt, since he has been ordered to fight Pulev. And that might be the only shot that Pulev has: if Wladimir is already looking ahead to a bout with current champ Bermane, then Pulev might be able to catch a distracted Klitschko, assuming he isn’t in tip-top shape. But otherwise, there is no reason to think that the 38 year old Klitschko can’t demolish Pulev. Just look at what people were saying about his last fight, warning that contender Alex Leapai packed a lot of power. Klitschko destroyed Leapai and it wasn’t even close.

Pulev VS Klitschko prediction

Klitschko will win by unanimous decision in 12 rounds.