Predictions: Campbell-Guzman, Casamayor-Marquez, Mora-Forrest

The Franchise says...

It's a little bit of everything on the boxing schedule this Saturday with a championship bout on Showtime and a pay-per-view card - at least in the sense that viewers are being paid to watch - that kind of, sort of has two championships at stake.

In Mississippi, Nate Campbell defends his three lightweight titles against undefeated Joan Guzman, who follows in the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao by making the jump from 130 to 135. Campbell shouldn't be lacking for motivation after he won his belts in impressive fashion against Juan Diaz, who was also undefeated at the time. He's also miffed about:

1) The Ring magazine choosing to recognize the Joel Casamayor-Juan Manuel Marquez winner as the lightweight champ.
2) Getting mocked by Guzman and his people for supposedly ducking him - even though Guzman had yet to fight at lightweight - and even making fun of his recent wedding photos.

Guzman has a slick arsenal on offense and defense and comes into the bout off of two easy decision wins. He's not known for his power and Campbell proved in the Diaz fight he can take shots from anyone not named Robbie Peden, but it's possible Guzman may be able to consistently beat him to the punch.

Still, Campbell also showed adaptability during his fight with Diaz, a trait sometimes lacking in even top-notch fighters. The Galaxxy Warrior was able to get the better of the Baby Bull while standing and trading in the early rounds, then box judiciously in the second half of the fight. He's got the edge in experience and should have more power when he tracks Guzman down.

It's hard to pick against a talented undefeated fighter like Guzman, but my gut tells me Campbell will find a way to win. I'm taking Campbell to retain by decision.

As for that Casamayor-Marquez fight, it's going down at almost the same time in Las Vegas. While the card isn't too bad, the most intriguing angle may be seeing how many people actually shell out money to watch it. They're championship fighters, yes, but PPV draws? I think not.

Casamayor is especially lucky to be in this position. He deserves props for coming off the canvas to knock out Aussie slugger Michael Katsidis last time out, but many observers thought he was the beneficiary of a gift decision over Jose Armando Santa Cruz the fight before that. It's hard to count the veteran lefty out against anyone, but his record against top flight competition over the last five years or so is only about .500.

A frustrated Marquez makes his move to lightweight after his March loss to Pacquiao made him winless in two fights against Pacman, both of which were so close that he could legitimately feel he won them. He's got the edge in pure skill, so his biggest problems will be if the step up to 135 robs him of his pop or if those grueling rounds with Manny exacted a toll. Despite being Casamayor's junior by two years, he actually has a lot more miles on the odometer.

I'm not sure how many people will be watching, but this one could be interesting. The feeling here is that while you aren't exactly sure what you're going to get from Casamayor, you know JMM is going to be sharp. Joel will hang tough, but I like Marquez by late-round KO.

The co-feature in Vegas is a rematch between Sergio Mora and Vernon Forrest of a June fight that ended in a semi-surprising victory for the Latin Snake. Forrest had a hard time cornering the younger, quicker Mora for one of his trademark right hands that night, finally running into someone whose style was even trickier than his own.

Will The Viper have enough left in the tank to chase Mora around this time? He says yes, of course, but I'm not as confident. In the second battle of the snakes, I'm picking Mora to win on the scorecards again, possibly by a more comfortable margin.

Uatu says...

According to fightnews Guzman came in overweight. Much has been made of him blowing up in-between fights. He also has not fought since last November. He will not be able to knock Nate Campbell out, he will not be able to knock him down and he will not be able to hurt him. Chances are he will fight like Floyd Mayweather did in his second fight against Jose Luis Castillo. But his conditioning isn't on the same level as Floyd's, and he is not as talented as Floyd. Campbell presses the action effectively to win by decision.

Perhaps JMM has bitten off more than he can chew. Casamayor has fought much much larger opposition physically speaking. Casamayor by decision.

In a rematch of a close decision between a younger and older fighter, the move is to go with the younger guy, as he will win even more decisively. Mora by decision.

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