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Knockout Nation: Cotto On The Warpath! Predictions!!

Cotto Seeks to

Deliver in Showcase Fight

RING Magazine’s #1 welterweight Miguel Cotto (31-0, 25 KOs)

faces off against Contender alum Alfonso Gomez (18-3, 8 KOs) this Saturday on

HBO. The bout will be for Cotto’s WBA title. Gomez is coming off a decision

over a shot Ben Tackie last October, while Cotto secured a hard fought decision

win over Shane Mosely in November.

There’s a huge disparity in skill level between these two.

Cotto is the more accurate and powerful puncher. The Puerto Rican star also is

a better boxer, having a superb jab and better handspeed.

Gomez likely has the better chin, since he’s fought as high

as 160 and has not been KO’d. However in this fight that will probably only

ensure that he takes a few more rounds of brutal punishment. Bob Arum has made

this fight to make Cotto look good. Gomez cannot outbox Cotto on the outside,

nor can be outwork him on the inside.

I like Cotto by TKO corner stoppage around round 8. It’ll be

entertaining early, as Gomez will exchange and take advantage of Cotto’s

tendency to start slow. But by round 4 Cotto’s superior skill and debilitating

body shots will slowly break down Gomez. His toughness will make some of those

last rounds difficult to watch as Cotto works him over. Gomez is not a big

puncher, so it’s unlikely he can land a peach of a punch to gain an upset.

It’s expected that Cotto will unify with the winner of

Cintron/Margarito, ensuring a clear challenger for Floyd Mayweather’s linear

title.

Cintron Seeks

RedemptionIBF welterweight champ Kermit Cintron (29-1, 27 KOs) will

face dangerous Antonio Margarito (35-5, 25 KOs) in the co-feature. Cintron

suffered an embarrassing fifth round KO loss to Margarito back in 2005. Since

that loss Cintron has entrusted his career to Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel

Steward, who’s guided the heavy handed titlist to wins over David Estrada,

Walter Matthysse, and Jesse Feliciano. Margarito’s two notable opponents since

the first bout include a hard fought decision over Joshua Clottey, and a close

loss to Paul Williams.

Margarito hasn’t changed much from 2005. He’s still a limited

boxer, but he has endless stamina and size which enables him to wear down

opponents. Cintron has become an “Emmanuel Steward fighter,” which means he now

uses his jab very well to establish distance and set up powerful right hand

shots. While Cintron has always been a good puncher, Steward has maximized his

punching power as seen in his brutal knockout of Walter Matthyse. But will that

be enough to stop Margarito?I don’t think so. I pick Margarito by 10th round TKO. Antonio has a sturdy chin and will be able to withstand the bombs that Cintron

will land. So the question becomes will Cintron maintain his composure when

Margarito inevitably presses his attacks in the second half? Hints can be seen

in Cintron’s wins against Estrada and Feliciano, where they were able to rattle

and win rounds from Kermit with sheer pressure and volume punching. Margarito

will bring double that pressure and I feel Cintron will again get discouraged

and have flashbacks from the first fight.

However, Cintron is a live dog here and an upset would not

surprise me. If he wins, it’ll be behind his improved jab which will keep

Margarito’s wild hook attacks at bay.

Cintron-Margarito I

Woods and Tarver Exchange Pleasantries

IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Clinton Woods (41-3, 24 KOs)and Antonio Tarver (26-4, 19 KOs) escalated their war of words this past weekend. Tarver was in rare form, see for yourself.

Woods is a tough swarmer who’ll put immense pressure on the

slowed Tarver. Last year unheralded Elvir Muriqi found success when he forced

Tarver to the ropes and worked the body. To counteract this, Tarver will seek

to keep Woods on the end of his southpaw jab, and time him with the left when

he rushes in.

Woods should be able to

pull off the “upset.” His recent competition has been much better, as the

titlist won grueling decisions over Glen Johnson and Julio Cesar Gonzalez in

his last two bouts. In recent years Tarver has not shown the mobility needed to

nullify a pressure fighter like Woods. Look for the Sheffield veteran to

outwork Tarver down the stretch for a clear unanimous decision.The Young Lion Eyes

Older Prey

Chad Dawson (25-0, 17 KOs) seeks to add a big name US scalp

to his resume when he faces “The Road Warrior” Glen Johnson (47-11, 32 KOs) on

Showtime this Saturday. For Johnson, a win adds a title back to his ledger, and

keeps his name in the mix with the other elite light heavys. A loss severely

erodes his chances of getting another title shot due to his age and the

impending arrival of younger stars in Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe.

This fight will be very difficult for Johnson. Dawson has

slashing, stinging power in both hands, and uses his speed to dart in and out

with fluid attacks. Johnson won’t have a stationary target like he enjoyed against

his recent group of opponents. Johnson will be competitive, but at this stage

of his career Dawson has too much speed, skill, and power for the crafty

veteran.

Prediction is a clear unanimous decision win for Dawson.

 

Sleeper Fight for the

Weekend

Thomasz Adamek (33-1, 22 KOs) returns to the big time with a

cruiserweight showdown against slugger O’Neil Bell (26-2, 24 KOs). Both former

champions are bangers with Adamek carrying the edge in skill. Unfortunately this

fight won’t be televised in the States, but be sure to check Youtube the next

day for updates. Someone is getting knocked out, and my money is on Adamek’s

superior boxing technique to get the job done.

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