Showtime and ESPN main event bouts tonight are less than desirable if we are being honest. Rollie Romero had no business getting a title shot against Alberto Puello in the first place. It is what it is in Alphabet Soup land, a place where anything and everything can happen if you are around long enough to witness it. After Puello popped dirty on a VADA test in walks a 40-year old boxer Ismael Barroso. Sanction belt rankings is the main reason why Barroso got this fight. The WBA has mandated the winner to face another worthy adversary in Ohara Davies. (Oh goodie)
Speaking of rankings, the WBO has Steven Butler in their 6th spot giving him the chance to vie for a middleweight trinket. Janibek Alimkhanuly is low risk low reward for most Top-10ish, 160-pound opponents thus the reason why he’s denied time and time again. Top Rank is stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. This boxing podcaster fully expects the favorites will get their hands raised this Saturday. As it stands the ‘B’ sides in Steven Butler and Ismael Barroso are obviously long shots to win. Barroso is +500 to +700 and Butler is even larger underdog sitting anywhere from +750 all the way up to +1300.
My Official Predictions: Mid-to-Late Stoppages for both Rolando & Janibeck.
Lucky for us boxing fans the undercards for Showtime and ESPN do have some tightly-matched fights. ESPN’s Jason Moloney vs. Vincent Astrolabio in boxing terms is basically a pick’em, same for the co-feature on Showtime Botirzhon Akhmedov vs. Kenneth Sims. Adam Abramowtiz @snboxing tweeted about this fight posting, this one could play out as quantity vs. quality type of fight and how the judges will be important. I took this as Akhmedov’s aggressive style and Sims ability to land the cleaner punches but not at the same workrate.
Staying with this boxing twitter theme, a good follow in @naotaBox aka Lord of the Fly’s tweeted about Moloney vs. Astrolabio. He believes it’s the best fight of the weekend favoring Moloney on the strength of out-boxing his opponents along with combination punches. He adds Moloney has the technical skills and good conditioning to back it up. Even thought I do agree with the assessment on paper, that’s why they fight the fights. Unless Astrolabio can land some significant, fight altering punches look for Moloney to fight up a level.
My thoughts are that Akhmedov will build off a solid performance in a split-decision loss to Alberto Puello. Even in his competitive loss to Mario Barrios, Akhmedov won a bunch of rounds. He would be doing well in a given round then get docked points from getting knockdown. The pressure and volume will eventually catch-up to Kenneth Sims Jr. That said it’s worth placing a decision bet on Sims as this boxing junkie did a little while back.
My Official Predictions are Akhmedov by SD and Moloney by UD.
Side Note: Also, here are two more closely-matched bouts in Rances Barthelemy vs. Omar Juarez and Javier Martinez vs. Joeshon James on SHO and ESPN respectfully.
My Official Predictions: Minor Upset Omar Jaurez by Majority-Decision and Josehon James by Late Stoppage.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio