Vic Darchinyan-Rodrigo Guerrero and Devon Alexander-Juan Urango: Predictions

This weekend was supposed to mark the beginning of Phase 2 of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, with Andre Dirrell taking on Arthur Abraham. A back injury to Dirrell moved that fight back a few weeks, but fight fans won't be left empty-handed thanks to televised cards on both Showtime and HBO.

The departure of the Abraham-Dirrell fight means Vic Darchinyan moves up to main event status on Showtime. That's not a bad thing, as having Darchinyan in action usually means something interesting is going to happen, whether it be physically, verbally or both.

In Rodrigo Guerrero, he's facing an unknown quantity to American fans. Just 22 years old, the undefeated Mexican has nine KO victories in his 14 pro fights, but he's been in just one bout scheduled for more than eight rounds and looks to be making a huge jump up in competition.

Guerrero has told reporters he plans on slugging it out with Darchinyan, which is brave but not necessarily smart. Vic has vicious power in both hands as just about every one of his opponents at super flyweight can attest.

He can also box, but he chooses to do so only on occasion. If Guerrero can't force him out of his comfort zone, he's in for a painful night.

Darchinyan seems to be more and more occupied with thoughts of revenge on Nonito Donaire, who handed him his only knockout loss in the summer of 2007. That means he may be his own worst enemy, as he can certainly get caught if he's looking past the business at hand.

Assuming he's focused, Darchinyan should be able to slug his way to victory, which is how he prefers it. Look for Vic to register a mid-round KO and give one of his typically entertaining post-fight interviews after the final bell.

On HBO, WBC 140-pound titleholder Devon Alexander looks to stay undefeated in a clash with hard-nosed Juan Urango. At 23, Alexander is one of the youngest American boxers wearing gold, and he comes in off an impressive performance in beating tricky Junior Witter last August.

Urango is the type of fighter who is good enough to make it to the top of the hill but not quite special enough to beat the best. His only two losses came to Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto - no shame there - but he was badly outclassed in both contests.

Alexander doesn't have Berto's lightning-fast hands or Hatton's pop, though he's above average in both areas. It's hard to look good against Witter, but Devon did so for the most part, showcasing strong right hooks to complement his straight lefts.

He won't have quite as much of a puzzle in Urango, who has the power to end things if he lands flush but can be out-boxed and out-hustled. Berto was criticized for fighting a boring style against him, but in all honesty, that may be Alexander's road map to success.

Urango has never been knocked out, so he's going to be gamely battling until the bitter end. I just think Alexander's star is still on the rise, and I expect the St. Louis native to win by unanimous decision.

Posted by The Franchise

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