By Jackie Kallen
Two good fight cards this Saturday night. I really like the match-up in Montreal between “Bad” Chad Dawson and Adonis “Superman” Stevenson. These two light heavyweights will no doubt put on quite a show. They are both southpaws and they can both bang. Stevenson is the older man (35) and has only had one loss. Dawson (30) is taller and has lost twice.
As for opposition, Dawson has certainly been in with the tougher guys. His last fight, against Andre Ward, ended with Dawson being stopped in the 10th round in a battle for the WBC and WBA Super Middleweight belts. Prior to that he had beaten some of the top names in the sport like Bernard Hopkins, Glen Johnson, Antonio Tarver, Tomasz Adamek and Eric Harding. In 2010 he got stopped by Jean Pascal in Montreal.
Stevenson is hoping the Montreal jinx continues. Although he was born in Haiti, Stevenson calls Montreal home. His only loss was to Darnell Boone in 2010 in Maryland. He was stopped in the second round. All but one of his other fights have been in Canada and he has never been beaten there. He is banking on the hometown advantage on Saturday. But his list of wins does not contain too many impressive names.
HBO is carrying the fight and the WBC Light Heavyweight belt is at stake. Fans will be watching to see if Stevenson’s heavy hand (he has KOed nearly 81% of his opponents) will dominate over Dawson’s boxing skills. The smart money is on Dawson. But you can never count out a puncher like Stevenson. I have a hunch Stevenson will score an upset.
In the co-main event, undefeated (22-0) lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa will face another undefeated fighter–Darley Perez (28-0) in a 12-round battle for the interim WBA World Lightweight title.
Gamboa is a little older and a little shorter. He has scored some pretty impressive wins over Ponce De Leon, Orlando Salitas and Michael Farenas. He has KOed 16 out of 22 men and is admittedly the heavy favorite. He was the Cuban Gold Medalaist in 2004 and is managed by rap artists 50 Cent.
Perez knows he is fighting an uphill battle, but he predicts that he will upset Gamboa. 19 of his 28 wins were by knockout, so he can hit a little. But against lesser opposition. No one is sure that his power will have much effect against Gamboa. I am picking Gamboa.
Three thousand miles away in Carson, CA, 29 year-old Argentinian welterweight Marcos Maidana will try to maintain his 83% KO ratio when he faces local favorite Josesito Lopez. The native Californian burst on the national scene when he broke Victor Otriz’s jaw and beat him in LA a year ago.
His stock went up and he proudly wore the WBC Silver Welterweight belt. Unfortunately, he went up against Canelo Alvarez three months later and got murdered, getting stopped in the third round. This fight on Saturday night is his first since then.
I’m not sure why he chose hard-hitting Maidana after a nine-month layoff. Though Devon Alexander, Amir Khan and German fighter Andriy Kotelnik beat Maidana, none have ever stopped him. He has never been knocked out in 36 fights. I have to go with Maidana on this one, unless the judging is lopsided and biased.
The co-main is also going to be entertaining as 22-2 Light Middleweight Alfredo Angulo steps in against 17-1 Erislandy Lara. Mexico vs Cuba always makes for a lively match. Though Lara now lives in Miami, he is originally from Quantanamo. Angulo hails from Mexicali, Mexico.
Angulo was KOed by James Kirkland and Lara was beaten by Paul Williams, but has never been stopped. Lara’s last fight was a draw against Martirosyan. Angulo’s was a win against Jorge Silva. I have to give the nod to Alfredo.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen