At The US Airway Center, Phoenix, AZ
Jesus Gonzales (26-1, 14 KOs) vs. Francisco Sierra (24-3-1, 20 KOs)
Tito’s Pick: This is a good fight. Sierra is the dude who beat Don George out of nowhere. That was last year and since, Sierra has 2 knockouts early and a majority draw in between against Dyah Davis. Gonzales came back last year successfully after a two year layoff. He has fought just twice. I like the right handed Sierra in this one. He is taller at 6’1”, younger at 23 to Gonzalez’ 26 and carries the perfect weapon to beat a southpaw: the right hand. Give me Sierra by decision.
How it went down: What a war. Both guys got knocked down but it was Gonzalez who was more consistent throughout, landing on the inside and outside en route to landing a unanimous decision. This is a fight of the year candidate easily.
At Buffalo Bill’s Casino Star Arena, Primm, NV
Jessie Vargas (15-0) vs. Walter Estrada (39-14-1)
Tito’s Pick: The best thing I can say about Estrada in this is he is a crafty veteran southpaw. But man, he is smaller, 175 years old, and should lose this fight.
How it went down: Vargas needed only two rounds to land a nasty knockout. Estrada and Vargas were trading in the second when Estrada slipped and ate a left hook that put him down hard on the canvas.
Vargas will win by decision or late TKO.
At Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
Akifumi Shimoda (23-2-1) vs. Rico Ramos (19-0)
Tito’s Pick: Shimoda will win. Ramos and Al Haymon will get the decision.
How it went down: Well, it would appear Ramos didn’t need help from the judges. He was losing every round but it didn’t matter. In the seventh round with seconds left, Ramos landed a left hook that ended everything.
Paul Williams (39-2) vs. Erislandy Lara (15-0-1)
Tito’s Pick: Williams is a class above Lara in every way. PWill by decision.
How it went down: Ok so I was wrong. So wrong that it makes me question whether Williams should even keep fighting. If Cintron looked like flat crap in L.A., Williams looked like crap that had been hit too many times on his chin. Over and Lara landed his left hand and right hook. Williams’ defense is horrible. He doesn’t adjust and he refuses to. Lara clearly won the fight but Williams got the majority decision.
Jhonny Gonzalez (48-7) vs. Tomas Villa (23-7-4)
Tito’s Pick: Gonzalez is on a roll. He gets a stoppage late.
How it went down: Gonzalez didn’t need more than four rounds to get Villa out of there. TKO in 4.
Chris Arreola (32-2) vs. Friday Ahunanya (24-7-3)
Tito’s Pick: Arreola by knockout.
How it went down: Arreola looked solid in dominating Ahunanya over ten rounds to get a decision. The crowd was happy with the show though Arreola said he didn’t think it was his best night.
At The Home Depot Center, Carson, CA
Brandon Rios (27-0) vs. Urbano Antillon (28-2)
Tito’s Pick: Rios knocks out Antillon in 8-10 rounds.
How it went down: Brandon Rios beat the brakes off Antillon. He got in uppercuts, left hooks and two right hands that froze Antillon in his tracks. It was brutal, it was short and it was great while it lasted.
Kermit Cintron (32-3-1) vs. Carlos Molina (18-4-2)
Tito’s Pick: Molina by decision.
How it went down: Just how I thought. Kermit is done. He looked rusty and slow. Molina looked ready to go and took control right off from the first bell. Outworked, outhustled and out boxed. This was a long beating where Cintron never got on track. Molina by decision.
At Romexpo, Bucharest, Romania
Lucian Bute (28-0) vs. Jean Paul Mendy (29-0-1)
Tito’s Pick: Bute by decision but it won’t be easy.
How it went down: Bute landed one of the best shots of the year with a left hand from hell that stopped Mendy cold and left him on his face out cold.