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Articles of 2005

Fight Predictions: Margarito-Cintron, Mosley-Estrada, McCline-Brock



Will Margarito vs. Cintron be explosive? Will 'Sugar' Shane look sweet again? Can 'Big Time' McCline finally come up big? writers tell you what they think.

Margarito-Cintron Predictions

Margarito lost his last fight, a controversial TKO stoppage to the much bigger Daniel Santos. And while Cintron is a big, powerful welterweight, he is not nearly as polished as Santos – one of boxing's best boxers. Margarito will be fighting at his natural weight and will use all of his considerable seasoning to outlast the young Puerto Rican slugger in a brutal fight. Margarito via split decision in an all-time great welterweight slugfest.
Matt Aguilar

Antonio Margarito will meet the Puerto Rican sensation Kermit Cintron. Margarito is one mean dude. He literally was tearing his last opponent's ear off with his fists (not his teeth). He has met the better opposition. He is more seasoned. Margarito is probably the favorite. But there's something about this Cintron kid I like. He is a big welterweight. I can easily see him growing into a middleweight. He is very strong and has good power. My head says Margarito but my heart is leaning toward Cintron. I'm going to have to go with Kermit by a late round KO in what should be a candidate for Fight of the Year.
Jim Amato

The “safe” pick is either Kermit by early KO or Margarito by decision or late TKO. I'm going to split the difference and call it Kermit by mid-round stoppage. Cintron will come on early, perhaps bust Antonio up a bit. Margarito will rally and begin to wear down the less experienced Cintron. Midway through the bout, Kermit rallies back, and though Margarito is willing to brawl, he's not giving as much as he's getting. The ref jumps in . . . Cintron by controversial 8th round TKO.
Jake Donovan

Okay, no one except the WBO considers this a championship bout. We have a true champion in the form of Zab Judah. This may nevertheless prove to be a solid fight with longterm division consequences. Margarito has defended his belt, but in his fights with fellow WBO titleholders for the 147 and 154-pound crowns he came up short. Cintron pulls this out with a 10th round KO.
J.E. Grant

Good fight, hard fight. Margarito too much, too busy for the less experienced Cintron. Antonio Margarito late TKO winner.
Mike Indri

Potentially explosive battle as two heavy hitters meet for the WBO title. Margarito a bit more polished of the two fighters, but Cintron is the more heavy-handed. Cintron victories over Elio Ortiz and Teddy Reid don't prepare Cintron enough for Margarito, who has been in with and beaten punchers before. A great, close fight, but the nod goes to Margarito, as Cintron gains needed experience.
Joey Knish

This could be a candidate for Fight of the Year. I see Margarito taking control early, even hurting Cintron on a few occasions, but Cintron's power will take over. After flooring Margarito, Cintron swarms all over him, blasting him with thunderous shots until the referee comes to Margarito's rescue. Cintron TKO 7.
Marc Lichtenfeld

This is the lone of the best matchups in years. Picking a winner is extremely difficult, but something tells me that Cintron's youth will prevail over Margarito's experience. This will be a barnburner for as long as it lasts. Cintron by TKO.
Robert Mladinich

Every young swimmer has to go out into deep water sometime, and now it is Kermit Cintron’s time. (I wish I could get that Kermit the Frog out of my head.)  Cintron is 24-0 with a lot of early knockouts, but most of the guys coming out of the other corner were quick to remember they were being paid by the job and not by the hour. His last fight, an 8th round stoppage of rugged Teddy Reid, was a step up and in the right direction, but Antonio Margarito may be a leap too far. Give Cintron the first three rounds; Margarito everything else and the decision.
Pat Putman

This may very well be the most exciting fight of the evening. It will go the distance and be very close. Margarito by split decision.
Aaron Tallent

Mosley-Estrada Predictions

Mosley returns to welterweight form and dominates Estrada by unanimous decision.
Matt Aguilar

