Fans Weigh In: Khan the Heavy Favorite, But @DANNYSWIFT Has His Supporters

Amir Khan, Danny Garcia - Photo Credit: Gene Blevins - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

In what's likely to be his last fight at 140-pounds, Amir Khan hopes to leave his impression on the junior welterweight division—and the fans predict that he will. Our HBO Boxing Facebook poll had 56% of respondents forecast a KO for Khan and 26% who thought he'd win by decision. Only 150 out of 905 people thought Danny Garcia would emerge victorious. On HBO.com Michael Ray A. wrote, "Khan by UD. Too tall, too fast. Don't see Danny giving Amir any trouble throughout the fight." There is one place where Garcia gained traction—@DANNYSWIFT has a formidable Twitter following. And while his 12,500 followers are dwarfed by @AmirKingKhan's 1.1 million, they're an active bunch. Many of them echoed the sentiment of @aboxingfan who tweeted: "Garcia wins by tko on a counter left hook."

Here's some more of what you had to say:

  • Expecting the first two rounds to make it the fight of the year. Khan comes out to send a message and Garcia returns to make claim that he is the alpha dog. But then after that Khan's hand speed will out dazzle Garcia. Khan with a stoppage before the 10th. - V. Varrichio (HBO.com)
  • Khan is getting Danny out of there inside the distance. Speed of Morales and Campbell combined won't match @AmirKingKhan - @MrTactic (Twitter)
  • Garcia 11th round KO Philly left hook  - @spannymont (Twitter)
  • @HBOboxing khan wins too fast to powerful more experience in these big fights! hbo is the best for boxing! respect from England - @juangonzalvez (Twitter)
  • I think this is a chance to see how good Garcia really is. Khan can't afford to drop the ball here. I think Khan wins this by decision. – Seven Thirty (HBO.com)
  • @AmirKingKhan comes out fast, picks him apart with hand speed, 6th round TKO - @Neezy___ (Twitter)
  • Garcia is a good young fighter but Khan is that much better. Khan by decision. - @cjujitsu (Twitter)
  • Garcia looked pretty good against a seasoned Morales, but is obviously going to have a very strategic plan in place, Garcia's overall boxing skillset isn't quite up there with Khan's, but Garcia can pose problems in terms of using the correct strategy. – Riky Ricardo (HBO.com)

 

Relive All the Action of Pacquiao-Bradley Fight Week

By Eric Raskin

Fight week is a steady build, with interviews, press conferences, and analysis on top of analysis leading toward the moment when the fighters touch gloves on Saturday. But something happens on Friday night where the steady build ends and the spike in excitement takes everything to the next level. Nowadays, the signifier that fight week is winding down and fight day is all but here is the airing of the final episode of 24/7. That’s the moment when it becomes real. The fighters are in place. The weigh-in is complete. The fight is officially on. Now we’re all just watching the clock, wishing the hands would turn a bit faster.

How will you pass the time in the final hours before Pacquiao-Bradley? How will you occupy your mind to take the edge off the anticipation? You can relive not just that final episode of 24/7, but the first, second, and third, as well. And you can celebrate everything that happened during fight week.

You can watch the fighters’ arrivals and hear what they had to say when they got to Vegas. You can look back at each man’s previous fight. You can focus on Pacquiao and what’s changed for him lately, or on getting to know Bradley. Or you can strike a balance and explore what’s at stake for each warrior, both the legendary Pacquiao and the undefeated Bradley.

If it’s strategic insight you crave, there’s no shortage of that. You can enjoy a visual breakdown. You can hear what legendary trainer and neutral observer Emanuel Steward has to say, or what legendary trainer and not-at-all neutral observer Freddie Roach has to say. You can go inside the mind of one of one of Pacquiao’s most famous knockout victims, Ricky Hatton. You can check out the CompuBox stats, or go one step farther and see what Inside HBO Boxing bloggers Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney had to say about those stats. And if you think this one’s going to go the distance, you can step up your knowledge of how to score a fight right with Harold Lederman’s help.

And if it’s predictions you want, check out who the media tabbed to win when they gathered at the final press conference. Or read what the fans are saying, from those picking Pacquiao to those predicting the upset.

The clock keeps ticking, slowly but surely. Before you know it, the undercard will be underway. And then, finally Pacquiao and Bradley will step into the ring. Fight week will be over. It will be fight time.

CompuBox Analysis: Zbik vs. Chavez

For Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and his team, Saturday's fight with WBC middleweight titlist Sebastian Zbik was eight years and 43 fights in the making.

First was the three-pronged process of acquiring professional seasoning, building his record and establishing his brand. The result was a glittering 42-0-1 (30 KO) mark, strikingly similar to the 43-0 (37 KO) record his father carried into his first major title fight against Mario Martinez in 1984.

Then there was the deft political maneuvering that removed lineal champion Sergio Martinez from the equation. Martinez, who beat Kelly Pavlik to win the WBC and WBO belts, was stripped and "elevated" to "super" champion and "diamond belt" king while Zbik -- the "interim" beltholder -- was given the "full" WBC strap and the "privilege" of meeting Chavez. The site was the final stroke: Instead of the champion defending before his home fans in Germany, he'll meet Chavez before a heavily Hispanic audience at the Staples Center.  Chavez is a 9-5 favorite.

Will Chavez seize upon this nicely stacked deck or will Zbik overcome the kind of long odds a champion seldom has to face? Their respective CompuBox histories provide strategic options and since Zbik is the champion his blueprint will be presented first:



Read the entire article.

Predictions: Andre Berto On Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz

by Peter Owen Nelson

At 9:06 p.m., a little over 48 hours from Andre Berto’s showdown with Victor Ortiz Saturday night at the Foxwoods MGM, the two narrowly missed each other in the hotel elevators. The welterweight champion had just left the spa from his final workout, while the 3-1 underdog Ortiz returned to the casino from his own at a gym outside the hotel.  

For the 27-year-old Berto, the light late night workout consisted of 1.8 miles on the treadmill, three rounds of mitt work with trainer Tony Morgan, and extensive banter from a half-dozen onlooking members of his family. (A few dozen more are expected to arrive by fight night.) After the mitt work, Morgan, who has trained Berto since he was 10 years old, said, “Andre sees everything, and he’s going to see Ortiz’s one-two [jab-straight left hand] coming from a mile away. 

Just as Berto’s work concluded and the group headed to the elevators, Ortiz headed up to his room with his coaches to check his weight before Friday’s weigh-in. Getting off a phone call, the Kansas native looked down at his phone, which for the past two months has had one image on the wallpaper: Berto’s green WBC welterweight belt.

Across the Atlantic in Manchester, England, earlier in the day, trainer Freddie Roach predicted the outcome at the M.E.N. Arena Saturday of his charge Amir Khan (24-1) against unheralded European champion Paul McCloskey (22-0): “Amir will knock him out in one round — unless he decides to carry him for a round and then knock him out.” The oddsmakers have it not much different, with Khan a near 10-1 favorite.

Berto predicted himself Khan by knockout and Ortiz echoed the sentiment, saying, “I like Amir and I hope he wins.” (Ortiz and Khan had faced each other years ago in the amateurs, with Khan stopping the southpaw.) Roach added that he likes the underdog’s chances in the fight at Foxwoods, saying, “I’ve seen Victor spar at my gym several times, including against Manny Pacquiao. When he was trying to make 140, he never was as strong. I like the move up to welterweight for him.”

If Ortiz’s camp has been any indication, carrying his punch up to welterweight will be no problem for the 24 year old: in heavily padded 16 ounce Winning training gloves (twice the size of the 8 ounce gloves worn fight night), Ortiz went through six sparring partners, dropping two of them. “I told them that I’d pay them extra if they dropped me, so dropping them was only fair,” Ortiz said of the work in his hotel room while snacking on some cashews and watching an episode of Family Guy. 

Despite Berto being the champion and Ortiz having fought at the smaller weight, it was Ortiz who headhunted Berto for this fight, after surveying the junior-welterweight landscape and not seeing a title fight happening anytime in the next year. After Ortiz let his promoters know that he wanted the undefeated slick welterweight champion, he said, “Everyone was like, ‘What the hell is wrong with this kid?’ But I want Andre Berto. I’m going to knock him out.”

Saturday night, we will see if Ortiz can be the first to dethrone the welterweight champion or if he has simply jumped into too much weight against too much class too soon. After Ortiz nearly knocked out Marcos Maidana only to be knocked out himself in 2009 for an interim title, another near-miss for the former prospect of the year at the championship level could push his next title shot a few more years away. For Ortiz, the stakes could not be higher.

Fans Like Berto's Speed, Question Ortiz's Heart

 

With the Berto-Ortiz fight just days away, we asked the fans to share their predictions on HBO.com, Facebook and Twitter. Berto appears to be the favorite, but not everyone's convinced he has what it takes to get past Vicious Victor. Here's what you had to say:

Many fans think Berto is simply too quick for Ortiz, like Lawrence Henderson, who writes on Facebook, "Berto's quickness and power will damage Ortiz's face around the 6th or 7th Round and KO him for sure!" and @voodoodoc who tweeted, "@AndreBerto should prevail..speed ALWAYS kills!"

Others think Ortiz just doesn't have the heart. Juan Maldonando writes on Facebook, "Berto has heart... Something Victor "Not so Vicious" lost to Maidana. Berto will make him quit in the 7th round by KO or Victor not able(willing) to continue." And Elfran Navar writes passionately, "I like ortiz, but Berto will win EASY. Ortiz is going up in weight and facing the fastest fighter he has ever faced. Ortiz has been easy to hit, and Berto will use him as target practice.... And we all know Ortiz doesn't have the heart to fight through a beating."

Ortiz, however, does have his supporters. On twitter @SonnyGirard writes, "Ortiz if he can capitalize on Berto's open defense early." And on Facebook, Gregory Q. says, "If Ortiz comes out fearless he will win. Berto has never faced anyone with Vicious' power and Victor has the speed to land the shot if he doesn't fight tentatively. Berto has been shook up before and he will be shaken and hurt come Saturday. What Victor does to capitalize on that is entirely up to him."

 

 

CompuBox Analysis-Berto vs. Ortiz & Khan vs. McCloskey

The ring is sport’s ultimate proving ground, where athletes risk everything in one-on-one combat. Saturday’s dual-site HBO doubleheader is no exception as WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto meets Victor Ortiz in Connecticut and WBA junior welterweight king Amir Khan duels Irishman Paul McCloskey in Manchester.

Ascending to a new realm while beating the odds (Berto a better than 4-1 favorite while Khan is a better than 10-1 favorite) is the prize for Ortiz and McCloskey while Berto and Khan aim to improve their standing among current champions. Who will achieve their objectives? Their respective CompuBox histories provide these factoids:

 

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Look Ahead To Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz & Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey

Maidana-Morales CompuBox Factors: High Energy, Defensive Lapses

by CompuBox

When Erik Morales emerged from a two-and-a-half year retirement, the objective was clear-cut: Become the first Mexican-born fighter to capture four divisional titles.

His original target was 37-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez, an attractive option because he’s three years older and the holder of two major lightweight belts. But when that match evaporated, in stepped Marcos Maidana and the chance to capture the “interim” WBA junior welterweight title, a belt whose existence defies logic since Amir Khan’s decision over Maidana in December supposedly settled that dispute.

Throughout his 18-year career Morales has never sidestepped a challenge. That’s why fans love him so much – and are so concerned for him now. Does Morales, at 34 and a 5-1 underdog, still have the tools to win or will the 27-year-old Maidana add “El Terrible” to the list of greats victimized by Father Time? Their CompuBox histories offer the following clues:

Read More

Bob Papa and Roy Jones Jr: Look Ahead to Morales-Maidana

Bert Sugar on Paulie Malignaggi vs. José Miguel Cotto

Former IBF light welter champ Paulie Malignaggi (28-4), aka the “Magic Man,” is looking for redemption the night of April 9th against the family Cotto, taking on the brother of the fighter who handed him his first loss, Miguel Cotto. Malignaggi looks to do that voodoo he does so well against Miguel’s brother, José Miguel Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KO’s), to prove to naysayers that he can climb the welterweight mountain to win his second championship.