Big week for boxing coming up on Saturday. Couple of big cards, been looking forward to writing up my predictions for this week. 113-43 on the year so far.
Wednesday the 19th ProBox TV card.
Good card for the relatively new ProBox promotion, returning to their home base in Plant City, Florida after their previous card being in Mexico. 4 fight card, should be full of fireworks. For the sake of taking more time on the title fights later on in the post, I’ll just put my predictions without breakdowns for this card, but be sure to tune in FREE on their YouTube for viewing of this card.
Luis Collazo (39-8) vs Angel Ruiz (17-2-1) [10 rounds @ Super Light]: Collazo via Decision
Robin Sirwan Safar (15-0) vs DeShon Webster (12-6-3) [8 rounds @ Cruiser]: Sirwan Safer via KO/TKO round 5
Vadim Musaev (5-0) vs Martin Alvarez (7-0) [6 rounds @ Welter]: Musaev via Decision
Prince Dzanie (23-0) vs Jose Manuel Salas (11-0) [10 rounds @ Super Bantam]: Dzanie vis Decision
THE REST OF THE CARDS ARE ON SATURDAY THE 22nd
Poland’s TVP Sports/SKY Sports card
3 solid fights that’ll be pretty tricky to view here in the states, but if you can figure it out you should try to, should be fireworks. Still just basic predictions for the paper title fights, full-on breakdowns coming soon.
Alen Babic (11-0) vs Lukasz Rozanski (14-0) [12 rounds for the WBC Bridgerweight title]: Babic via KO/TKO round 7
Michal Cieslak (23-2) vs Dylan Bregeon (12-2-1) [12 rounds @ Cruiser]: Cieslak vis Decision
Martin Bakole (18-1) vs Ihor Shevadzutskyi (10-0) [10 rounds @ Heavy]: Bakole via KO/TKO round 4
DAZN card in the UK
Loaded card with a good title fight for the main event. 4 fights that I’ll predict on here, with a breakdown of the main event, but good prospects opening the card that you should try to watch if you’re able.
Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (17-0-1) vs Joe Cordina (15-0) [12 rounds for the IBF Super Featherweight title]: Cordina opened as the favorite for this fight, and for pretty good reason. He’s been hyped up as the top guy at the 130 pound division by DAZN and Matchroom boxing, and his most recent victory, a stunning 2nd round KO of then-champ Kenichi Ogawa put him on the map. But, I’m going with Rakhimov with this one, for two reasons. One, Cordina has yet to fight a southpaw as a professional, and the angles that Rakhimov will open up will be foreign to Cordina in the ring. Yes, I know he’s probably trained with and sparred against southpaws going into this fight. But getting hit in practice and getting hit for real are two completely different animals. Which leads into reason #2 that I’m picking Rakhimov: his power. Yes, Cordina can bang, Ogawa can attest for that. But Rakhimov, in my opinion, packs the bigger punch between the two, and that along with the foreign southpaw angles will give Cordina fits and could make him sustain some serious damage from power shots that Cordina just doesn’t know how to handle, at least early on. Sound familiar? Joe Joyce had the same issue just a couple of days ago. Now, Cordina is more technically skilled than Joyce, and should be able to, barring an early KO, get accustomed to the angles of facing southpaws and adjust his defense accordingly. But Rakhimov should be able to win rounds early, and I think his chin should be able to withstand anything that Cordina throws.
Official Prediction: Rakhimov via Decision (probably a bs split due to Matchroom bias)
Gavin Gwynne (15-2-1) vs Craig Woodruff (12-6-1) [12 rounds @ Light]: Gwynne via Decision
Zelfa Barrett (28-2) vs Jason Sanchez (16-3) [12 rounds @ Super Feather]: Barrett vis KO/TKO round 8
Jordan Thompson (14-0) vs Luke Watkins (16-2) [10 rounds @ Cruiser): Thompson vis KO/TKO round 2
DAZN PPV card in Las Vegas
Super fun card, top-to-bottom interesting fights. 1 full breakdown, 8 total predictions, awesome stuff, but still not worth a PPV. Absolutely botching an opportunity to get a young audience into boxing by making this fight hide behind ANOTHER pay wall. Is paying for DAZN not enough? What happened to the death of PPV, Eddie?
