Predictions: Diaz vs. Katsidis, Barrios vs. Juarez

The Franchise says...

I find it highly amusing that HBO is promoting this weekend's Boxing After Dark card by stating that it features two former world champions and two former undefeated boxers. Um, guys? Wasn't every boxer undefeated at one time? Ahem.

In any case, anyone who is nervous about the kind of fights that may unfold later this fall when Joe Calzaghe faces Roy Jones Jr. or when Kelly Pavlik steps in against Bernard Hopkins should definitely tune in for Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis, because this one will be much more slugfest than chess match. Both men should provide plenty of fireworks and their histories suggest they shouldn't be afraid to stand and trade.

Diaz dropped a decision to Nate Campbell last time out that was something to behold, as Campbell gave him a taste of his own medicine early by outworking him, then boxed more judiciously as the fight went on. We'll have to see if the Baby Bull has added any more wrinkles to his game since then, because he didn't seem to have an answer when his usual strategy of throwing too many punches for his opponent to deal with wasn't enough.

It may be that Diaz's pressure is too much for Katsidis too, but the Aussie is a dangerous foe with more than enough power to make him pay if it doesn't. One thing we learned about Diaz in the Campbell fight is that he has a terrific chin, because he got tagged with a ton of hard punches and didn't fold. But Katsidis probably hits harder than Campbell, so he remains a threat to end it by KO.

Based on the feeling that Diaz was generally in against tougher competition before getting his first 'L,' I think he'll come out on top. I like the Baby Bull by late-round KO in what should be a barnburner while it lasts.

The Jorge Barrios-Rocky Juarez fight before the main event is a tough call between two former champs. Barrios seems to have an edge in power, but Juarez has never been knocked out, so that may be a wash and suggests this one is a good bet to go the distance.

Juarez has dropped three of his last five fights, including a pair to Marco Antonio Barrera and his most recent one to Juan Manuel Marquez. Is Barrios in that same class? Probably not, but he's very good in his own right and came very close to beating Joan Guzman two fights back.

I'll leave it to others to break down the style matchup in more detail, but I'm taking Barrios by decision.

Uatu says...
Diaz has more skills, and he will not have the same distractions that he had in Cancun. While the possibility exists that he wins by TKO due to cuts, the safer pick is for him to win based on activity level and showing more defense and footwork than Katsidis. Diaz by decision.

Barrios and Juarez is also tough to pick. Looking over their careers, they have both lost every time they stepped up to fight at the elite level. Neither of them really has a top tier win. But they have both lost to some of the biggest and best names in the sport including Freitas, Guzman, Barrera, Marquez, and Soto. So neither lacks big fight experience at all. Presumably the Hyena will press the action. That could put him right in Juarez's wheelhouse, as Rocky has had more difficulty with movement against the likes of JMM and MAB. Still, it will be close, but right now, Uatu likes what he has seen from Barrios more. Barrios to win, but by no means is Uatu confident in this pick.

1 comment:

uatu said...

Over on boxingtalk by way of betus.com they have Katsidis listed at +300 and Diaz at -400. For all those so inclined, taking Katsidis to win looks like a great value play considering how close this fight appears on paper and Katisidis being such a large underdog.