Our selection from last week came from the match up between unbeaten Eleider Alvarez (19-0,10 KOs) of Canada by way of Colombia vs. Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) of South Africa. The bout was scheduled for 12 rounds and a WBC Light heavyweight world title eliminator. The winner would be next in line to face the champ Adonis Stevenson. The bout was on the undercard of the main event which featured IBF super middleweight world champion James De Gale successfully defending vs. former holder of the same belt and local favorite Lucian Bute. Site venue was the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Showtime aired both bouts.
Alvarez entered the bout as the slight favorite vs. the more experienced Chilemba. In the early going Alvarez imposed his physical presence on Chilemba. It through Chilemba off of his game having to focus so much on not being caught by the harder punching Alvarez in the beginning of the bout. Trainer Buddy McGirt urged Chilemba to stand his ground and open up more. Chilemba complied but initially was hit more. He eventually was able to find the proper distance and begin to crawl back into the fight. Alvarez also was tiring in spots down the stretch which Chilemba took advantage of. The official judges scorecards ended with Alvarez as the winner. We were winners as well as we had Alvarez as our pick of the week.
This week we are going with the fight between WBA featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar (27-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina and challenger Jonathan Oquendo (26-4, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico. It will be featured on the undercard of the main event between WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs and former world champion Peter Quillen. The site of the event will be the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. Showtime Championship Boxing will air the event.
Cuellar has really been a nice story. He left his native Argentina a few years back to begin training in the U.S. with Robert Garcia. It turned out to be a major boost for his career as he became a world champion. The improvement in Cuellar has been quite noticeable. He seems like a totally different fighter. His opponent Oquendo has fought tough over the years but never been able to quite get over the hump. This past September he finally got that big win that has eluded him. He defeated former multi-divisional world champion Jhonny Gonzalez in a huge upset.
Oquendo should have the edge in fans cheering him on as New York has a huge Puerto Rican population. Cuellar has adapted well to the United States and is use to not having any large fan base support. Oquendo is riding the wave of the Gonzalez victory. Cuellar has been growing in confidence in each fight. Oquendo seems to have maybe won his career’s biggest fight versus Gonzalez. Cuellar seems like there is still more to come. Some sportsbooks have Cuellar as a -350 favorite over the underdog +250 Oquendo. We’re going with Cuellar to win this fight and retain his world title.
Disclaimer: Boxing360’s Pick of the week is strictly for entertainment purposes only