Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah have an interesting dynamic surrounding their pay-per-view fight. Judah is a Brooklyn native and with the fight being in Madison Square Garden, one would think he would be the hometown favorite. It would be true on most nights, just not the day before the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which could be spent celebrating a win for their native son Miguel Cotto.
Miguel Cotto vs. Zab Judah
Money Lines: Cotto -275; Judah +215
This matchup doesn’t have the star power of De La Hoya/Mayweather but it will produce better action inside the ring. Cotto doesn’t seem to know how to be in a bad fight. Judah certainly has off nights but makes up for it in tomfoolery and shenanigans. That’s not how Zab would put it but don’t be surprised if he ends up biting a trainer or tea-bagging the time keeper.
Cotto is defending his WBA Welterweight Title, a belt once held by Judah, and also his undefeated record of 29-0 with 24 wins coming by KO. Cotto has looked unstoppable in his last four fights but Zab Judah will be the toughest opponent of his career. That depends, of course, on which Zab Judah shows up. Judah is notorious for his inconsistency yet still sports a solid record of 34-4 with 25 KOs. Losses to Mayweather Jr and Kostya Tszyu are respectable, but his losses to Carlos Baldomir and Cory Spinks were due to uninspired performances, to put it kindly.
Cotto showed a weak chin in his fights with Chop Chop Corley and Ricardo Torres. Zab Judah certainly has the speed and power to exploit that weakness, again given that he is on his A-game. Cotto also has the power and aggressiveness to send Judah back into the chicken dance that Tszyu laid on him. The fight should have a lot of heavy action but it seems that Judah is due for a good performance. The speed ought to wear Cotto down and Judah will work him over in the later rounds.
Prediction: Judah by TKO in the 9th round.
Humberto Soto vs. Bobby Pacquiao
Soto has been on quite a winning streak, which includes a controversial win over Rocky Juarez. Soto has won 18 straight while Bobby Pacquiao has the same number of losses as he does knockouts with a record of 27-12-3 (12 KOs). Manny’s brother still puts on a good show and is not an easy win. But a win still should come for Soto. Pacquiao is more of a natural super featherweight but Soto is naturally a better fighter. Go with the talent.
Prediction: Soto by unanimous decision.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Grover Wiley
The 21-year-old Chavez Jr continues to be fed creampuffs even though a bout with Arturo Gatti could be made for the end of the year. Chavez Jr has this cute little matchup with another soft fighter in Grover Wiley. Wiley has lost four of his last five with that lone victory coming against Chavez Jr’s father in 2005. It was Julio Cesar Chavez’ last fight as he was forced to retire after the fifth round. Chavez Jr will surely have revenge on his mind but it doesn’t matter for this welterweight fight.
Prediction: Chavez Jr by KO in the 3rd round.
Anthony Thompson vs. Yuri Foreman
This is a big fight for two light middleweight prospects. The winner will be vaulted into a much bigger fight while the loser will likely return to a tour of duty with ESPN Friday Night Fights. Foreman is 22-0 (8 KOs) while Thompson sports a record of 23-1 (17 KOs). Foreman has never impressed me before whereas Thompson at least has a little bit of promise. It will probably be a relatively boring yet relatively close fight.
Prediction: Thompson by split decision.
This is a more solid lineup than HBO’s last pay-per-view offering but far less will see it. The main event will be worth checking out and HBO usually replays their PPV main events the following week. If you are cheap than that is your best option for the fight but I recommend checking it out live if you have the means.