The lightweights, Mora Vs Forrest and more...

campbellBy Robert Jackson, photo by Tom Casino / Showtime - Boxing has gone flat with the end of Friday Night Fights season, USA Olympic boxing's dismal results and the outcome of the Margarito/Cotto superfight. Well this coming weekend arguably the top 4 lightweights will take center stage in fights to eventually determine 135lb supremacy. In one corner we have the grizzled, wiley veteran Nate "The Galaxy Warrior" Campbell who proved his metal by conquering "young lion" Juan Diaz and TAKING his titles. The other corner will be inhabited by up-and-comer Joan Guzman. When I think about Campbell, it's hard to forget the schooling he was putting on Robbie Peden only to let down his guard and get caught with a knock-out left hook! The subsequent rematch between Peden and Campbell didn't yield an alternate ending, with Peden once again having his hand held high at the end. When Joan Guzman is thought about, one thing comes to mind, Floyd Mayweather Sr. Despite Mayweather Sr's shinanigans I consider "Floyd Joy" to be one of the top 5 trainers in the business, but I sometimes wonder what the "Joy" means? Floyd Sr has Guzman fighting a VERY disciplined fight and using all of the tools available to an elite fighter. Coming up from 122lbs directly to 130lbs and shortly thereafter jumping to 135lbs has to mean something for Guzman? Will Guzman be strong and durable enough to handle the pounding that Campbell will put on him? Or, will Guzman box circles around Campbell all nite? Either scenario may turn out to be the case..

The other lightweight fight this weekend presents the other "crafty" old-vet Joel "El Cepillo" Casamayor and what comes to mind with the Cuban is his 3 battles with the late Chico Corrales! The rubbermatch between the 2 came after Corrales' unusual trilogy with Jose Luis Castillo, so El Cepillo's victory in the 3rd fight doesn't carry much weight in my book! The other combatant is none other than Juan Manuel Marquez a former 126lb and 130lb champion who by beating the Cuban hopes to secure a 3rd matchup against WBC lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao. Have to say El Cepillo looked terrible against Jose Armando Santa-Cruz and in-fact Santa-Cruz was robbed, he probably had to thumb a ride home after that fight! But in The Cuban's defense he looked refreshed and revived while defeating prospect Michael Katsidis who fights with more heart than skill! In fact Juan Diaz this past weekend defeated Katsidis more dominantly than did El Cepillo and by doing so Diaz put himself back into the 135lb mix! Marquez' fixation on Pacquiao is troubling but understandable, but I wonder if 135lbs is too heavy a weight for Marquez to compete in? I get the impression that like Erik Morales 135lbs at this stage in Marquez' career is too much for him and I doubt whether Pacquaio after fighting Oscar DeLaHoya at 147lbs will ever go back down to 135lbs and compete. The questions I have for both fighters are these, how much does Casamayor have left and can Marquez compete at 135lbs?

Finally, Vernon Forrest, how much does he have left and was the first fight between Forrest and Mora a fluke? Vernon's long layoffs and shoulder injury have been well documented, and Mora's not taking advantage of his Contender victory is also out there. Forrest seemed to have lost his comeback fight against Ike Quartey, many have said that Quartey was robbed! Forrest's follow up victories over Carlos Baldomir and Michelle Picarillo aren't what legends are made of but they are credible victories. On Mora's behalf he turned down another "Contender"-like payday by refusing to fight Jermaine Taylor who in my opinion at that time was ripe for the taking! Mora's excuse was he didn't want to fight in Memphis Tennessee on Taylor's home turf! I wish they would've offered me that $1M to fight Taylor in Tennessee! Mora was also underwhelming in his fight against Elvin Ayala which was scored a draw! Many thought that Ayala won! But against Forrest, Mora has his most credible win IMHO that fight should've been unanimous but was scored a majority decision by the judges.

Timothy Bradley vs Edner Cherry, should be exciting with "Desert Storm" doing the boxing and "Cherry Bomb" doing the bombing! Cherry's best weight has been 135lbs and the last time he stepped up to 140lbs to compete he was beaten by Paulie Malignaggi. Bradley has a lot to prove as the newly crowned WBC 140lb champion so expect fireworks during this battle!

My picks, I'm picking Casamayor over Marquez by SD, Guzman over Campbell by UD, Mora over Forrest by UD and Bradley will stop Cherry via late rounds TKO.

Article posted on 11.09.2008

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