20.2.09

Predictions: Pavlik-Rubio, Cotto-Jennings

The Franchise says...

There's an upcoming UFC card that's been dubbed "Redemption," but that really is an even more fitting name for the split-site pay-per-view presented by Top Rank this Saturday. Both middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik and former welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto are returning after suffering their first career defeats, both of which were humbling in their own way.

Pavlik was simply taught a boxing lesson by master practitioner Bernard Hopkins, and while there's no shame in losing to The Executioner, it had to be somewhat discouraging that he was outclassed and outmuscled. Neither should be a problem as he returns to 160 pounds to take on Marco Antonio Rubio.

He's also fighting in front of his hometown fans in Youngstown, Ohio, which could be a positive or negative. Every boxer draws energy from a supportive crowd, but Pavlik takes his role as the embodiment of his city more seriously than most, and that could easily turn into extra pressure the champ puts on himself.

If Pavlik comes out tight, Rubio could hang around long enough to keep things interesting. I've seen him fight just once, winning a split decision against Enrique Ornelas on the Pavlik-Hopkins undercard. My impression was that he had pretty good hand speed and movement and a real solid chin.

Even if Rubio starts strong, I don't think he has the power to put Pavlik in real trouble. So unless his head is really in a bad place, I expect that once he finds his comfort level, Pavlik will emerge with a late-round KO, looking more like his pre-Hopkins self in the process.

And what of Michael Jennings, Cotto's opponent? Well, he's had a tough life. I also know ESPN's Dan Rafael has called him a joke as a mandatory opponent for the vacant WBO title.

That means he's likely also in for a rough night against Cotto, who can add frustration with his promoter to his already high level of motivation. He's not happy that Bob Arum hasn't denounced Antonio Margarito, whose hand wrap-related suspension has made Cotto more outspoken than usual.

Margarito administered a pretty vicious beating last July, but Cotto has had plenty of time to heal since then. I don't see any reason to suspect he won't be superior to Jennings in all facets of the game, leading to a Cotto victory by early to mid-round KO.

Uatu says...
Speaking of the UFC, that's what I'll be watching tonight. I will be voting with my wallet and voting no on this particular ppv. Fortunately, the Franchise will carry the banner for BoxingWatchers and actually watch this ppv. I have no beef whatsoever with this being ppv. I am sure Bob Arum knows what he is doing, and if taking this to ppv makes him the most money, then why shouldn't he go this route? If stations aren't going to pony up the money he thinks it deserves, then by all means he should do what is best for him and his fighters. I don't have to buy it though.

Let's see...

I've never seen this Jennings fellow fight. My guess is that Arum is putting him in to lose. If he does indeed fight like Giancarlo Branco, as I have read, then he will be dispatched by KO in the midrounds.

Pavlik and Rubio I have seen fight. I like this fight to actually be entertaining. I foresee some exchanged punches and Rubio will be there to win. He is perfect for this comeback fight, if you want to call it that, for Pavlik. He will extend Pavlik some rounds, but Pavlik will get the best of him and win by unanimous decision.

4 comments:

Ricochet said...

Ok I'm alone, whats goin on? Tell me about the prelims

Ricochet said...

I think the Duddy fight is on, whats goin on there?

R

Ricochet said...

Is anybody alive in here???

The Franchise said...

Ricochet, go out to the main page. We've got live updates of the undercard out there: www.boxingwatchers.com.