Showtime Predictions: Woods-Tarver and Dawson-Johnson

The Franchise says...

Though The Ring magazine rankings respectfully disagree with Showtime's claim that Saturday's card features the four best light heavyweights in the world, it will go a long way toward sorting things out in that division. Of the combatants I probably know the least about Clinton Woods, but I guess he must be taken at least somewhat seriously at this point. Aside from getting knocked out by Roy Jones Jr. in his first trip to the U.S. in 2002, his most notable fights have been against Glen Johnson, and he went 1-1-1 in those three bouts - and the win was a split decision. Not terribly inspiring.

Then again, who knows what to make of Antonio Tarver, a personal favorite? He bounced back with two wins last year after getting badly exposed by Bernard Hopkins in 2006, but The Executioner has been known to make plenty of people look bad. If he has his head on straight I think he is still capable of performing at a high level, but that's a huge "if."

Neither man is young, so age shouldn't be much of a factor. Tarver has fought the better competition, and if he's in shape and throwing a lot of punches, he can be a handful in the early rounds. I wouldn't be shocked if Woods weathers the storm and knocks Tarver out late, but I don't think that's the most likely outcome. I'm seeing Tarver hanging on to win a close decision, though not impressive enough to make anyone think he's headed back for bigger things.

Speaking of handful, that description is very apt for Glen Johnson. He's not afraid to take a punch to land one, and his opponents always have to be ready for a long night. He has wins over Woods, Tarver and Jones to his credit, which isn't too shabby.

Chad Dawson can't say the same, but he did earn comfortable decisions over Eric Harding and Tomasz Adamek, two guys who aren't scrubs. He was even tested early in the Harding fight, coming back from a knockdown in the first round.

I've got no doubt that Johnson will be very game and won't prove to be an easy out. But I just can't pick against Bad Chad's youth and speed. Father Time will catch up with Johnson as Dawson wins by late stoppage.

UATU says...
It's interesting, over the last five years, Tarver has three big wins. Two over Roy Jones and one over Glen Johnson. The second win against Roy wasn't great, as Roy looked really to be just trying to survive and not get knocked out again. The first win over Roy came in such sudden fashion, there's nothing to even evaluate. Even though that was a tremendous win, a win that made Tarver's career and shattered Jones, nothing much can really be analyzed about it, other then the fact that that was the most memorable single left hand of this millennium. The whole fight was five minutes long. And that left was thrown four years ago. There isn't anything from those fights over Jones that can really be pointed to to base a prediction on the current Tarver.

Tarver's loss to Johnson was a somewhat listless performance, although the fight could have gone his way as it was a split decision. His win over Johnson was a better showing, although that was three years ago.

So those fights have to be somewhat discounted when looking at tomorrow's fight. If Tarver does win, it's going to be a close decision in a life and death effort. Woods is likely to throw more punches and press the action to a point that Tarver isn't going to be able to keep up with. Tarver's defense will be better, and perhaps his power. He'd better hope his power keeps Woods honest or knocks him down. Don't want to do it. Hate to say it. Woods by close decision, perhaps split decision.

Dawson over "Gentlemen" Glen Johnson ud 12. Hopefully Johnson keeps the pressure up and makes it interesting. Unlike the other fight, where the aggressor Woods has the younger legs, in this fight the younger legs go to Dawson. That will make the difference when combined with his speed.

No comments: