Jade Bornea, One to watch out for in 2020

Jade Bornea is a 24 year old super flyweight from the Philipines who later tonight will be making his US debut on UFC fight pass. He currently holds a record of 14-0 with 10 knockouts with a lot of those KO’s coming from body shots.

He has a good boxing brain and throws in beautiful combinations to the body and head with a focus on viscous body shots. What I like about his combinations is that he uses so many different ones and is a fluid puncher unlike many boxers who look like they’ve taken up some sort of extreme dance class and its their first session when asked to throw more than two punches at a time. He’s a good fighter to watch because he doesn’t try very hard to avoid shots he blocks them with his gloves or takes the sting off them by moving slightly but hes not going to throw a jab out for 12 rounds on his bike. This means we are going to see him in some exciting wars in the future as long as he gets a promoter behind him because he hasn’t been that active in the last year which is a real shame as he seems like a talent.

Jade Bornea

As for how far he can go? i’m not sure yet though I would bet good money that he at least challenges for a title within the next two to three years if not wins one. Apart from the eye test you can also look at his amateur record and see that he beat Murodjon Akhmadaliev who is fighting for two world titles later tonight. This doesn’t necessarily means he’ll have success at the top level but its certainly a good sign. Whether he makes it all the way to the top or not i’ll be watching his fights from now on because he seems like he has a really entertaining fan friendly style

Demetrius Andrade vs Luke Keeler and the weeks boxing

Boxing starts early this week as the biggest card is on a Thursday instead of the usual Friday or Saturday. This Thursday card is headlined by Demetrius Andrade vs Luke Keeler for Andrade’s WBO middleweight title. This should be one of the least competitive match ups on the card with Andrade being a deserved heavy favorite. Luke Keeler isn’t world level but because hes with MTK and Andrade needs someone to fight hes been given this opportunity. I was looking through the Middleweight rankings and Luke Keeler was actually one of the only ones you could say deserves a title shot. It seems a lot of the other good contenders have had their shots and haven’t come back with a win yet which means guys like Luke keeler can fight for titles. Andrade should be able to box to an comfortable decision victory or late stoppage if he wants to take some risks.

On the under card IBF Super Featherweight champion Tevin Farmer takes on Joseph Diaz in a fight thats been talked about for a long time. The two have been going back and forth over social media for the best part of a year now and its good that they’ve finally agreed to fight each other because as much as its a good fight its not a unification or anything that special. Diaz will be Farmer’s biggest test as a champion and is a live underdog in this fight. Before Diaz’s last fight I thought this was a 50/50 but he didn’t look great vs an average opponent which has made me lean towards Farmer in this fight. Diaz could very easily win this if he fights as well as he did vs Gary Russell Jr and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he stopped Farmer who is known to tire late in fights.

The fight that i’m most excited about on this card is Daniel Roman vs Murodjon Akhmadaliev which is for Roman’s unified super bantamweight titles. Roman is always in exciting fights as well as being one of the most improved fighters in the sport after taking a few early losses to bounce back and become a unified champ. Akhmadaliev is one of the new wave of talented Uzbekistan amateurs to turn pro and has looked very good so far. Not only does he create good angles but he seems to hit very hard which is often something top amateurs struggle with when they go pro because of how different the two codes are. I think this fight will be extremely competitive but Roman should be able to use his experience at the top level to outpoint Akhmadaliev over 12 rounds.

Anthony Sims Jr a rising super middleweight prospect faces the toughest test of his career when he fights Roamer Alexis Angulo a former world title challenger. I think if Sims can stick to his boxing here he can win this though it will be a lot closer than people think because Sims Jr isn’t as good as his 20-0 record suggests and still needs to develop some more as a fighter before getting a title shot. Elsewhere on the under card Otha Jones III, Movladdin Biyarslanov, Alexis Espino, Austin Williams and Avril Mathie are all in prospect building fights while Amanda Serrano takes a tune up fight before she potentially fights Katie Taylor later in the year. There is also a fight between two youtubers on the card which could be entertaining because of the spectacle it brings.

On Friday the 31st Ilunga Makabu and Michal Cieslak will fight for the vacant WBC Cruiserweight title though where exactly the fight will take place in the Congo is still to be confirmed. I’ve explained my thoughts on the match up in a separate piece however to sum it up I think Makabu stops Cieslak and that the set up around the fight has been awful with the public workouts taking place in a random street with no ring.