Sugar Shane Mosley returns to the welterweight class as he takes on Angelo Dundee's fine prospect David Estrada. Angelo is very high on this kid, so I take him seriously. But if Shane has anything left, this is a fight he should win, which would put himself in line for a shot at the winner of the proposed Zab Judah-Oscar De La Hoya fight.
Jim Amato

Shane finds out early that the move down to welter is not the answer to all of his problems. He also finds out that Estrada is a hell of a lot tougher than expected. This one goes the distance, but in the end, many will be calling for Shane's retirement. Upset: Estrada by decision.
Jake Donovan

Shane Mosley, once the king of the pound-for-pound club, is coming off consecutive losses to Winky Wright, which only compounded the problems caused by his consecutive losses to Vernon Forrest. He was a great lightweight, a good welterweight, and a passable junior middleweight. This bout marks a return to the welterweights where he figures his power will prove decisive. David Estrada, though ably backed by Angelo Dundee, is not to going to spoil the party. Mosley by KO in 8.
J.E. Grant

Mosley all over the game, but overmatched Estrada. Shane Mosley KO 6-7 rounds.
Mike Indri

Look for Shane to return to “power boxing,” as he should re-gain his edge in speed and power while dropping back down to 147. Estrada no pushover and it will be an entertaining fight, but Sugar looks sweet again.
Joey Knish

I'll admit, I drank the Kool-Aid when it comes to Shane Mosley. I always thought he was one of the best boxers in the sport. While I don't think this fight is a gimme, I see Mosley winning a unanimous decision.
Marc Lichtenfeld

Estrada is no stiff and Mosley has not looked like a world-beater later, but Mosley should be much too experienced to lose this one. Mosley by decision.
Robert Mladinich

His real name is Shane Daniel Donte Mosley and he has only won one fight since July of 2001, which makes you wonder why all the bookies say you have to bet your house to win a chicken coop if you like him over unbeaten David Estrada, one of Angelo Dundee’s latest students. In his last six fights, Mosley has lost two (and the all-world light middleweight title) to Winky Wright; defeated Oscar De La Hoya; fought a three-round no-contest with Raul Marquez; and lost to Vernon Forest twice. Take a flyer: bet the chicken coop on Estrada, by decision.
Pat Putnam

Sugar Shane Mosley is another fighter trying to find his way. He is making the smart move by dropping back down to welterweight. It is a division Mosley can dominate and he will prove that Saturday against David Estrada. Mosley by unanimous decision.
Aaron Tallent

McCline-Brock Predictions

Brock upsets McCline via 7th round TKO.
Matt Aguilar

Calvin Brock, the best heavyweight prospect around, will be severely tested when he takes on Jameel McCline. This is a very interesting matchup. On paper McCline should win. He is bigger, stronger, and has met some top shelf heavyweights. This is another case where my head says McCline but my heart says Brock. I'm going to go with Calvin by a late round KO.
Jim Amato

Jameel jumps on Calvin early, not unlike the Byrd fight. Brock takes Jameel's best and rallies back midway through. McCline bites down, realizing that one more loss puts him on the shelf possibly for good, and dominates down the stretch to eke out a close (and somewhat disputed) unanimous decision. McCline by decision.
Jake Donovan

Folks say that Brock is taking a huge leap forward and is assuming risk. Really it is McCline who is taking the risk – and perhaps unnecessarily. Brock, the college graduate, hasn’t yet graduated to the elite level of the heavyweight division, but a victory here gets his foot in the door. Though I believe McCline was robbed of victory against Chris Byrd, and along with it the IBF belt, that isn’t saying much (ask the list of other robbery victims versus Byrd: Fres Oquendo and Andrew Golota). Brock cracks the top-ten with a decision victory.
J.E. Grant

McCline is big and strong – and a nice person – but he doesn't have what it takes. Brock does, and this is his “coming out” fight. Calvin Brock will knockout Jameel McCline.
Mike Indri

