Tonight is the night, across Showtime, HBO, and Sky Sports we have eight big fights en-route. There are a lot of fights to cover, so I will jump right in to it.
In Stuttgart, Germany Darren Barker will make the first defense of his IBF middleweight title against former champion Felix Sturm. This is a close fight, Sturm has badly faded in recent years, while Barker has never proved to be an elite middleweight. Scoring will always be a factor when the fight takes place in Germany, especially if Sturm is involved. I believe that Darren Barker will do enough to earn a decision victory, lets just hope the judges do a good job.
In Atlantic City, New Jersey HBO’s triple header opens up with Matthew Macklin facing the relatively unknown Lamar Russ. I have seen very little of Russ, outside of a few videos on YouTube. Nothing I have seen makes me believe he is on Macklin’s level. Macklin should pull out the win, more than likely by KO. In the co-feature Glen Tapia takes on James Kirkland in what promises to be an all out war. Kirkland hasn’t fought in over 18 months, so he promises to be very rusty. He is training with Anne Wolfe, so he will certainly be in shape. Tapia has never been on this level, and may not be ready to be thrown in with the tough as nails Kirkland. I am going to go with Kirkland by mid rounds stoppage. In the main event Guillermo Rigondeaux defends his unified super bantamweight title against the tough and rugged Joseph Agbeko. This is a big fight, and one that Agbeko has been vastly overlooked in by most of the boxing public. Agbeko promises to be just as stiff a challenge as Donaire, if not even more so. With that being said, Rigondeaux is on another level and should look spectacular. Rigo by late stoppage.
Showtime’s quadruple header will open up with Sakio Bika defending his WBC super middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell. Bika is a tough fighter, but will likely not have enough skill to beat Dirrell. Dirrell by a close decision. In the second bout of the evening, Erislandy Lara faces Austin Trout in a big, big fight. This is possibly the most even fight all year. Both guys are in their primes, are fast, and have great boxing skills. Trout has the superior conditioning and work-rate, while Lara has more power and speed. I am going to have to go with Lara in a close decision. Next up, Devon Alexander defends his welterweight title against Shawn Porter. Nothing tough about this pick, Alexander by decision. In the main event Zab Judah takes on Paulie Malignaggi in the “Battle For Brooklyn.” Both guys are well past their prime, but turned in great performances in their last fights. This could be the swan song for the loser and possibly the winner too. This is a very tough fight to pick, but I will have to go with Zab by a close decision.
What do you think of this weeks picks? Who do you think will win? Let me know in the comments section below.