Alycia Baumgardner and Frank Martin look to build on the momentum created from recent performances inside the ring. This weekend streaming live on DAZN Alycia Baumgardner faces the boxer that gave her the only career loss in a rematch with Christina Linardatou.
On Showtime, Frank Martin steps through the ropes to face an unbeaten fighter named Artem Harutyunyan. Two bouts listed below the main events to keep an eye on are Andy Cruz vs. Juan Carlos Burgos and Elvis Rodriguez vs. Viktor Postol.
The other bout that was the most equally matched of the weekend on paper was Nonito Donaire vs. Alexandro Santiago. As it turns out, it was bumped off the Showtime card in favor of a higher-profile spot on the Spence vs. Crawford PPV undercard. And, of course, I had already written a breakdown for that bout which makes it back-to-back weeks with Stanionis vs. Ortiz Jr. being canceled last Saturday.
Dating all the way back to 2018, Alycia Baumgardner took her first loss as a professional to Christina Linardatou. Three bouts later, Christina cashed in that victory by challenging Katie Taylor, losing in a competitive fashion in 2019. This is a perfect opportunity for Alycia to show her versatility and the improvements made over the last few years. In just her 7th pro outing Alycia was way less experienced, and it showed that night in the ring. Wins over Teri Harper and Mikaela Mayer proved she has taken a step forward. Whereas Linardatou, since the Taylor loss, has only had two fights, with her last one about a year ago dealing with a cancellation and, more importantly, a pregnancy.
The key to Saturday’s matchup will be adjustments made by Baumgardner. The biggest change that will be needed in the rematch is room to operate. Linardatou did an effective job of crowding Alycia to the point she couldn’t land clean punches. Making it a rough and tumble affair that featured inside rough-housing made it difficult for Alycia to get her punches off. This boxing podcaster fully expects that Baumgardner will have a plan for that style of attack in the second go-round. Using the jab, pivoting way more, and overall using her feet/legs to create enough space will be a must.
Christina will likely try to emulate what she was able to accomplish controlling the real estate. Of course, Alycia moving more doesn’t come without a challenge, and to be fair, we’ve seen Baumgardner maybe not outright gas but definitely fade down the stretch of fights. She doesn’t have to get on her bike the whole time, mind you. Alycia will be more prepared in the rematch, so expect her footwork and counter-punching ability to shine in a competitive fight. The only wonder I really have is the last few rounds pertaining to Baumgardner’s gas tank.
My Official Prediction is Alycia Baumgardner by Majority-Decision.
On the Showtime side of the street, Frank Martin is coming off a career-best victory as far as dominating a quality opponent in Michel Rivera to close out 2022. The powers that be over at the PBC/Showtime offered Isaac Cruz a fight with Martin. And like many offers of late, the Cruz side turned it down. Also, we don’t know exactly what lightweight kingpin Devin Haney will do next so pole positioning in the WBC rankings takes priority at this stage. So in walks an undefeated but unknown fighter with an Olympic pedigree named Artem Harutyunyan.
Artem’s last two fights came against a decent boxer in 16-0 Samuel Molina, who he knocked out, and a clean decision victory over Humberto Galindo. The same Galindo who gave rising contender Raymond Muratalla a run for his money, especially early scoring a first round knockdown. Artem is fully capable of making this at least two-way action within the rounds if not winning a round or two in the early frames.
Martin’s best win came against a very game Jackson Marinez in one of his three fights for 2022. In that matchup, Marinez did land plenty of clean shots but ultimately was TKO’d in the 10th round. Marinez landed several counter right hands and left hooks around the midway point. Frank stepped up his work rate and targeted Jackson’s body which opened up hooks to the head. The counter hooks from either hand should be the key to turning the tide in Martin’s favor for good. Look for Martin to establish the jab and body punch with both hands on his way to a point victory versus a slightly better-than-expected showing by Artem.
My Official Prediction is Frank Martin by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: Don’t forget to check out the pro debut of the Cuban sensation from the amateur’s Andy Cruz facing what should be a firm test in the aged yet never been stopped, Juan Carlos Burgos. Also, Elvis Rodriguez challenges former 140-pound champion Viktor Postol. Postol was beaten soundly, even if this boxing junkie disagreed with the stoppage by Gary Antuanne Russell. Let’s not forget in his previous fight, he was more than a handful to deal with for Jose Ramirez. Elvis needs an outing to show he can look the part for a whole 10-round bout as he does in some rounds while other rounds appear to tire or lose focus.
My Picks: Cruz and Rodriguez by UD.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio