This Saturday night HBO and Showtime as well as Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions go head to head in live prime time broadcast. It is not the first or the last time we will see competing promoters and networks scheduling fight cards the same night and roughly at the same time.
Without a doubt Showtime from San Antonio, Texas, with its quadruple header has the much stronger night than the three fights offered by HBO in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but never the less, fight fans will be able to enjoy a total of seven fights come Saturday night.
Here are the Boxing360.com predictions starting with the HBO card:
Guillermo Rigondeux vs. Joseph Agbeko: The main event bout is a battle between two fighters who don’t speak English and have not fought in eight and nine months respectively. In his last fight, Rigondeux dismantled the 2012 Fighter of the year in Nonito Donaire while Agbeko went twelve rounds with Luis Melendez in his home country of Ghana. Prior to that, Agbeko had not fought in 2 years. All experts have picked Rigondeux in this one. The Cuban amateur standout has all the tools to complete dominate Agbeko who only knows one direction and that is forward. The question is if Agbeko gets stopped or takes Rigondeux the distance. Boxing360.com says Rigondeux with a wide unanimous decision.
James Kirkland vs. Glen Tapia:The first support fight of the night features the return of the “Mandingo Warrior” James Kirkland after an about eighteen months outside of the ring. Kirkland, notorious for his out of ring problems with trainers, promoters and little black pills, faces unbeaten Glen Tapia in the biggest step up fight of his career. In a sense, it is crossroads fight for both since a loss here for Kirkland, his first fight with new promoter 50 Cent, will really set him back while a win for Tapia will really put him on the map. Tapia is a tall aggressive fighter but not more aggressive than Kirkland, despite the lay-off, see Kirkland, who is back with original trainer Ann Wolfe, make a statement with a TKO win over Tapia in the later rounds.
Matthew Macklin vs. Lamar Russ:Originally slated to face Willie Nelson, Macklin must now settle with late sub and undefeated Lamar Russ. Russ has not fought anybody of note but has faced a couple of undefeated fighter’ and taken their ‘0’s. Macklin is a tried and true fighter whose last three losses have come against elite level competition in Golovkin, Martinez and Sturm. Look for Macklin to knock out Russ in a showcase fight for the English fighter.
Now on to the Showtime event:
Paul Malignaggi vs. Zab Judah:The battle for Brooklyn bragging rights is upon us and it has all the trimmings to be the fight of the weekend. Both smart and technical fighters, neither is as quick as they were in their prime but that works for more action in the ring. Both are up there in age but Malignaggi might be the fresher of the two and with his constant attack, perhaps with not that much power but consistent, will be enough to cause Judah, who tends to fight in spurts, problems and take a close majority decision.
Devon Alexander vs. Shawn Porter:Devon Alexander, the IBF welterweight champion, has one pro loss. The loss came against Timothy Bradley. Along the way he has faced and defeated some of the toughest fighters in the light welter and welterweight division. Alexander has defeated Junior Witter, Juan Urango, Andriy Kotelnik, Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana. Alexander’s experience will be too much for the inexperienced Porter who’s biggest name on his ledger is Julio Diaz in a rematch. Look for Alexander to take the unanimous decision.
Sakio Bika vs. Anthony Dirrell:Sakio is one tough hombre. Always on the fringes of the top ten, Bika of Cameron but fighting out of Australia finally captured a world title by defeating the tough Marco Antonio Periban via majority decision after challenging Andre Ward and Joe Calzaghe for their world titles. The last time we saw the undefeated Anthony Dirrell was his knockout victory of Anthony Henshaw back in July. No questions here Bika wins a unanimous decision and hands Dirrell his first loss.
Erislandy Lara vs. Austin Trout:This fight would have been its own main event any other night but here it’s part of this blockbuster. Both have world-class experience with Trout coming off his first loss as a pro at the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez while Lara of a TKO win over Alfredo “Perro” Angulo. This is truly a pick ‘em fight with both fighters with their own respective strengths and weaknesses. Boxing360.com is going with Lara who has enough quirkiness in his style to take the split decision.