1.) I went 2-for-3 on my title bout predictions from a week ago. First up, Denkaosan Kaovichit took the WBA flyweight crown off of Takefumi Sakata with a 2nd round knock out. I also correctly predicted that Toshiaki Nishioka would succesfully defend his WBC interim junior featherweight title against Genaro Garcia. My incorrect pick came in the WBA "regular" lightweight championship fight, which I thought would be won by the defending champ, Yusuke Kobori. It seems I disregarded challenger Paulus Moses' undefeated record (built mostly against less-than-steller competition) at my peril, as Moses picked up the crown and now sits at 24-0. At least I can say it was a close call, as the fight went to the cards, with Moses getting the unanimous decision.
2.) I mentioned that Evander Holyfield was contesting the decision in his December 20 fight against Nikolai Valuev, and it seems the WBA is taking things seriously. A panel of judges will apparently review the fight, and I would imagine that they'll actually consider whatever the panel says (this being boxing, though, maybe I'm giving them too much credit -- I suppose it's possible that this was done just to shut Holyfield up). Again, I don't really have a dog in this fight; it sounds like neither fighter was very good. However, I don't think the decision of the ringside judges should be overturned unless it is absolutely clear that their decision was wrong, and I don't think this fight rose to that level. A bad decision? Quite possibly. A clearly, obviously, unequivocally wrong one? No.
3.) There are two title fights in Germany on Saturday. In the first fight, WBO light heavyweight champ Zsolt Erdei (29-0-0; 17 KO) will defend against the WBO #10 contender Yuri Barashian (25-4-0; 17 KO). Erdei has held the title since January 2004, with 10 succesful defenses behind him. I would be stunned if he lost the title to Barashian, who only the WBO and IBF have even bothered to rank.
4.) The second title fight on the German card will see WBO super middleweight champion Denis Inkin (34-0-0; 24 KO) make his first defense since winning the title in September against Fulgencio Zuniga. His opponent will be undefeated Karoly Balzsay (19-0-0; 14 KO), the WBO #1 contender and Intercontinental champion. I love fights between undefeated competitors, and this one should be entertaining. Both of these guys seem to have some finishing power, and they're about the same age (Inkin is a little older). I'm going to give the edge to Inkin to retain.
5.) Finally, Friday night brings the season premier of ESPN's Friday Night Fights, which will see Yuriorkis Gamboa and Odlanier Solis in action. Free fights are always welcome!
Labels: Boxing Banter