Gervonta Davis (28-0) vs Ryan Garcia (23-0) [12 rounds for the WBA ‘Regular’ Lightweight title]: Unlike Cordina, King Cry has been in the squared circle with southpaws in the past, so I don’t think that will be a huge issue for him on Saturday, though he was dropped by Luke f’ing Campbell. For Garcia to have any success, he’ll have to utilize his speed and footwork and work from the outside, which would be a new fold of his game that he’s been unable to do consistently as a professional. Still, even if he can’t keep Davis from getting inside, he HAS to keep himself off of the ropes to give himself room to back up, maybe throw a check hook or just simply move out of danger as Davis is coming in. Garcia, effectively, should be looking to Dmitry Bivol’s performance against Canelo for inspiration on. how to handle Tank. Davis is much smaller than Garcia, but the length isn’t as pronounced as the height. Tank has massive power, and Garcia has shown to be susceptible to getting rattled by big shots, has been on the canvas before, and does not have great defense (unlike Bivol, and that might be Ryan’s fatal flaw). Tank will be looking to come forward, Ryan has to keep him from pressuring with quick one-twos and moving. Speed, a good jab, and maintaining the distance to fit Garcia’s reach and not Davis’ will be Ryan’s shot at winning this fight. Davis will have to impose his style if he wants to win. He’s got great head movement and defense as a whole, absolute killer power and good hand speed. If he can get inside on Garcia, utilizing his weak defense to do so, and minimize the effects of his speed by cutting off the ring, he will end this fight before the judges have a say. Tank has a much clearer path to victory than Garcia, but both men are more than capable of pulling off the win here. Easy FOTY candidate if all goes as planned. But for the sake of his post, I’m taking the current champ.
Official Prediction: Gervonta Davis via KO/TKO round 10
David Morrell (8-0) vs Yamaguchi Falcao (24-1-1) [12 rounds @ Super Middle]: Morrell via KO/TKO round 10
Bektemir Melikuziev (11-1) vs Gabriel Rosado (26-16-1) 2 [10 rounds @ Super Middle]: Melikuziev via Decision
Elijah Garcia (14-0) vs Kevin Zambrano (15-1) [10 rounds @ Middle]: Garcia via Decision
Fiodor Czerkaszyn (21-0) vs Elias Espadas (22-5) [10 rounds @ Middle]: Czerkaszyn via Decision
Vito Mielnicki Jr (14-1) vs Jose Sanchez Charles (20-3-1) [10 rounds @ Super Welter]: Sanchez Charles via Decision
Lorenzo Simpson (12-0) vs Pachino Hill (8-1-1) [6 rounds @ Middle]: Simpson via Decision
Tristan Kalkreuth (9-1) vs Jaime Solorio (12-5-2) [6 rounds @ Light Heavy]: Kalkreuth via KO/TKO round 1 (Sweet T is a stud prospect who’s L came on a dislocated shoulder)
UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs Blaydes
Easily the weakest card the UFC has put out in 2023, and rightfully so coming off of two electric events and 288 coming up. Still, a banger of a main event and a decent main card, it’s really the prelims that leave a lot to be desired. I’ll only cover the interesting main card fights, and basic predictions only.
Sergei Pavlovich vs Curtis Blaydes (Heavyweight): Blaydes via KO/TKO round 2
Yadong Song vs Ricky Simon (Bantamweight): Simon via Decision
Brad Tavares vs Bruno Silva (Middleweight): Tavares via KO/TKO round 1
Bobby Green vs Jared Gordon (Lightweight): Gordon via Decision
Jeremiah Wells vs Matthew Semelsberger (Welterweight): Wells via Decision
How I’d Prioritize these events:
DAZN PPV: Best matchup, good card, still mad about it being a PPV though
DAZN UK card: Good main event, solid card up-and-down
UFC Fight Night: Electric main event, but little intrigue after that. Still, free on ESPN+ is great for me, as I have it.
ProBox card: Not enough top-end firepower to compete with the big boys this week. Still a good card, Prince Dzanie is a pretty decent name for an undercard fight, especially as a comeback fight.
Poland card: Hardest to watch, fun main event but shouldn’t be a main event if you ask me. Bridgerweight is still alive, though. Babic is always a good viewing but still the worst event this week.