The card is titled “Coming To Fight” but is that really going to be true? Winky Wright and Bernard Hopkins are both defensive minded strategists. This fight has major potential to be as boring as history class. It’s a good thing that the undercard features two exciting fighters in title defenses. Oscar Larios battles Jorge Linares for the WBC Featherweight Title while Michael Katsidis defends his WBO Lightweight Title against Czar Amonsot.
Bernard Hopkins vs. Winky Wright
Money Line: Hopkins +110; Wright -140
This fight has “boring” written all over it. But with much of the pre-fight hype centering on how boring the fight will be, Wright and Hopkins just may try to surprise the fans with crazy action. It will be like Hagler-Hearns. OK, maybe not. Obviously this fight will not be for the casual boxing fan. However, there are fans of technical boxing skills that are looking forward to watching the ebb and flow of this fight. I just don’t know any of them. Especially with a $50 price tag on it.
The odds put Winky Wright as a slight favorite. Bernard Hopkins has made a name as one of the greatest middleweights of all time and is coming off of a light heavyweight title win over Antonio Tarver. The middleweight limit is 160 lbs whereas the light heavyweight limit is 175 lbs. This fight will be contested at a catchweight of 170 lbs. The weight for the fight is to no man’s advantage.
Winky Wright has built a reputation around his defense but he also has one of the most effective jabs in boxing. Wright isn’t likely to do anything that Hopkins isn’t ready for and it will be interesting to see the adjustments each fighter makes throughout the fight. Hopkins is known for counter-punching but I think he knows he can win this fight by being the aggressor. Wright is more likely to rely on what brought him to the dance whereas Hopkins will be more willing to adjust to his opponent’s gameplan. I think Hopkins will be more aggressive than we are used to seeing him. Neither man has been knocked out in his career so expect this to go the distance.
Prediction: Hopkins by split decision
Oscar Larios vs. Jorge Linares
Don’t worry. I don’t know who Jorge Linares is either. That doesn’t make this WBC Featherweight Title fight too difficult to predict. Larios isn’t the most consistent fighter but he has over 60 fights as a professional and he’s just 30 years old. Linares hasn’t beaten anyone I have heard of but he is undefeated. Of his 23 wins, only 14 have come by knockout. That isn’t a great KO % for Linares considering that he fights bums.
Larios is certainly a guy that can be upset but I don’t see it happening against Jorge Linares. Larios is a fun fighter to watch and hopefully he will move on to better matchups after this fight. Perhaps a rubber match with Israel Vazquez?
Prediction: Larios by KO in the 8th round.
Michael Katsidis vs. Czar Amonsot
Michael Katsidis is a young Australian dynamo making his first defense of the WBO Lightweight Title. Once again, the challenger is no one that I’ve heard of. Katsidis is 26 years old with an undefeated record of 22-0 (20 KOs). This ought to be a good introduction for the champ as he is set up with a young Amonsot, taking his first shot at a world title. Amonsot is just 21 years old and not likely ready for what lies ahead of him.
Prediction: Katsidis by 3rd round KO.
You probably already know if you are going to order this pay-per-view. If you are a casual fan than save your money for a main event with more bang for the buck. On the other hand, if you are a fan of boxing strategy then you’ve likely been looking forward to this fight for three months and nothing I say will sway you from ordering this show. Expect HBO to replay the main event alongside Baldomir/Forrest the following week. I’m interested in seeing who wins, just not the means of how that man got there. Certainly not for $50.
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