DMV boxing fans are in for a treat tonight! Two of our area’s hot prospects (both in the middleweight division) are going to be in action tonight on the under-card of Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs. Tureano Johnson ( televised action starting 9PM EST on Fox Sports 1). Let’s take a closer look at Demond Nicholson and Immanuwel Aleem as well as their opponents.
Laurel, Maryland’s Demond Nicholson(17-2-1 16KO) is set to take on tough Mexican journeyman Josue Obando(15-16-1 12KO). Nicholson brings a strong amateur background in boxing and knockout power that punishes every opponent he has landed clean against. In the past, there have been questions raised about his stamina, as well as his ability to keep energized throughout the later rounds. Obando has only been knocked out twice in his career, so it could be a blessing in disguise for Nicholson if Obando’s chin can keep the fight going into later rounds so he can get more experience in deep waters. If Obando is going to have a chance this fight, he’ll need to evade Nicholson’s power shot, land his own body shots, and hope he runs out of gas late. Nicholson has the talent, work ethic, and power to win the fight, and is the pick here for me. My only hesitation is whether it ends by decision or KO.
Nicholson by TKO
Fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1 10KO) hopes to shock the boxing world again. In January of this year Aleem conquered highly touted, and then undefeated prospect Ievgen Khytrov(14-1 12KO). He’ll be taking on his toughest test to date in Hugo Centeno Jr.(25-1 13KO). Centeno Jr. is the taller fighter (6’1”) and uses his height and reach to wear his opponent down. Aleem will need to find a way to crowd Centeno Jr. and make the fight uncomfortable. Both fighters have moderate power, though not so much to give an edge to either. This fight will come down to who makes fewer errors, and who can capitalize on the others mistakes. My pick comes down to this: in Centeno Jr’s bout against Maciej Sulecki, he was outboxed, and noticeably lost the will to fight. His heart was taken out of the fight, and consequently, he was knocked out. On the other hand, I can think of at least 3 of Aleem’s previous fights which he won due to sheer grit and determination. This is not a learned attribute, and it is the quality I see giving Aleem the edge.
Aleem by decision
How does my prediction strike you? Let me know on Twitter @TheGreatToddman or email me at PugilistsParadise@columnist.com .