Big Time McCline has such an edge in class of opposition it isn't even close. He barely lost a points decision to Byrd in his last bout and knows his hourglass is running low. Brock is the more polished amateur and more powerful puncher, but I look for McCline to fight “big” by using his 45-pound weight advantage and four extra inches in height to keep Brock at bay. A good fight, won by the good bigger guy.
Joey Knish

Similar to how I see Margarito – Cintron. McCline in control early, but Brock will come on strong in the later rounds. McCline gets up off the canvass only to be stopped in the ninth.
Marc Lichtenfeld

This is do-or-die for McCline, who has been on the cusp of bigger things for quite some time. Unfortunately, Brock is on a roll and in this case youth will prevail. Brock by decision.
Robert Mladinich

Out of the Klitschko brothers’ mold, Jameel McCline has a big body and a suspect gas tank. Still, chasing Chris Byrd around the ring for 36 minutes can do that to the big fellows, so if we toss that loss out, unbeaten Calvin Brock may be stepping up into a world of trouble. The only name on Brock’s 24-0 resume belongs to Clifford Etienne, who spent almost as much time on the floor as he did on his feet against the hard-hitting former Olympian. Still, there is an old Romanian proverb: “Even when fed chickens a young tiger is a no less a tiger.” Brock by decision.
Pat Putnam

Jameel McCline would be defending the IBF heavyweight title these days if he had not punched himself out against Chris Byrd. Big Time will not make the same mistake against Calvin Brock. McCline by unanimous decision.
Aaron Tallent

Articles of 2005

In Boxing News: Floyd Mayweather An All-Time Great, Valuev & More



A Shot of Boxing on the Last Day of the Year

The Guardian reports that talks have already taken place between Nicolay Valuev‘s co-promoters – Don King and Wilfried Sauerland – and Danny Williams‘ promoter Frank Warren for Nicolay Valuev to face Danny Williams. I’d suggest Danny Williams needs to worry about Matt Skelton (who Williams is reportedly scheduled to fight in February) before he entertains notions of facing the Beast From The East.

The Mirror in the UK looks forward to a big year in boxing for 2006. The Mirror considers what the future might bring for Joe Calzaghe, Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton, among others.

The Parksville Qualicum News has an interesting column on the travails of former Canadian Super Middleweight title holder Mark Woolnough. Woolnough’s career turned controversial – as widely reported in the Canadian press – at the beginning of this year when Woolnough and four other men were charged with manslaughter and assault after a fight outside a Parksville nightclub. The case returns to court next month. It’s an interesting read, as Woolnough is still looking to the future with hope.

Our own Marc Lichtenfeld provides plenty of food for thought with his Top Ten Wish List for boxing in the New Year. There’s plenty of good stuff here, but what really jumped out for me is Lichtenfeld’s opinion that a win over Zab Judah could have Floyd Mayweather knocking on the door of all-time great status. Seems to me this might be jumping the gun a little. Or is Marc right? Will it soon be time to call Floyd Mayweather Jr. an all-time great?

(More Boxing News Links at

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Articles of 2005

ShoBox Friday Night Fights




Hot bantamweight prospect Raul “The Cobra” Martinez heads back to Chicago next Friday night as he is featured in the co-main event of SHOBOX “THE NEW GENERATION,” an action packed evening of professional boxing presented by Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions,’ HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING, Kathy Duva’s Main Events Inc., along with Miller Lite and TCF Bank.

The two-time national amateur champion sporting a perfect 12-0 record with 9 knockouts, six of which have come in the first round,  will take on Colombian Andres “Andy Boy” Ledesma, 13-1 (8 KOs) in a scheduled eight round bout.

Speaking after a training session at his home gym in Georgetown, Texas, Martinez said, “I’m truly looking forward to returning to Chicago. The fans were terrific in September, they were very supportive from the start of the fight,” an internationally televised first round knockout of Miguel Martinez on September 16th at the Aragon Ballroom.