Also on Friday Ruben Villa headlines a show in the USA vs Alexei Collado for the WBO International Featherweight title. Villa was an excellent amateur and is one of the best prospects the USA has but isn’t talked about nearly as much as other fighters like Shakur Stevenson. I think Villa should be able to beat Collado by decision and advance towards a world title bout by the end of 2020. I think Shakur Stevenson will defend his belt once then unify with Josh Warrington and win or lose move up a division which could leave the WBO featherweight belt vacant which I would expect Villa to fight for. For Collado to win this fight he has to catch Villa with something heavy which I don’t think he’ll be able to do as long as Villa stays switched on.

Also on the card Taras Shelestyuk fights Luis Alberto Veron over 10 rounds in what will hopefully be an active year for the 34 year old former amateur stand out. After competing in the 2012 Olympics you would have expected him to be picked up by a big promotional company and fast tracked towards a world title but its been the opposite for him so far. He’s been very inactive in recent years and unless he fights three or four times this year I can’t see him getting close to winning a title due to his advancing age and that Welterweight is one of the deepest divisions in boxing currently.

On Saturday Pedro Taduran defends his IBF world minimum weight title for the first time against Daniel Valladares. I watched Taduran win the title and he looked impressive there however he has had to travel to Mexico for his first defense so unless he gets a knockout its likely that Valladares will win the decision. I think Taduran can win by KO here however this title has switched hands so many times recently I wouldn’t be surprised if it did again.

The last card of the weekend features Yordenis Ugas in a tune up fight vs Mike Dallas Jr before hopefully getting another big fight vs one of the other top welterweights. Dallas has lost almost every time he’s stepped up a level and I can’t see it being too different here as Ugas is one of the best welterweights on the planet right now and Dallas just isn’t on that level. On the under card Michel Rivera a prospect from the Dominican Republic takes on his hardest test to date vs Fidel Maldonado Jr over 10 rounds. Obviously Rivera hasn’t been tested as much as Maldonado but I do think he should come out with the win here as Maldonado hasn’t fought anybody competitive since 2017 and in that fight he was knocked out.

As always I hope you enjoy the fights this week and that all the fighters get through their fights safely with no injuries. I’ll be back previewing next weeks boxing next Thursday which will be the day my preview comes out each week from now on.

Michal Cieslak vs Ilunga Makabu

This is a fight that is really going under the radar this weekend even though its one of four world title fights happening this week. Makabu and Cieslak will be competing for the vacant WBC World Cruiser weight title in Makabu’s native Democratic Republic Of The Congo. This will be Makabu’s second attempt to win the WBC strap after he was beaten by Tony Bellew in his first try at world honors. Cieslak is a 19-0 pro who has had all his fights in Poland so far with none of them giving him a stern test.

Ilunga Makabu

Makabu is one of the biggest punchers in the sport with 24 of his 26 victories coming by way of stoppage and most of those within the first 8 rounds. He’s not just a big puncher as he has decent boxing skills though he can be quite vulnerable as because he goes for the KO he gives other fighters opportunities to hit him when he opens up. He’s extremely tough and is willing to fight on the road as proven by his last two fights being in Russia where he was brought in to lose but sprung the upset twice much to the dismay of the Russian fans. This time however he has the home advantage and its certainly going to help him as reports have come out that Cieslak’s manager was robbed in his hotel room and there still isn’t an official venue for the fight which is mind boggling considering its only two days away.

Michal Cieslak

Cieslak has good fundamentals and can punch a little but also has some weaknesses which I think will let him down in this fight. One of the biggest ones is that he throws a lazy jab and leaves it in the air after throwing it instead of pulling it back quickly so that he can’t be countered. He is also very open for the overhand right as he consistently leaves his left hand low for seemingly no reason other than a bad habit which he hasn’t rid himself of yet. If he sticks behind a good jab and keeps his concentration up for 12 rounds he could beat Makabu by decision though i’d be surprised if they gave him the decision in the Congo. I think its more likely that Makabu wears Cieslak down and stops him in the 8th or 9th after the Pole gets caught with a big shot due to his hands dipping of exhaustion. If he could pull the upset off he would become Polands biggest boxing star thats active today and also one of the best away wins for a boxer in years considering how hostile the environment seems to be for him and his team.

