Last week we went with the bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Marco Reyes. We picked Chavez Jr. to win inside the distance since he was such a heavy favorite. Things got off to a bad start for Chavez Jr. when he did not make weight for the fight. Chavez Jr. went on to win a unanimous decision. It wasn’t the best of his performances but a win none the less. We will accept a no decision pick for us since we went on record that we thought Chavez Jr. would win inside the distance.
This week we have decided to go with the bout between former world champion Beibut Shumenov (15-2, 10 KOs) and BJ Flores (31-1-1, 20 KOs). The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds and the WBA interim cruiserweight title. The Palms Casino and Resort, Pearl Theater, in Las Vegas, Nevada will play host to the main event which will be aired live on NBC as part of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series. Power boxing Advisor Al Haymon who has both fighters heads the series.
Shumenov is from Kazakhstan. He was a very accomplished amateur and began his career on the fast track. He was a world champion in just his 10th professional fight. He has continuously seek out the very best talent available for him to test his skills against. He finally landed his high profile fight against legendary Bernard Hopkins in the spring of last year. It was a very tactical affair early on but Hopkins was able to pull away late. Hopkins punctuated matters with an 11th round knockdown on Shumenov. The official judges had Hopkins the winner by split decision in the end.
Flores had a very stellar amateur boxing career himself and also played Division 1A College Football which is the highest level in United States. He began his career as a heavyweight before working his way down to cruiserweight which seems to be the more appropriate weight for his body frame. He did take a step up in class facing former world champion Danny Green in Green’s native Australia in 2010. It seemed like well calculated move at the time being that Green’s best years as a professional at the time were at 168. Green showed he was just as skilled as Flores even with the additional weight and won a clear decision. It was the first loss for Flores who has reeled off 7 straight wins albeit against lesser opposition.
Shumenov is moving up in weight after virtually fighting at Light heavyweight his entire professional career. Flores will be the naturally bigger guy but he is not known for his power. Las Vegas is a home away from home for Shumenov. He doesn’t draw big crowds there but he will be in his element and be comfortable. This bout seems like it is going to come down to skills. We are selecting Shumenov to defeat Flores based on this. We feel that Shumenov is the more complete fighter and fought and defeated better opposition than Flores.