Regarding his upcoming fight with Ledesma, “The Cobra” said, “I haven’t seen him fight, although I understand he’s fought at higher weights and will be naturally bigger than me. I’ve had great training for this fight and feel very confident. I really haven’t left the gym in months, just taking off Sunday’s and even then I get my running in. My thinking is that fights are won in the gym and complete preparation is the key.”

When asked about his being mentioned by Dan Rafael, ESPN’s boxing writer as one of the top prospect’s in the boxing world the 23-year-old San Antonio native said, ‘It’s a great compliment, but I still have much work to do. I want to be a champion for Main Events like Fernando Vargas and Arturo Gatti. But like Fernando said while he was in town, ‘be patient, work hard and your time will come.’”

Finishing the conversation, Martinez said, “I’m looking forward to starting out this year with a bang. I might have a couple less fights than the seven I had in 2005, but I’m looking to stepping up the competition, move up to ten-rounders and climb in the rankings.”

Headlining the evening is a ten-round welterweight showdown between boxing’s hottest prospect, unbeaten Joel Julio of Monteria, Columbia, and Ugandan native Roberto “The Doctor” Kamya. Julio, turning 21 years old the day before the fight, is 25-0 with 22 knockouts, twelve of which have come in the first two rounds. Kamya, now fighting out of West Palm Beach, Florida is 15-5 with four knockouts.

Tickets, starting at $30, are on sale in advance by calling 312-226-5800. Cicero Stadium is located at 1909 S. Laramie, at the corner of 19th and Laramie, just ten minutes south of the Eisenhower Expressway and ten minutes north of the Stevenson Expressway. Doors for this evening will open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.

The full bout lineup for the evening is:

Joel Julio vs. Roberto Kamya, ten rounds, welterweights

Raul Martinez vs. Andres Ledesma, eight rounds, bantamweights

Miguel Hernandez vs. Butch Hajicek, eight rounds, middleweights

David Pareja vs. Derek Andrews, eight rounds, light heavyweights

Mike Gonzales vs. Tony Kinney, four rounds, lightweights

Omar Reyes vs. Luis Navarro, five rounds, featherweights

Reynaldo Reyes vs. Ricardo Swift, four rounds, middleweights

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Articles of 2005

Pick ‘Em: Plenty of Big Upcoming Fights in ’06



Here’s the early call on many top matches scheduled for the first half of 2006: Happy New Year!

As the new calendar dawns, there are already a considerable amount of premium bouts on the horizon. Things don’t look to be bogged down by undetermined championships next year. In many cases the scheduled face-offs involve the best fighters in the division, or at least close enough for general bragging rights. If anybody else with proper qualifications signs up to force the issue, all the better.

It can be argued that some pairings could have taken place within a more optimal timeframe, or that some headliners carry distracting baggage, but there are certainly enough heavy hitters on deck. That nobody can deny.

It doesn’t matter whether one considers the proverbial glass half empty or half full; there’s still the same amount of juice in the vessel. It’s nice to know that even with a high number of cancellations, there will still be plenty of important contenders on tap.

With elite fighters in weight divisions from top to bottom on the agenda, it’s an equivalent to what fans in more mainstream sports expect in a consistent championship format.

Baseball fans can almost always count on a World Series. Some hoops fanatics say too much attention to playoffs distracts unmotivated NBA teams during their regular season. In college, they project Sweet Sixteens. Football fans know there’s always a Super Bowl ahead to raise advertising dollars and test the USA’s halftime morals.

So too, there is method in boxing’s current madness.

The midnight crystal ball hasn’t even been unveiled in Times Square and there are already a number of potential thrillers scheduled. Most feature contrasting personalities that almost guarantee going along for the ride will be worthwhile. Any subsequent drops will probably be cheered.

Don King jumps right out of the auld lang gate with a January 7th Showtime card featuring Zab Judah against Carlos Baldomir and Jean-Marc Mormeck in a cruiserweight unification against O’Neil Bell.

