Brook vs Spence : Big Fight Preview + Prediction

Well guys the Big Fights just keep coming thick and fast in 2017, but this one feels a bit special , as Special Kell Brook gets ready to take on the very highly rated Errol Spence Jnr in Sheffield on Saturday night . This is a fight i have been shouting had to be made for around 18 months , but after Brook took a stab at GGG at middleweight it was suggested he might drop IBF Welterweight crown and move up , but to my relief and excitement he has hung around to take on his manditory challenger infront of 30,000 at his beloved Bramall Lane.

“Defences against guys like Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier doubled with Brook being stabbed in Spain has seen his career stall”

Now i have said before in this blog space that “I used to be high on Kel Brook” in past tense, because Kell Brook (W36/L1/D0 KOs 25) since bringing the IBF strap home after defeating Shawn Porter, has stalled . It has even been suggested that Brook had lost his hunger in the ring. Like most in the the UK, I thought Brook would push on and chase down the biggest fight in the division because he certainly had the talent, but infact the opposite happened. Defences against guys like Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier doubled with Brook being stabbed in Spain,  it has seen his career fail to catch fire the past few years. After trying to mix it at middleweight, Brook is back where he belongs and looks ready to take on the best again, even proving sceptics like myself wrong by making weight relatively easy. 

“i think a lot of the stateside pundits maybe underestimating the gulf in class between guys like Algieri and Bundu to Kell Brook”

I’ve sat up and took notice of Errol Spence (W21/L0/D0/kos18)  for a couple of years now . I can remember thinking when i saw him take Chris Algieri apart ,that he reminded me of the Kell Brook of old. Spence does have some genetic advantages over Brook tho like the sheer size of the man, anyone who seen them at the first press conference when the fight had been announced ,couldn’t help notice how big the American was. There is also no questions marks over Spence’s hunger and commitment as he’s been chasing this fight for nearly two years , and i have to admit there did seem a bit of reluctance from the Brook camp to make it even when Spence was ordered as mandatory   . The one thing about Spence tho is he is relatively untested , i think a lot of the stateside pundits maybe underestimating the gulf in class between guys like Algieri and Bundu to Kell Brook , but one thing is for sure by fights end on Saturday night we will see if Spence is the real deal .

Prediction;

I think most people including the two fighters accept this a close 50/50 fight , Brook even suggested he thinks both of them might touch the floor before the fight ends . There are so many unknowns in this fight like , has Brook lost any power coming down to 147lbs again ? He looks very ripped which is a sign of a lean diet .Also no one really knows how Spence will react to  someone actually hitting him back or if his power is as all its cracked up to be . Personally i think this is Spence’s time ,after seeing the lads last few fights i feel he has the  momentum and belief to get the job done , but with how bad some of the judging is in the UK he will need a stoppage to get the win , my money will be on Errol Spence Jnr stoppage rounds 7 to12 for around 10/3 in the bookies .

Steven Donnell

Canelo vs Chavez :Preview and Prediction 

Saturday night will see this years all Mexican, Cinco De Mayo Big Fight night in Las Vegas  when Saul Canelo Alverez takes on fellow Mexican poster boy Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr ,as they battle it out to see who is the “King of Mexico” . For me this years Cinco De Mayo Fight night is special because for the first time in a long time we will have two Mexicans topping the bill and that only seems right for its the Mexicans fans that make this event different from every other big boxing event through the year .Having been in Mexico duruing a gold cup final (Football/Soccer) where they beat the USA,i can honestly say no one does passion for sport like the Mexicans .

“When this fight was first announced , i have to admit i was a little shocked and a bit disappointed”

 

 Chavez Jnr has been all but retired living the celebrity lifestyle he has always struggled to keep away from . Being the son Mexican Legend Chavez Snr, Jnr has always lacked work ethic and although most fans outside Mexico do realise he has skill most of us feel he‘s got an easy ride from people at the top, such as Mauricio Sauliaman the President of the WBC . Well all the above is true , well that is until Jnr’s last fight against Dominok Britch where he won a convicing points victory. That victory in itself was not really a game changer, as Chavez as per usual struggled with the weight, but what has made me sit up and notice is that Chavez has not came out of training camp since that fight ,to make sure he makes Canelos crazy 164lbs catchweight . If Chavez can make the weight this could be an interesting fight .

