Predictions: Island Warriors - Latin Fury 12 - Juan Manuel Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa and More

The Franchise says...

I don't mind paying money to watch Juan Manuel Lopez fight, because he's almost always worth the price of admission. What I do mind is buying a pay-per-view that's so clearly intended to set up a bigger one down the road.

Such is the case with Saturday's Latin Fury 12 (subtitled Island Warriors) as Juanma and co-featured star Yuriorkis Gamboa are definitely being positioned to fight each other, perhaps next year. Since local favorite John Duddy is also in action, this card strikes me as one that would be better to attend in person than watch on TV.

But I digress. To get to a Lopez-Gamboa showdown, it would help if both men win on Saturday. Juanma's foe, Rogers Mtagwa, doesn't have anything on his resume that makes one think he'll be much of a challenge. I'm saying Lopez by KO inside of five rounds.

Whyber Garcia, the man facing Gamboa, also seems like light work. He's twice before been a KO victim for undefeated boxers: to Edwin Valero in 2006 and Jorge Linares last year. Let's say it'll be three for three and go with Gamboa by mid-round KO.

I should mention that the most interesting fight on the card may be a heavyweight bout that has switched participants multiple times. Cuban Odlanier Solis is the constant; he was originally supposed to fight Kevin Johnson, got switched to Fres Oquendo and has ended up with Monte Barrett.

Solis has yet to show he was worth the hype he got beginning his pro career, and he seems to be a student of the pre-Klitschko Chris Arreola school of conditioning. I actually think he caught a break not facing Oquendo, because Fast Fres has enough left in the tank to be a real headache.

Barrett can certainly bang, but appearing as a late replacement may neutralize any cardio advantage he'd have. Solis has never gone ten rounds as a pro, so who knows what happens if the fight goes the distance?

I'm taking Solis by late TKO, but that's a pick made without a whole lot of confidence.

Posted by The Franchise

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