It will be the upset of the year, bar none, if Baldomir can tip the applecart before Judah gets to his scheduled super-showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Meanwhile, Mormeck is emerging and should keep on rolling against Bell, who can expose him if he’s not for real.

The proverbial Big Bang starts with a January 21st rematch of one of the finest fights of ‘05, when Erik Morales goes against Manny Pacquaio for the second time on HBO pay per view. The fact that Morales was upset by Zahir Raheem after beating Pacquaio was no real loss in box-office luster. Artful Raheem will get a spot on the undercard and hope his patience is rewarded.

Everyone figures Morales and Pacquaio will pick up where they left off. Like the first time, the rematch is a pick’em contest. Management distractions and glove restrictions cited as Pacquaio’s previous problems won’t matter this time. The two are very evenly matched and their styles will make for another whapathon. It could come down to corners, where Freddie Roach gets the edge since Morales will have a new trainer for the first time since replacing his father after the Raheem lesson.

February features four of the game’s most enduring attractions, in a pair of crucial matchups.

First up, Showtime presents the Jose Luis Castillo – Diego Corrales tiebreaker from El Paso on Feb 4th. This is another pick ‘em pair, barring any sideshow. In boxing that disclaimer may be a stretch, since the sideshow is part of the act and the charm.

As far as action inside the strands goes, every round these guys have fought has been great. There’s no reason to think that pattern won’t continue. Regarding the result, Castillo keeps the pressure on as he did in the second fight, but he’ll walk into trouble from a more reserved Corrales. We still don’t know which coin to flip.

February also holds a better late than never affair between two perennial favorites as Shane Mosley collides with Fernando Vargas on the 25th.  This fight could lead to a winning ticket in the Golden Boy sweepstakes for a fall bonanza against Oscar De La Hoya.

Vargas has been in tougher recently, based on comparable strength of opposition stats, but he’s seen little action. What weight they enter the ring at may have a lot to do with the result. If Vargas has to struggle at the scale, Mosley might have the battle in the bag after round nine.

It’s hard to imagine Mosley getting stopped early, but Vargas doesn’t have to hurt him, he just has to knock him down three times. With natural size, he may be able to do just that, but Mosley would have to box uncharacteristically flat.

Unless Mosley decides to heed the crowd, the most likely scenario is that Shane plays it safe, picks a few shots, and stays away enough to capture a comfortable, dull decision. An unbowed Vargas maintains his fan base but not his bettors.

March both comes in and goes out as a lion.

On March 4th Joe Calzaghe welcomes Jeff Lacy to Manchester UK for what may be the biggest blowout of the headlining bunch. Calzaghe gets the chance to prove his considerable home-based reputation once and for all, but if Lacy creams him as we expect, that glossy record will be severely tarnished.

All Calzaghe has to do is make a respectable stand, but that’s no small task against the rising Lacy. A motivated Calzaghe, songs of England ringing in his ears, could pull a big surprise if he can exploit Lacy’s relatively limited technical development, but that’s a longshot indeed.

It looks like Lacy can get by on power alone. He could soon emerge as a pound-for-pound leader. Old Joe’s hometown advantage will last about two left hooks.

March 11th has the Ides of history to beware for at least one old lion, with farewell (we’ll see) fireworks featuring Roy Jones Jr. against Bernard Hopkins. Less than two years ago they were considered untouchable all time greats. Now between them they’ve lost five in a row.

This goodbye fight is contracted at light heavyweight, for what seems like an oldies night. Hopkins is the senior at age 41 to Jones’s 37, but Roy seems more the grandpa figure, last seen hanging on against Antonio Tarver. Youth, as it were here, will prevail.

This bout was signed quickly as each principal, usually sticklers for favorable contract clauses, agreed to parity in a demonstration of businessman first and fighter second. They may both expect easy marks. How much the boys have left by the time they get down to business remains to be seen. The history books will show this as a climactic career bout between Hall of Famers.

At 175 pounds, Hopkins may be in for rude awakening. Jones may have been more thoroughly outfought recently, but he was rumbling with bigger, tougher men than Jermain Taylor or Howard Eastman. Respectable as he is, Taylor still falls short of the level of Tarver, at least for now. The difference is still fifteen pounds less pop.

It will be quite a feat if Hopkins can stay in the fight, even at Jones’s advanced age. Our stars point to Jones winning in overwhelming fashion.

On March 18th, James Toney meets Hasim Rahman in another pairing of seasoned war-horses.

Toney and Rahman already had their introductions, when they brawled in Mexico during a WBC gathering to bestow Rahman’s new belt. Between formalities, Toney got married, which could bring up the old questions about carnal training.

Let’s hope when they meet in the ring, they restore some of the fire missing from the heavyweights in ‘05.  Toney might have an edge in recent form, but Rahman shows fine tuning he previously lacked. The winner might get newly “crowned’ Nicolai Valuev, an easy payday outside Germany.

Rahman could be the heavyweight that finally makes Toney look like a blown up middleweight. But anything less than a top effort will probably lead to embarrassing night for the Rock and give Toney solid claim to being the true heavyweight champ.

This might not be the most artful fight of the new season, but it could well be the most grueling, and the closest. He who’s faced the better big boys gets the nod. Advantage Rahman.

March 25 features Marco Antonio Barrera, probably the strongest overall claimant to 130 pound honors. The likely opponent is said to be always tough Jesus Chavez.

Chavez seemed rejuvenated when he met Leavander Johnson, but Johnson’s tragic death may have taken some of the steam out of thoughtful Chavez, said to have received Johnson’s family blessing to continue in Leavander’s name. That could mean a lot of inspiration. Either way, if he does meet Chavez, who hung tough with one arm against Erik Morales, Barrera won’t get any slack. The Fates say Chavez, whose wife recently served in Iraq, is a live, live underdog.

Another clash to be King of the Hill finds Floyd Mayweather Jr, arguably the game’s finest practitioner, bumping heads with Zab Judah, one of very few boxers who rivals Mayweather in speed, skills, and brashness.

Their hoedown, scheduled for April 8th, is one of the top pound-for-pound pairings in recent years. Judah will need a career best performance to have a chance of victory. That’s not to say he can’t pull it off, but currently Mayweather is in a different galaxy in terms of punching power. Slow-motion replays may be the only way to follow the flying fists once these two whirlwinds unload.

Mayweather should be around a 4-1 favorite. Judah is good enough to make taking the odds an attractive proposition, since that’s probably as good of odds as one is likely to see on Floyd for a while. Mayweather will stop Judah in his tracks.

The first half of next year is set to conclude with the star power of Oscar De La Hoya, probably against noteworthy foil Ricardo Mayorga on May 6. There could be some snags before a contract is finalized, but if it comes off count on Mayorga for promotional sound bite nastiness. One of the questions is whether or not he’ll be able to get under Oscar’s skin, and it might actually be entertaining to see the classy, model perfect De La Hoya show he’s human and freak out against the Nicaraguan maniac.

Mayorga may have burnt his best bridges already. De La Hoya has not only the boxing skill to negate Mayorga’s offense, but enough power to end it early. If Mayorga rushes in and causes a cut, De La Hoya might get ruffled enough to duck into defense and Mayorga could get a decision that goes to the cards after six rounds or so. It will be wild for as long as it lasts.

Pro boxing, like many sports, had its share of problems during 2005, but there were also many positives. Most notably, as usual, was superior and inspiring action inside the strands. Unless there’s a mass freeze-up at the top, early 2006 figures to see decisive interaction among many well-known fighters.

If even fifty per cent of the aforementioned pairings come to fruition, it’s a strong likelihood the upcoming year has at least one very positive half. Arturo Gatti, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Brian Viloria, and Shannon Briggs, to name a few, are also on deck. No matter how you chose to look at or measure mass qualities, there’s still just as much good to be seen.

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