Custio Clayton, Canada’s new welterweight hope

Custio Clayton a resident of Montreal is currently 17-0 with 11 knockouts and is looking to have a career defining 2020. Clayton was a 2012 Olympian and an accomplished amateur before turning over to the pros in 2014. Since then hes fought solely in Canada under the radar of most fans. That could change tonight as he fights live on UFC fight pass in what will be one of his biggest tests to date vs Diego Ramirez. Clayton has stepped up his competition in recent years and with that his rankings with the alphabet organisations has risen. If he can beat Ramirez and then win one or two more fights this year its very likely that he’ll either be ordered into a final eliminator or called as a mandatory for a world title. It’s actually a very good time to be a undefeated welterweight right now because you always have the chance that Crawford will pick you as a voluntary defense because he’s running out of opponents to fight.

Diego Ramirez

One of the criticisms I have of Clayton is that hes not that active and has turned into a two fight a year fighter while not being at world level which isn’t great. I don’t know whether this is due to promotional issues or whether he has a set plan for his career and isn’t in a rush but either way I’d like him to be more active and get his name out there. If possible getting a few recognizable names on his resume would help fans get to know him and call for those big fights vs Spence and Crawford.

His fighting style is calculated where he doesn’t waste much energy and makes every punch he throws count. His best asset in my opinion is his jab which he throws consistently to the body and the head. Showing his amateur pedigree he also brings that jab right back to himself not leaving him open for a counter. He has reasonable power but it hasn’t been as noticeable as hes stepped up in competition. Hes defensively sound but I don’t see anything special about him that could lead to him beating the top guys at 147. He would still be a worthy challenger and could prove me wrong like many other fighters have however he needs to do so soon as he’s now on the wrong side of 30 and is still a year away from a title shot. He’s ranked within the top 6 with the IBF and the WBO and so all he needs to do now is keep winning and he will be called up as either a mandatory or as part of a final eliminator.

Custio Clayton

If you want to watch Clayton before he fights for a title then you can catch him on UFC fight pass later tonight. I wish him all the best and hope that he gets too world level because he would be an interesting new figure amongst the elite welterweights.

What as fans we can do to grow boxing

Boxing used to be one of the biggest sports in the world, everyone knew the champions and selling out stadiums of up to a 100,000 people in the USA wasn’t unusual. There was boxing in every town in the UK with regular shows being put on not like today where we are lucky to have one every five years.

Boxing as a sport hit its high point and has been on a steady decline ever since, this isn’t purely because people have gone off boxing its more that boxing has hurt itself with its practices over the years. Putting the biggest events behind pay walls and expecting new fans to watch is a terrible idea long term. How are people supposed to get into the sport if the best events are locked away? how are people supposed to be inspired to pick the sport up if they can’t watch the greats because they have to pay? The shining examples of how good boxing can be are hidden away from the general public and overtime people have stopped caring. Imagine if you had to pay to watch the super bowl or the NBA finals? what about the world cup in football? This wouldn’t be accepted by fans and like boxing would see people turn away so why is it that promoters are hell bent on putting PPVs on? The answer to all these questions is simple and a bit sad, Money. Short term this makes the boxers and the promoters more money but long term it will hurt boxers in the future and also hurts boxing as a sport as is already being shown today where boxing is miles behind Basketball and other sports in terms of popularity.

As boxing fans we want the sport we love to thrive and while we can’t make boxing grow as individuals we can help as a group if we all do our part. One of the biggest ways that a fan can help boxing is by going to small local shows and supporting the grassroots of the sport. This is great because you get too see local boxing talent at a much cheaper price than the big shows and you also help grow boxing in your community. Over the years we’ve seen less and less of these club level shows be put on and this hurts the boxers because unless you were a great amateur you won’t get on to the big tv shows so with the small amount of low level shows its hard to get fights.

