Once again boxing fans have three separate events on the same night this Saturday. Hopefully the powers that be can space out the main events especially the traditional boxing cards streaming live on ESPN+ and DAZN. Vasiliy Lomachenko returns to the ring to face lightweight contender Jamaine Ortiz. Also in the lightweight division Joseph Diaz Jr. in what amounts to a do-or-die matchup against William Zepeda. Plus, Jake Paul takes on his toughest test on paper in a well past his athletic prime Anderson Silva on Showtime PPV.
Let’s start with the circus stuff live from Glendale, Arizona as Jake Paul get a chance to prove himself against a well-known combat sports star in Anderson Silva. Over ten years ago many UFC fans were clamoring for Silva to fight Roy Jones Jr. Part of it was Jones still fighting the other part of it was Silva at the peak of his powers and the fans wanting to prove how better MMA is to boxing. Another aspect to that hype was Silva’s style on his feet a poor man’s version of RJJ with his hands down lighting quick reactions time, taking out opponents making them look foolish at times.
Besides being age 47 this boxing podcaster does believe Anderson is a legit test for Jake considering the short amount of time Paul’s been active in the sport. Jake does have the advantage of training as a boxer only in recent years sparring with pro boxers. That said Silva has a long history sparring some level of boxer as videos of Anderson in Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym are plentiful. Obviously Silva has legit footwork and upper body movement to go along with a rangy jab. He’s fully capable of lulling his opponent to sleep or catch them coming in with counters then using an exit route.
Paul will have to use his jab and be careful of Silva setting traps. This matchup will tell a lot about Jake Paul’s ability to cut off a ring and his sustained work-rate. Body work (shots on the hip) will be necessary in effort to wear down the much older and faded Anderson Silva. Look for Silva to start fast pumping his jab and using the whole ring utilizing a two inch reach. The question is how long can he be on the move without gassing and/or severely slowing down? The answer will be how persistent Jake is at coming forward applying constant pressure. Let us not forget we’ve see Jake get tired in both Tyrone Woodley fights.
Of course there is a possibility Jake looks to move around as he did versus Woodley turning Silva in the aggressor. A few keys beyond the combat sports experience on Anderson’s side one is the judge’s scorecards favoring the “A” side in this event anyways. The second having to do with father time, adding to that is the rumors of some tough sparring sessions raise a yellow flag. The last item is Silva’s exit as an MMA fighter and the number of times he was knockout. It would still be wise to take a flyer out on Silva who’s sitting as a minor underdog on the betting lines.
My Official Prediction is Jake Paul by Split-Decision.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is back from his duties serving in the military in his native Ukraine. According to his promoter Bob Arum, if Loma wins this Saturday night Top Rank Inc. will look to make a fight between Vasiliy and the undisputed 135-pound champion Devin Haney. Standing in his way is a quality boxer by the name of Jamaine Ortiz who is fresh off an impressive performance winning a UD over Jamel Herring. Ortiz has a fairly quick jab and he loves to follow it with straight left hand power shots. On the down side Ortiz’s hands our too low and when he punches in combination to the head it tends to be with wider shots.
By Ortiz loading up when he misses it will make Jamaine tired while at the same time leave him open for Loma to counter. Overall Jamaine will need to cut the gap and attempt to land short punches. At times he has shown he can throw sneaky uppers cuts in the clinch. On the inside Ortiz can lean on Loma a bit but still can use angles to punch and move around the pocket, which as we know is the specialty of Lomachenko. Vasiliy is a savant when using his footwork positioned out of harm’s way yet within range to strike fast and efficiently. Loma will rinse and repeat with his angle attacks enough to frustrate Ortiz thus scoring points adding up to a sizable lead on the cards.
My Official Prediction is Vasiliy Lomachenko by Unanimous Decision.
Joseph Diaz Jr. is in a tight spot dare I use the word crossroads from his viewpoint desperately needing a victory to ensure a continued career as a legit contender and not gatekeeper. Diaz has been up and down in the last few outings but did manage to put in a pretty-dang good effort in a points-loss to Devin Haney. Jo Jo landed hard left hooks to the body and head of Haney looking as though he buzzed Devin a time or two. Diaz’s opponent is the hard-punching 26-0 with 23 stoppages William Zepeda.
Prior to going 10-full rounds with Rene Alvarado in May, William has stopped every foe dating back to 2018. Zepeda crashed on the scene taking out then undefeated prospect Hector Tanajara last summer. Against Alvarado he didn’t look all that fierce as Rene was able to catch him coming in with very clean punches. Once Rene showed he could take Zepeda’s power shots it appeared to deflate William as he continued to get caught in the midrange. Zepeda is the bigger guy at 135 even though Diaz came over weight in a 130-pound matchup with Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov that ended in a draw.
Outside the ring discipline may be the reason why Diaz is at lightweight and it’s clear he doesn’t have the same pop he had a division down or at featherweight. Joseph is fully capable of putting pressure on Zepeda while staying more responsible on defense which is his path to victory. Jo Jo will likely use head movement behind a jab on the way inside while at times resetting with lateral movement to keep William guessing. My gut tells me this recent outside the ring accusation pertaining to a lawsuit involving alleged legal issues has been lingering for a while making it a distraction for Diaz regardless of the outcome. Diaz admitted to sending an explicit message to an underage female using excess drinking as the excuse for his behavior.
Diaz is the better fighter with more tools but will he be mentally and physically ready to go to war in spots but also move around the ring when needed? This hardcore boxing fan thinks the DAZN matchup will steal the night from an entertainment perspective. Inconsistency from Diaz in and out of the squared circle has me second guessing and questioning his motivation so that’s enough to not pick him. That said it’s fair to say Joseph is a very live dog but this guy will probably wait to see how Diaz’s body looks at the weigh in.
My Official Prediction is William Zepeda by Majority-Decision.
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Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio