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Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Wednesday,December 9,2015

Heavyweight boxing tops the bill at the O2 this weekend as Anthony Joshua faces off against the  nemesis of his amateur days Dillian Whyte.  Whether Joshua should be topping a bill at this stage of his career is certainly worthy of comment, but a packed undercard slightly justifies Sky’s exorbitant Box Office fees.  We’ve got Boxing Pools especially for Saturday’s bill; here's a preview of how we see the action playing out:


Paulie Malignaggi v Antonio Moscatiello
For a man who can count Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Zab Judah as former opponents, Paulie Malignaggi could well top a bill on his own.  The former light-welterweight and welterweight world champion was to fight Gianluca Branco for the European title, but a late switch means he'll now face Antonio Moscatiello for the EU crown. As he was against Branco, the Italian-American is an overwhelming favourite in a match that may be destined to go the full 10 rounds. He's not thrilled that Branco pulled out, and took to Twitter to vent, but will be determined to put on a good show. Verdict: Malignaggi by Unanimous Decision



Luke Campbell v Yvan Mendy
Britain's other London 2012 Olympic boxing champion takes his next step on the road to a world title shot when he meets Frenchman Yvan Mendy.  Cool Hand Luke currently has a 12-0 record, whereas Mendy has four defeats from his 37 fights.  You’d suspect Mendy would be handpicked for Matchroom’s Luke to extend his impressive record, but Mendy can be explosive and has won half of his fights via knockout.  Campbell will need to be at his best to unpick the wily Frenchman. Verdict: Campbell with a late stoppage


Kevin Mitchell v Ismael Barroso
After three gallant failures at world level, Kevin Mitchell (along with Martin Murray) is British boxing’s nearly man.  The East Londoner steps back into the ring on familiar turf after a defeat at the hands of Venezuelan Jorge Linares.  This time, he will face off against Venezuela’s other brilliant lightweight, Ismael Barroso.  It shows something of Micthell’s mental strength that he’s willing to take on such a fight so soon after the Linares fight.  It’s arguable that Mitchell would already be a world champion if he’d displayed this sort of mental strength earlier in his career.  This will be a great fight, another worthy of top billing on another day, and I expect the pride of East London to emerge victorious. Verdict: Mitchell on Points


Tony Bellew v Mateusz Masternak
I’ll go on record as saying that I don’t like Tony Bellew very much - if anybody could benefit from some media training, it’s him.  He comes across really badly, but I’m sure that he’s not a bad guy.  He faces Polish cruiserweight Masternak for the European title.  Bellew is a 1/3 favourite, but if there’s to be an upset on December 12th, this would be the fight I’d be looking at.  Bellew is not a true cruiserweight and I fear that he lacks the bite to take Masternak out.  Masternak is a true cruiserweight and has been stopped just once, in the 11th round.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I do not expect Bellew to prevail here. 

Verdict: Masternak by KO


Chris Eubank Jr v Spike O’Sullivan
Junior displays all the pomp and celebrity that his father did without any likeability.  There is no doubting Eubank Jr’s credentials as a boxer, but I was pleased that he lost to BJ Saunders, in the hope that it would provide him with some humility.  Seemingly, it hasn’t, and his tirade against O’Sullivan and the subsequent verbal sparring does nothing for boxing.  O’Sullivan isn’t free from blame in this either, constantly goading Eubank Jr via social media.  You would think O’Sullivan wants Eubank to come out swinging, leaving himself to open to getting hit.  This would be a reversal from the BJ Saunders fight, where Eubank was too cautious in the early rounds. Verdict: Eubank Jr by Decision


Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte
The great hope of British heavyweight boxing has been described as the best prospect Wladimir Klitschko has ever seen.  He also holds a conviction for cannabis possession with an intent to supply, though this isn’t mentioned so much.  He is 14 and 0 with 14 knockouts and has never gone beyond the third round.  People might question his stamina, but he looks a better athlete than any at the heavyweight division.  His power is without question, but truth is, this is his first real fight.  Whilst Kevin Johnson was an obdurate opponent, he never possessed the knockout potential, and as such was never really a threat to Joshua.  Whyte has won all of his last 12 fights by knockout despite a hiatus for a drug’s suspension. Parallels are drawn with their amateur fight, but the results of that are meaningless.  Whyte is a proper fighter, demonstrated by his kickboxing and MMA background.  However, this is boxing and there’s a reason why Joshua is 1/9.  Nobody has ever given us a reason for him not to be priced like that. Verdict: Joshua by KO in Round 6

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The Young Pretender
Monday, December 14, 2015 11:30 AM
Great night of Boxing - pretty close with your Joshua KO in Round 6 prediction!
Monday, December 14, 2015 11:30 AM
Round 7...unlucky!

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