Another simple way and something you probably already do is talking about boxing, discussing upcoming fights with co-workers or just online. Like most things they get more popular the more people mention it and it gets it out there. You’d be surprised how much this can help as i’ve often found that until I bring up a fight thats happening at the weekend people had no idea it was on. Unless its a mega fight most people will have no idea about an up coming fight but if you mention it and talk boxing to people they’ll remember and watch. It’s not that people actively choose to not watch boxing its more that they just don’t know its happening because its not promoted properly unless its a massive PPV.

The final way might sound like a weird one but when I explain it’ll make sense. Don’t buy PPV’s that you don’t think are worth it just because you want to watch some boxing. Promoters have slowly been putting more and more fights on PPV and unless people stop paying for them they won’t stop. This further hurts the sport because even more fights are being hidden and it also allows the best fighters to avoid each other because they know they can make good money fighting people they should beat. If the PPV numbers are low they’ll stop putting those sort of fights behind pay walls and everyone wins.

These are just a few small things we can do as fans to help boxing grow and not carry on declining into an irrelevant sport. Obviously if boxing is going to grow again its the people at the top with the money that need to make changes to how they run their cards and put more promotion into the sport instead of squeezing it for every penny they can. It’s sad and the fans shouldn’t have to try and save the sport and thats why the things i’ve said you can do mostly help the people at the bottom of the sport. We’ll have too see if these business men at the top really do care about boxing like they say they do or if they care more about how rich boxing can make their pockets.

Danny Garcia vs Ivan Redkach

This is a classic mismatch which the promoter will try to sell as competitive because of Redkach’s last performance and that’s hes a bit of a name in boxing. Don’t be fooled however as you just need to look through Redkach’s record to realise it would be a big shock if Garcia didn’t KO him much less lose to him. In saying all this i’m not saying Redkach is a bad fighter i’m just pointing out that hes not at the elite level and especially not at welterweight where hes only properly took on the weight in his last fight.

In his last fight Redkach was jabbing well to the body and was willing to let his hands go which is good for him because these are his keys to victory in this fight. Hes got to hope that Garcia having a 9 month lay off will effect his stamina and let him steal rounds towards the end of the fight. Early on he’ll need to be active and not let Garcia set the pace otherwise if Garcia starts taking a lead Redkach will almost certainly lose the fight because I just can’t see him knocking out a prime Danny Garcia.

Danny Garcia

For Danny Garcia he just needs to not have an awful night and he should be fine. Moving on to the specifics he needs to counter Redkach’s jab and make him scared to throw it while walking him down knowing he is the bigger guy whos an actual full blown welterweight not a former lightweight pretending to be one. There will be plenty of opportunities for Garcia to counter Redkach as he often throws big looping shots and stays in range with his hands down if he throws and misses which should suit Garcia perfectly. Redkach isn’t to hard to hit and for someone of Danny Garcia’s skill level he should be able to break him down in 7 or 8 rounds.

Ivan Redkach

I know this analysis has been quite negative towards Ivan Redkach but i’m just being realistic here. Everything is stacked against him and for him to win Garcia would have to have a terrible night and him to have the best of his career. I know hes confident though and if he could pull off the upset it would change his life forever. Even though I think its a bit of a mismatch it should still be entertaining for however long it lasts and thats what really matters in fights like this, i’m happy PBC have at least brought in someone that will give it his all even if he is out of his depth.

Danny Garcia vs Ivan Redkach and the weeks boxing

This weeks boxing starts on a Thursday with a Golden Boy card in California. Jason Quigley headlines the show vs Fernando Marin over 10 rounds. Quigley will be looking to get his second win since his loss to Tureano Johnson where as a heavy betting favorite he was retired by his corner after sustaining too much damage. Quigley should win this by KO seeing as Marin is moving up a weight and is actually coming off a KO loss himself. Whats more interesting about this situation is that Quigley has been given two fights since he lost to Johnson but the man who beat him hasn’t been able to get any fights since. It’s also a bit surprising that Golden Boy are giving Quigley relatively easy fights as normally they match their guys up pretty hard and you either make it or don’t. Quigley for some reason isn’t getting that treatment and i’m not sure why, He’s 28 so hes not a young fighter that they are investing in and hes also not an extreme talent that had a bad night. The biggest fight I can see him getting at middleweight right now is a Munguia fight or perhaps a title shot vs Andrade if hes lucky and gets picked because Andrade doesn’t have anyone to fight.

Ferdinand Kerobyan returns on the under card in an 8 round fight vs Azael Cosio. Kerobyan’s most notable fight was a 50/50 contest with Blair Cobbs where while he lost it was at least competitive something this fight won’t be. Hes only 22 so I know hes getting experience but you do wonder how a fight against someone that hasn’t fought for over a year and hasn’t won since 2017 is helping him. Kerobyan should win by stoppage here.

Also on the under card is Mihai Nistor a heavyweight most known for knocking Joshua out in the amateurs. This is only his second fight but he shouldn’t be fighting a guy that once fought at 154 pounds no matter what fight it is. I’m still interested to watch and see where his career goes because hes a shorter heavyweight who brawls and I think that could bring a nice bit of freshness to the division. Gregory Morales takes a step up in competition on this card however the 19 year old shouldn’t struggle vs Giovanni Delgado because Delgado gets knocked out by almost every good prospect he faces.

The next fight i’m interested in is Caleb Truax vs David Basajjamivule. Now i’m not particularly interested in the match up itself but more about how Caleb Truax looks. Truax’s big moment in his career so far was becoming world champion by beating James Degale and I presume he wants to reach those heights again. I personally think he might struggle to get there but theres still some fun fights that he could be in versus the likes of Anthony Sims Jr, Bektemir Melikuziev , David Lemieux and Rocky Fielding. Truax should win this fight without too much difficulty as his opponent hasn’t fought in over 2 years which seems to be a trend this weekend.

The next two fights i’m interested in take place on a Eye of the Tiger management card in Montreal, Canada. This show is headlined by Batyrzhan Jukembayev vs Ricardo Lara over 10 rounds. Jukembayev has been stepping up in competition in the last year and a half and he has another solid opponent in front of him here. Lara will try to make the fight competitive but I think Jukembayev’s superior boxing skills will get him the win inside the distance. I’m hoping that they can get Jukembayev a good name next such as Ismael Barroso who himself recently upset a top Canadian prospect so the fight would make a lot of sense. The other fight i’m interested in is purely because of the guys nickname of Kung Fu Panda. Adam Dyczka is 1-0 as a heavyweight and hasn’t done anything yet but I’ll be following his career because it would entertain me to see someone with that name win a title.

Also on Saturday one of the best 154 pound prospects in the world returns on a card in Germany. Abass Baraou fights Abraham Juarez in a 10 round non title fight to kick off his 2020. Now I think Baraou is an excellent fighter and he’s being moved decently quickly however I would like to start seeing him in with a few notable names in the division this year as I think hes more than capable. Juarez isn’t on his level and that will show when Baraou stops him in round 7 or 8.

The last card of the weekend and also the biggest is Danny Garcia vs Ivan Redkach. This is one of those fights which you just don’t see coming if i’m honest, Redkach has had one fight at Welterweight and hes not a big name moving up so i’m surprised hes been picked to headline with Garcia. On the time available I guess this fight isn’t horrible as Garcia was rumored to fight Spence next but that fight didn’t happen because of Spence’s car crash. I don’t blame Garcia for taking an easier fight if hes been promised a Spence or Pacquiao fight next though I will complain uselessly about how noncompetitive the fight will be.

The best fight on this card is Stephen Fulton vs Arnold Khegai though its going under the radar a bit because neither are big names. This is a WBO 122 pound eliminator which will mean the winner will face Emanuel Navarrete at some point in the future. I’m not sure either are ready for Navarrete however I think Fulton would put up the better fight I also think he wins in impressive fashion in this fight, likely a late stoppage.

Outside of those two fights Jarrett Hurd returns in a tune up before presumably fighting a big name though his plans for a rematch with Williams have gone out the picture now that Williams has lost himself. The other fighter on this card who i’m interested in is Lorenzo Simpson who looks like he could be a top prospect.

I hope that you enjoy the fights this weekend and that all the boxers get through their fights safely without harm. I’ll be here with another preview next Thursday of the weeks boxing schedule where we get Makabu fighting for a title(I thought it was this week but boxrec clearly lied) and also the big card from Miami.

Who should Dillian Whyte fight next?

