The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Mumble Mumble Boxing Predictions

Oh, right, boxing. Between the weeks of HBO and Showtime being dark, the weeks of the only fights being unviewably international, and the weeks of heinous atrocities like Jones/Bhop, I sometimes forget that sometimes we get weeks like this: weeks where HBO is just showing two decent fights. It’s refreshingly shocking, or shockingly refreshing.

Andre “Ernie and” Berto vs. Carlos “Sharp As A” Quintana

In theory, this is well-booked. Berto is the supposed-to-be star here, a lightning-fast American with a winning smile and a winning style who HBO and Lou DiBella clearly think has potential to be a major revenue machine. Carlos Quintana is a slightly shop-worn veteran with something of a familiar name given his fights with Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto and Joel Julio, and this is usually the exact sort of guy you put a rising superstar in with to look good and both get some names on his resume and get him some experience against legitimate if not incredibly tough competition. Berto’s been in with guys at this level before in Juan Urango, Luis Colazzo and Steve Forbes, and in theory this should be just another fight along those lines. Berto will have a massive speed advantage here, and he’s been more than able so far in his career to turn that into a pressuring offense based off of a solid jab and a surprisingly diverse assortment of punches (including a very nice uppercut). The smart pick here is Berto by mid-late rounds KO; let’s say 8.

And yet. Berto has a weakness and anyone who follows the sport knows it: dude can’t take a punch very well. Miguel Angel Rodriguez almost KO’d him in their fight, and since then Berto has faced non-puncher Forbes, non-puncher Colazzo, and blown up 140 pounder Urango. There’s been stories for years of him not reacting all that well to punches in training. Carlos Quintana isn’t exactly a murderous banger himself but he can crack a little, and he has at times shown a notable ability to turn over-aggressive fighters’ styles against them, timing them and stepping out to the side against a rush to create angles for big right hooks and left hands. He did it perfectly against Paul Williams in their first fight, a strategy which Sergio Martinez later borrowed from to nearly the same effect against the same opponent. There is a chance for him to replicate some of that here against Berto. Berto will often hang back at home using his jab and handspeed to control things, and so long as he does that I think he’ll own Quintana; but he also sometimes dives in and smothers his punches, looking to land a big one and then clinch to negate counters. That’s Quintana’s chance. If he can feel that rush coming, time it and step out to the side with a major power shot, he could catch Berto and knock him out. The chances of this happening are not good (10%? 20%?) and they would have been better a couple of years ago, but to my mind they’re enough to make Quintana a live dog of sorts (perhaps a life support dog? Undead dog?) and the fight somewhat interesting on that basis.

Celestino Caballero vs. Daud Yordan

HBO Presents: The Finest Names In Boxing. Seriously, I love these names, and the fighters carrying them aren’t bad either. Yordan has fought an amazing collection of no one plus two rounds against Robert Guerrero in which he looked great before an unmotivated Guerrero decided to go home and nurse his cut. Caballero meanwhile has fought just about everyone with a name he could at his tiny weight range even including Bobby Bonilla, and with the exception of two blips in 2003 and 2004, he’s beaten them all, mostly by KO. On paper, this is a bit of a mismatch. And yet (and in good matchmaking, there’s usually an “and yet”) Yordan has several notable things in his favor: he’s 11 years younger, he’s a natural featherweight where Caballero is moving up late in his career, he’s got the confidence of the undefeated fighter, and he’s likely aided a bit by his unknown-ness- there’s probably very little available tape on this guy other than his two rounds with Guerrero, which both makes this fight hard to pick and probably makes it a hard one to prepare for for Caballero. I have no pick here, but I expect an intriguing fight in which it should become obvious fairly quickly whether Caballero has enough left in the tank to still be effective.

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April 9, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks so much…your theme and your site are really great. …

    Comment by nelc | April 10, 2010 | Reply


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