“no none knows how Canelo will handle being the smaller man”

 

Canelo is the other end of the spectrum, the son of an ice cream vendor, Canelo is one of the most dedicated boxers in the game. Canelo also replaced Chavez Jnr as the poster boy in Mexico. When this fight was announced i thought this would be a pushover for Canelo , but after seeing how Jnr is preparing for this fight  , then considering  the size diffrence between the two ,this could end up closer than i had originally thought. No one knows how Canelo will handle being the smaller man, will his power come up with him . In the build up to this fight one thing has become clear, the Mexican people  are divided in there loyalties , also the hatred between these two men makes the build up to Haye/Bellew look like a kids show so we should be set for fireworks .

Predication;

I see this starting off a bit cagey, with both men weary of each others power . Also Chavez must be feeling some effects from dropping so much weight , so a high tempo will not suit him . Chavez will probably take some of the middle rounds , but never really hurting Canelo. The second part of the fight Canelo will force the pace and punish any mistake Chavez makes , with Chavez getting weaker and weaker . One thing we can say about Chavez tho is that he has always had a grant chin and that might just see him take it to the cards. Personally i will be going for a Canelo stoppage from rounds 9-10 .

Fight night Addition ,Please note  : Chavez has made weight  looking drawn in but has said he will be entering at 185lbd , Chavez jnr could be worth a couple of £ 

Joshua vs Klitschko :Big Fight Preview and Prediction 

Well folks its finally here, the biggest Heavyweight title fight in nearly two years will take place this weekend , when Anthony Joshua takes on Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF Heavyweight Title and WBA Super Heavyweight Title , in front of 90,000 at a packed Wembley Stadium , and i cannot wait . I’ve got to admit this fight has took a while to grow on me as in the excitment department  , but now its always there in the back of my mind. I find myself trying too break this one down to pick a winner for hours at a time , and even now after days as i sit down to write this , i don’t know who i am going to pick in my prediction at the end , that can only be a good thing as a boxing fan , something that we don’t get to do to much .

“If he does that on Saturday Night its game over”

I will start off with saying i still view Joshua as a “prospect” and as recent twitter activity has shown, this does offend some people , but i do have reasons for this view which i will outline . Anthony Joshua does not have a top 15 win on his resume so what do we really know about this young man . We know his power is real , i don’t think even the biggest AJ haters could argue against that , but how powerful is AJ after 10-12 rounds of being put under pressure by a credible opponent , no one knows  . Also we have only ever seen AJ being hit once when Dillion Whyte caught him, whilst Whyte himself was hurt , and Joshua’s reaction was poor, his legs stiffened and he moved back in a straight line looking for the safety of the ropes, if he does that on Saturday night its game over . But lets not be to hard on Anthony Joshua here , the reason we don’t know the answer to these questions is he’s been brought along well by Eddie Hearn, and after all the mismatches he is now stepping up to fight one of the best . Klitschko himself backed AJ to go to the top after using him as a sparring partner , and now he’s going to get to see the more matured AJ to see who’s top of the active heavyweights just now .

That night in Dusseldorf Tyson Fury made Klitschko look every bit the 40 year old Wladimir

Klitschko has been a man possesd in becoming top of the pile against since his shock loss to Tyson Fury in 2015 , but Klitschko is in a uphill battle against every boxers most feared rival ….time . That night in Dusseldorf Tyson Fury made Klitschko look every bit the 40 year old , with Wladimir looking slow and reluctant to let his hands go , and now at 41 and with no fights in the last 18 months ,is this fight going to be to much for Dr Steelhammer ? . It’s hard to judge how much we can take from that Fury fight , as Fury is one awkward costomer, just how do you prepare to fight a giant heavyweight who moves like a lightweight . One thing Klitschko has in abundence is experience, this guy has more KO’s that AJ has rounds during his ten year reign as “The Man” and Klitschko isn’t one of these boxers who only train 3 month before a fight , Klitschko is a 24/7 athlete who loves boxing . He may be 41,  but as a heavyweight who’s always in shape and lives the right way,  he may be able the cheat his old foe time for another couple years yet .  

Prediction ;

Well i have to admit , i haven’t been looking forward to this part of the preview at all as i am still on the fence . I think Anthony Joshua’s best chance of victory is trying to catch Wlad cold . Joshua has the power to take out anyone and if he goes out and pressures Klitschko from the off , the chances are he will land one of those big shots and that could end Klitschkos night .On the other hand i think the longer this fight goes the more the pendulum swings in Wlads favour . Being a seasoned vetran , i think Wlad is going to try and take AJ to places he’s not had to go to yet in his short career . Whoever wins i don’t see this one going the distance, there is far to much power from both men for it to go to the cards . Now time to pick a winner …………AJ inside 6 rounds …..but that may change before saturday night .

Steven Donnell  

Burns vs Indongo :Big Fight Preview + Prediction

Well its nearly that time folks, another Ricky Burns Fight Night in Glasgow SSE Hydro as he takes on Namibian World Champion Julias Indonogo for the IBF, IBO and WBO Super Lightweight World titles as he tries to unify the division infront  of his home fans .

“I can tell you now this is not going to be an easy night for Ricky Burns”

Indongo who’s a southpaw is one awkward rangy costomer and as we have seen in the past Burns can struggle with this style at times .On Indongo’s last outing he beat bookies favourite Eduard Troyanovsky with a first round KO ( Watch here )in Russia to claim the IBO and IBF straps in a major upset to set up this massive unification fight with Burns , and the highly rated African is going to come to Glasgow looking to stop Ricky early and as we have seen he does have the power and skill to do it .

But its not all doom and gloom for Burns , not by a long shot . Ricky Burns has been one of the best Champions Scotland has produced in my lifetime . With his granite chin, work ethic and his Heart of a Rampant Lion , Burns is still a match for most between 135lbs -140lbs . Also Julias Indongo is a bit of a unknown quantity with only one recognised World Level opponent on his CV , where as Ricky Burns has mixed it with the likes P4P superstar Terrence Bud Crawford , Dejan Zlaticanin , Kevin Mitchell , Rocky Martinez to name a few and held his own ,if Burns can get back to anything near that level then he will be the unified Champion of the world ….that is a big IF tho.

“I do have a bad feeling about this one for Ricky Burns”

Prediction;

This a tough fight to call , from the very limited coverage i have seen of Indongo on youtube he does look like he has everything , but this is against guys nowhere near the level of Burns , his win in Russia was also to short to make a proper assessment of his skills . On Burns last outing i thought Kiryl Relikh outscored Burns in a close fight which the judges gave to Burns , that left me asking that night if age had finally caught up with Ricky? . I do have a bad feeling about this one for Ricky Burns but i am still going to back him to win on points,  his engine will see him thru, i think Indongo will start fast but fade as the fight goes on .

Steven Donnell

Williams vs Smith Big Fight Preview and Prediction

This weekend will see the biggest domestic bout of the year when Liam Smith takes on Liam Williams in the Manchester Arena for the interim WBO Super welterweight title, in what promises to be a great fight on BT Sports first show of there partnership with Frank Warren  .

Smith who is coming off a loss to Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez in his last REAL fight (Not counting Smiths 4 rounder in Spain last month) has been quick to shoot down anyone who claims this is a 50/50 but the truth of the matter is there is very little to choose between these two . Yes you could argue that Liam Smith has fought at a much higher level , but Liam Williams is a rising star in the division and will be wanting to show the World what he can do, that makes him a very dangerus opponent . If Liam Smith is to get his career back on track he has to get it right on Saturday night , he must draw on his experience ,as thats where he does have an edge on Williams .

Liam Williams has been waiting for this opportunity for a while now and i have no doubt when Saturday night comes he will be ready to go to war. Williams has also been getting some top sparring ,with the likes of commonwealth champion David Brophy and after speaking to David he told me Liam Williams is in top shape for the fight of his life . Although Williams may not have shared the ring with the likes of Canelo Alvarez he has came through some tough fights and is always eager to entertain which makes him a fans favourite .

Prediction; I think the biggest danger to Liam Williams in this fight is Liam Williams himself . Williams has a top class jab and with the way Liam Smith moves i.e. in straight lines with little to no head movement , Smith is tailor made for Williams , the big danger for Williams is his eagerness to go toe to toe , if Williams boxes and establishes his jab ,i see him going home with the belt

Steven Donnell

Crolla vs Linares Review + My Thoughts on Joe Gallagher

Well folks on Saturday night we got to see something special, we got to see Jorge Linares get back to his absolute best as he took Anthony Crolla to peices over the 12 rounds . Most people expected a Linares win but the way in which he went about this victory sent a message out to the rest of the division .

From the off Linares looked sharper,quicker and more accurate than Crolla and although  there was not a lot to cheer it was obvious that Crolla had a mountain to climb if he was to win back his world title . As the early rounds crept on past Jorge Linares quickly worked his way thru the gears , catching Crolla out with his wide variation of punches to which Crolla had little to no reply . Crolla was taking a massive amount of punishment  trying to get inside and force Linares backwards , but the few times he did get inside he done something that was ludicras , he covered up, stood static and tried to throw single shots , i really couldn’t believe what i was watching . The first time these two had met Crolla was on a bit of a good run and although he was clearly outclassed in that fight he was a threat and did give Linares problems , this time Linares was even better but Crolla looked like a shadow of his former self, he looked as if he lacked belief and by half way i had Linares up by six rounds and really on cruise control . In the seventh Linares was really opening up on Crolla and even sent him to the canvas with a lovely upper cut Crolla didn’t even see coming , and it did for a bit look as tho the end was near but Anthony Crolla showing some great heart seen out the round . The trip to the canvas seemed to wake Crolla up because he took the eighth, but still only landing single shots and never really putting Linares in trouble, but it did look for a while that Linares might have gassed but that wasn’t to be for Crolla , Linares was just having a round off . In the closing rounds Linares went back up the gears the ,Crolla was struggling and there was very little coming back but Crolla having the heart of a lion would not stop coming forward . At the end of the eleventh as Crolla made his way back to his corner, Crolla and his trainer Joe Gallagher seemed to have a confrontation , Gallagher was trying to stop the fight going into the last round but after some pleading Crolla came out and stuck on in until the end to take some pride  in taking  it to the cards, but it was only a formality as all judges had scored it 118-109 , this really was a masterclass from Linares setting him up nice for Mikey Garcia to see who’s the No1 in the division .

So what next for Crolla ?

I think there is only one logical route for Crolla and thats to finally demand Eddie Hearn give the fans the fight they want, Crolla v Flanigan ,two lads from the same city who went to the same school fighting for a world title , that fight sells big , if nothing else it could be a massive check out fight for Anthony Crolla ,but already Hearn has put road blocks infant of this fight demanding Crolla gets £1m purse for the fight which is insane for a guy coming off two losses and holds no belts .

Now onto Joe Gallagher, Saturday night was a disaster for Gallagher and any fighter worth there weight will leave or stay well clear of this outdated dinosaur. I said in my preview to this fight Gallagher must leave his ego at the door but very early on in the night we seen that could never happen . Youngster Marcus Morrison was left in the ring by Gallagher to be savagely beaten from pillar to post for ten rounds , a fight that shouldn’t have went past the sixth, and really did become painful to watch to the point Tony Bellew on commentary was pleading for Gallagher to stop it to no avail . Then in the main event Crolla was sent out with the same boring domestic level tactics of high guard ,no head movement and just to walk forward onto severe punishment from a world class operator in Linares , bizarrely Gallagher had seen enough after eleven rounds and tried to stop it , Crolla is an experienced boxer who had 3 mins left to fight for pride and Gallagher tried to pull him out , yet let a youngster fight be humiliated for most of the ten rounds earlier in the evening ………madness .

Steven Donnell