As we get closer to an announcement regarding Whyte’s next opponent I thought i’d make a list of possible contenders and which of them i’d like to see the most. Whyte has been consistently fighting top level opposition apart from the Wach fight which was a last minute tune up just to get him in the ring again. It’s likely that it’ll be another fighter in the top 15 because from what Whyte said in a recent IFL interview hes going to be back headlining PPVs and for a PPV you need a good opponent. This obviously limits who he can fight quite considerably even more so if you account for the top 15 who already have fights scheduled.

Alexander Povetkin

The most probable opponent for Whyte is the long time contender Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1). Povetkin has been a staple of this era’s heavyweight division and has one of the best resumes of the active heavyweights, his only losses to Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko show that hes at world level though has never quite been able to break through against the very elite of the division. He has good wins against the likes of Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr, Christian Hammer and Hughie Fury to name but a few. Out of the possible opponents for Whyte I think hes the second best name and I would quite happily watch the two face off because I think their styles may gel well together to make it entertaining for the fans.

The only issues I have with this fight is that Povetkin is clearly not the fighter he used to be and after a grueling fight with Micheal Hunter you wonder what he has left to give at the age of 40. This fight is the easiest one to make for Whyte due to Povetkin working closely with his promoter Eddie Hearn over the last few years and also because for Povetkin this is the last opportunity for him to get back into title contention. Out of the 5 people in the running for Whyte’s next fight Povetkin would be my second pick due to his resume and how entertaining the fight would be for the fans.

Manuel Charr 

Manuel Charr is a name that is brought up as a possible opponent for heavyweights an awful lot considering he hasn’t fought for over two years and wasn’t a great fighter when he was active. The only reason i’m bringing him up as a possible opponent is because he still holds the WBA regular world title and it seems like Eddie Hearn is looking for the right opportunity to bring him in as an opponent. I’d be disappointed if this fight was next for Whyte due to the availability of better opponents and Charr’s inactivity. At this point Manuel Charr needs to accept whatever money someone offers him for a fight and be thankful that people care about a WBA regular belt enough to give him big opportunities. Charr is my last option out of the five names that I think have the highest chance of fighting Whyte next and the only reason I would want too see the fight is to end promoters talking about him as an opponent for good fighters.

Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter isn’t someone that anyone expected to be a name in the heavyweight division but after putting together six impressive wins after his sole loss to Usyk he certainly is one. Hunter a 2012 Olympian is currently 18-1-1 with his last fight being a draw with Povetkin where I thought he was unlucky to not get the decision. Hes an awkward fight for any heavyweight due to his movement and hand speed which he has brought up from Cruiserweight with him. I’d be on board with this fight happening due to Hunter’s recent form which includes wins over Sergey Kuzmin and Martin Bakole as well as his draw with Povetkin. I actually think this may be a more competitive fight over 12 rounds for Whyte compared to the Povetkin fight due to Hunter being in his prime and also that his style would be hard for Whyte to get to grips with.

My issues with this fight is that for fans it could be quite a hard watch as I can see a lot of clinching happening due to Hunter not wanting to get caught after he throws a shot and also Whyte will want to use his size to tire Hunter out in the clinches. Alternatively it could be fought at long range for the whole fight with not all to much going on in the rounds which again wouldn’t be great for the public. It’s unlikely to be a war or see many heavy exchanges because for Hunter it makes sense to try and out box Whyte not out slug him. He’s my third choice out of five for Whyte but also deserves the fight more than the other four.

Agit Kabayel

Agit Kabayel is an undefeated Heavyweight from Germany with a record of 19-0 and while hes relatively unknown he is a good fighter that fans should watch out for in 2020. Kabayel doesn’t have the deepest resume though at 27 hes beaten Dereck Chisora, Herve Hubeaux and Andriy Rudenko. The most notable of those wins is Dereck Chisora where he was able to out box and frustrate him to the point where pundits questioned if Chisora should retire. Kabayel is in the minority of heavyweights who’s power is outclassed by their boxing ability in the ring and this will lead him to success against many in the division. This wouldn’t be a bad fight though its questionable whether he will be picked as a PPV opponent considering how unknown he is.

I like Kabayel as a fighter but like the Hunter fight I think this could be painful to watch because Kabayel is likely to fall in and clinch after throwing combinations and also doesn’t really have the power to bother Whyte in my opinion. The other reason i’m not as interested in this fight as other ones is due to Kabayel being very inactive and by the time he fights Whyte he would have been out of the ring for over a year. For these reasons Kabayel is my fourth choice though I wouldn’t mind seeing Hunter vs Kabeyel at some point.

Andy Ruiz Jr

The final of the five possible candidates for Whyte’s next opponent is former world champion Andy Ruiz Jr (33-2). Before Ruiz beat Joshua few thought he was a top heavyweight due to his lack of discipline and his loss to Parker when he stepped up in competition. After beating Joshua people have overrated him as a fighter and think he beats most of the top 10 with ease. I personally disagree and believe that he’s likely to be in very close fights with all of the top 20 because he’s never had a performance where he hasn’t looked vulnerable in one way or another. In the first Joshua fight he was dropped and beyond that one punch behind Joshua’s ear he didn’t look all that great. In the Parker fight his fitness let him down and again in the second Joshua fight it was his fitness and slow feet to blame for the loss.

Obviously he has positives as well, hes got fast hands, good boxing skills and a granite chin which are all very useful against taller slower opponents. If Ruiz comes in shape he will be the hardest fight for Whyte due to his constant pressure and fast hands. Ruiz doesn’t have massive power but he knows where to place his shots to cause the maximum amount of damage like we saw in that first Joshua fight. I think both boxers styles would gel well and it would be interesting to see if Whyte took the front foot against Ruiz which no one has yet. Whyte would likely use his jab to pick up rounds while Ruiz pressures forwards however unlike Joshua I think Whyte would be drawn into a firefight which would make the fight entertaining. Beyond how entertaining this fight would be its also the best name thats available to Whyte as Ruiz is a former world champion who’s last fight broke the sky PPV record.

Andy Ruiz Jr is my first choice out of the five due to him being a former world champion plus how his style would fit well with Whyte’s to make an entertaining fight. This would be the riskiest out of the five choices for Whyte to take and he would make a real statement if he beat him. The only problem with this fight is whether Ruiz can be trusted to come in shape after he was ill prepared for the biggest fight of his life versus Joshua.

Julian Williams vs Jeison Rosario

Later today Julian Williams will defend his world titles vs Jeison Rosario in what is Williams home coming bout. The last time we saw Williams fight we saw him bully the bully as he dominated Jarrett Hurd over 12 rounds and proved why people shouldn’t have written him off. Williams is one of the best inside fighters right now in my opinion and that is mainly due to the fact that he uses old school techniques to get his shots off and has really mastered the art of fighting on the inside. One of the best examples of this is when him and Hurd were almost clinched together in the 2nd round he moved Hurd using his shoulder to give himself space to land the right hand which Hurd wasn’t expecting. Julians follow up shots then got him the knockdown a few seconds later and after that knockdown Hurd was never really aloud to get back into the fight.

Julian Williams

Rosario is a good fighter but also one that Williams shouldn’t have too much trouble with due to his style. Rosario is a very patient fighter who is willing to let his opponents get their punches off and then try to counter them on the way out. He did this a lot vs Jorge Cota but struggled to land those counter shots because he wasn’t often punching with Cota. He has a good jab when he decides to use it but its not in his style to throw many punches a round so you don’t see it as much as you’d want too. He can also be a bit wide when he throws combinations leaving him open to something right down the middle which I think Williams can take advantage of. Now that we’ve listed his weaknesses we can go through his strengths and how he can win this fight. One of his biggest assets is that he doesn’t rush in fights and he doesn’t waste his punches and for a 24 year old thats a positive sign. Another asset he has is that if he connects with Williams clean its likely he’ll go down because Rosario has decent power. The way he wins this fight is by being patient and trying to time Williams when he tries to work inside. If Williams gets inside he needs to use whatever dirty tactics he can to smother his work and tire him out. This is essential for him to do because if he lets Williams work on the inside for free he’s going to lose and likely by stoppage.

Jeison Rosario

For Williams to win this he has to be careful when he goes to work on the inside and most importantly not to switch off in the fight. He’s the better boxer of the two but that won’t matter if he gets caught coming in because his concentration has slipped for a brief moment. He needs to take advantage of how patient Rosario is and out work him early and set the pace so that Rosario doesn’t get comfortable. I also think that Williams can break Rosario down by working on the inside because Rosario punches when people are pulling out and not punching themselves and unfortunately for Rosario Williams won’t give him that opportunity. Williams can stay close and then like the Hurd fight push Rosario off him and punch which will catch Rosario when he tries to counter.

