Predictions: Pacquiao vs Diaz, Clottey vs Judah, Cotto vs Margarito, Klitschko vs Thompson, Torres vs Holt

pac diaz24.06.08 - by James Slater, photo by Chris Farina - Top Rank - There was a time when the summer months were thought to be a a relatively quiet time for the sport of boxing. This is certainly not the case this year. Starting this Saturday night and going on until early August, there is a big fight in all but one of the next six Saturdays. That's five top quality, intriguing - and is some cases - super fights.

This weekend we have the Manny Pacquiao-David Diaz fight, of course. Then, the following Saturday, we have the much anticipated Ricardo Torres-Kendal Holt rematch. Then the Wladimir Klitschko-Tony Thompson heavyweight showdown, then, after a quiet weekend, we have the huge Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito clash. And finally, ending a superb summer schedule, we have the very hard to pick Zab Judah-Joshua Clottey title fight on August 2nd. Fight fans the world over will be glued to their T.V screens in the next six weeks as a result..

But who will win in these quite mouth-watering bouts? In this article I give my predictions for each of the five big fights.

Prediction One: Pacquiao will out-point Diaz.

Many people see "Pac-Man" stopping Diaz quickly. I see a much tougher fight for Pacquiao. Making his lightweight debut, Manny may find himself having to answer some hard questions in the fight. Will Pacquiao's power still be as formidable at 135 pounds? Will his speed be affected? Will the weight of a lightweight's punching power affect him? All will soon be told. Look for Manny to have his hands full as he collects a close decision win.

Prediction two: Torres will out-point Holt.

Fight number one between these two was hugely controversial, as fight fans know. This time, despite the fight taking place closer to home for "Rated R," Holt will still lose. Fight one took place in Torres's home country and the defending WBO light-welterweight champ certainly benefited as a result. Still, even with the rematch taking place in Las Vegas, I still think Torres will do enough to keep his belt. Look for "Mochuelo" to win a tough one on the scorecards.

Prediction three: Thompson will shock Klitschko and score a TKO.

It's likely, almost definite, that many fans will disagree with this one. But I see "The Tiger," a guy who is more than big enough to be able to handle the IBF and WBC heavyweight champ, pulling it off. With his southpaw stance, his underrated jab and his sheer hunger (The 36-year-old has been made to wait a long time for his shot) I see Thompson wanting it more than Klitschko and getting to the champion in the late rounds. Look for Thompson to stop Klitschko in the championship rounds.

Prediction four: Cotto will out-point Margarito.

I know, this makes three predicted distance fights out of four, but this is genuinely how I see the fights going. With regards to this much anticipated barnburner (how can the fight be anything but?) it's likely a good number of fans will be on my side and agree that a distance fight is what we will get. No-one KO's Margarito and Cotto, who took the bombs of Zab Judah and Ricardo Torres and survived, doesn't figure to go over from any of "Tony's" punches. Cotto, who is at his very peak, will prevail in a war, while Margarito, whose peak may just have passed, will push him all the way to the final bell. Look for Cotto to win a gruelling one on the cards in a fight that will elevate both men.

Prediction five: Clottey will stop Judah late.

Picking any Zab Judah fight isn't easy. An unpredictable fighter if ever there was one, we never know what Judah will do, or even which Judah will show up. When he's disciplined and focused "Super Judah" is one of the best fighters out there. But when he loses his head/confidence, the Brooklyn fighter tends to lose the fight also. I feel mental strength will be they key on August 2nd. Clottey has mental strength, Judah, quite often, does not. Look for the fully focused and desperate to win Clotty to emerge triumphant via a TKO somewhere around the 9th or 10th round.

Article posted on 25.06.2008

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