Last weekend was a dull one for boxing fans except for one colossal match in the Heavyweight division, ending with WBA/WBO/IBF Champion Anthony Joshua knocking out high-caliber contender Alexander Povetkin. This weekend, however, is a different story with many intriguing match-ups in multiple weight divisions. Today, we’ll do it a little different and start with the lightest weight and work our way up. Let’s take a look at what we have on the boxing calendar this weekend.
Devin Haney(19-0 13KO) vs. Juan Carlos Burgos(33-2 21KO)- Devin Haney is making waves and moving up the ranks at an astounding rate considering he is only 19-years old! He uses great boxing fundamentals to get himself into position to attack, and slick movement to get out of the way of counters. His recent victory against Mason Menard was a good representation of his skill level. It really is a thrill to watch his work, but I hope his early success won’t cause his ego to inflate. We’ve certainly seen our share of big-headed talents fall to the wayside (eg. Adrien Broner and I predict soon to be Gervonta Davis). Friday night, he’ll be squaring off against rugged veteran Juan Carlos Burgos. Burgos has enough power to hurt Haney if he can manage to land flush, but he’s been out of the ring for over a year, and that is sure to play a role here.
My pick: Haney by decision.
George Groves(28-3 20KO) vs. Callum Smith(24-0 17KO)- This is my pick for bout of the week! Groves is a better fighter than he’s credited with. He’s been in the squared circle with many strong opponents such as Carl Froch, Martin Murray, Badou Jack and Chris Eubank Jr. Jamie Cox and David Brophy also tasted defeat for the first time at the hand’s of Groves. His performances against Carl Froch were two of his best, and must also give his opponent a lot of hope. His opponent is not to be underestimated though. The 6 foot 3 inch tall Callum Smith’s resume isn’t quite as strong as Groves’, but he did give Rocky Fielding, Erik Skoglund and Nieky Holzken their first losses. Smith also has another motivating factor that could bring the energy levels up in the ring, his brother Paul was defeated by Grove’s in 2011. This has the makings to be a good scrap and is this week’s closest match.
My pick: Groves by decision.
Jose Uzcategui(27-2 23KO) vs. Ezequiel Maderna(26-4 16KO)- IBF Super Middleweight Champion will be returning to the ring for the first time following his impressive knockout victory in his rematch with Andre Dirrell this past March. What makes the occasion strange, is that the fight is billed as a Light Heavyweight match. We’ll have to assume this is a stay busy fight, and he’ll return to the division he is currently a champion in next year. Uzi, as he is called, is a rugged, powerful puncher with youth and athleticism on his side. The Venezuelan has notable wins over Rogelio Medina, Julius Jackson and Andre Dirrell, though those don’t exactly scream “elite”. Across the ring from him will stand Argentine Ezequiel Maderna. While Maderna is certainly the underdog here, he has been in the ring with decent competition. The only problem is he has been defeated by that competition, and I see that continuing on Saturday. Still, stranger things have happened!
My pick: Uzcategui by KO.
This weekend, while not star studded, is a weekend filled with solid matches that could end with a knockout at any time. Now for the important question, how do you feel about my predictions? Let me know in the comments below, or via Twitter @TheGreatToddman.