My final thoughts on the fight is that its actually quite a good fight for a first defense. Rosario has earned his spot and beaten some good names to get there while Williams is coming off the best win of his career. While I think that William’s inside work and activity will lead him to win this fight I do think it will be competitive especially early on and Rosario always has the chance to catch Williams coming in which combined with his power could seal the deal.

Julian Williams vs Jeison Rosario and the weeks boxing

The first card that i’m interested in this week takes place in the USA headlined by Williams vs Rosario. This is a homecoming fight for Williams and also marks his first defence of his world titles since his shock win against Jarret Hurd. Rosario is a good fighter who has a few good names on his resume but he hasn’t looked good enough in those fights to beat Williams in my opinion. Williams is one of the most improved fighters in the sport and I think he can be the main guy at 154 for a long time if he wants too.

On the undercard Chris Colbert fights Jezzrel Corrales in a fight which should be the most competitive on the card. Corrales is a former world champion and while he’s not looked as good recently this is still a massive jump up in competition for Colbert. I’ve been impressed with Colbert so far in his career and I think this fight may be a case of good timing for him. My pick is Colbert by decision perhaps controversially if Corrales can find some of his old form.

On friday in the USA a showtime card is headlined by Shohjahon Ergashev vs Adrian Estella. Ergashev is a rising contender in the 140 pound division and also carries some serious power. He’s 28 now though and really needs to get a title shot either this year or 2021 otherwise he may miss out on being in his prime when hes a world champion. Estrella is a decent fighter who has caused upsets before however I don’t see him beating Ergashev who I don’t think will lose before he gets a title shot. Theres a lot of big players at 140 right now however if his promoters wait 6 months to a year I think a lot of them will move up a division and free up the belts which will give Ergashev an opportunity to fight for a title.

On the under card Vladimir Shishkin fights Ulises Sierra over 10 rounds in what should be a quite one sided fight. Shishkin was a very good amateur and looks to be a force as a pro. I don’t think Sierra has the experience to beat or even get through the 10 rounds vs Shishkin. Sierra has likely taken the fight because he isn’t getting a huge amount of opportunities because most promoters don’t see him as a prospect and he’s finally decided to be an opponent and try and get towards a title that way. This is always harder and I hope it works out for him even though I doubt it will on friday. Jarcio O’Quinn takes another step up when he fights Oscar Vasquez. Quinn should win this though some rounds could be competitive which is what is needed in Quinn’s career at this stage.

Brandun Lee ,Alejandro Guerrero ,Brian Norman Jr and Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson all fight in developmental fights on the under card. Gunnar is interesting because hes a heavyweight from Iceland which is a country where you very rarely see boxers from and Brandun lee has a record of 17-0 with 15 knockouts at the age of 20.

The last card that i’m interested in this weekend is Eleider Alvarez vs Michael Seals. Alvarez is a former champion who knocked out Kovalev but was then beaten by Kovalev in the rematch which not many expected. He’s been out of the ring for almost a year now and didn’t look great in his last fight which could be a sign that hes achieved everything hes wanted to in boxing and is thinking about retirement. Seals has never won a title but has been much more active than Alvarez and also has devastating power which can always turn the tide in a fight. Alvarez should on paper win this fight but I think Seals may catch a rusty Alvarez and score the upset KO in this Top Rank main event.

On the under card Felix Verdejo fights Manuel Rey Rojas over 10 rounds. Verdejo was highly rated by many as a prospect but after his knockout loss a few years ago many have written him off. Hes still only 26 and many fighters have lost before winning a title and just because a fighter loses doesn’t mean their career is done. I think Verdejo beats Rojas and continues on his path towards a title and also a path to proving a lot of people wrong.

As always I hope you enjoy this weekends boxing (of which there is a lot) and that all the fighters get through their fights safely and without any serious harm. I’ll also be back like usual next week doing my preview of the weeks boxing which includes Illunga Makabu getting his deserved title shot at the WBC cruiserweight world title!