Sunday, January 25, 2015

Premonitions: Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos

By Peter Lim

Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos
Jan. 26, Cowboys Dance Hall, San Antonio, Texas
TV: Fox Sports

Pick: Juarez

Unless Juarez steps into the ring at anywhere less than 75 percent capacity even at this late stage of his career, this fight will be a mismatch. Juarez is almost never in an easy fight, but this will be the one exception. Simply put, Castellanos' street-fighting style is custom made for Juarez.

Anyone who stands in the pocket and trades with Juarez is just looking for trouble and Castellanos doesn't know how to fight any other way. In addition, he punches wide like a back-alley brawler, leaving himself open to shorter, sharper leads and counters.

Look for Juarez to end the fight with a single left hook somewhere between rounds four and seven.

Read the preview of the fight in The Houston Chronicle


Once again, couldn't have been more wrong. How could Juarez have looked so rejuvenated against the guy who dismantled and destroyed Castellanos and so shopworn against Castellanos himself?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Premonitions: Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado III

By Peter Lim

Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado III
Jan. 24, 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, Colorado

Pick: Mike Alvarado

There are numerous intangibles in this fight – cuts, fouls, altitude, training disruptions (reported and unreported), machismo, etc. – but the winner essentially boils down to the fighter whose goods are less damaged at this juncture of their careers; and that is … Alvarado.

Both have been in their share of wars over the years in which they have dished out and absorbed a horrendous amount of brutality, but Rios, because of his stronger chin, has subjected himself to more sustained punishment that leads to longer lasting damage. The frailer Alvarado, on the other hand, has folded under the intense artillery that Rios was able to withstand, sparing him from the more prolonged beatings that Rios has endured. So ironically, Alvarado, on account of his weaker chin, will enter the ring the fresher, less shopworn of the two, albeit not by much.

The rubber match will simply be a repeat of Rios-Alvarado II, unless Rios can somehow lure Alvarado into the trenches and force a toe-to-toe slugfest as he did in their first encounter. Duplicating and refining his game plan from their last fight, Alvarado will sharp shoot from long range and, at opportune moments, sneak in, unload and sneak out before Rios can effectively return fire en route to a clear-cut decision victory.


I couldn't have been more wrong on this one. Rios looked fresh as a daisy, like he had erased the wear and tear of all his previous wars and started from a clean slate. Alvarado on the hand stepped into the ring looking like his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez happened just last night.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Premonitions: Wilder vs. Stiverne

By Peter Lim

Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder
Jan. 17, 2015, MGM Grand, Las Vegas Nevada

Pick: Wilder

Styles make fights and this one is a no-brainer. Here we have two guys with more or less the same modus operandi; both are classical boxers who deploy their jabs to set up mind-numbing rights. One stands at six-foot-eight, the other six-foot-two and neither is significantly faster than the other. Guess who gets his punches off first? While Stiverne's tuck-and-roll defense can neutralize the firepower of sluggers like Chris Arreola, it is much less effective against long-range straight shooters like Wilder. Unless Stiverne has some ace up his sleeve to close the distance that we've never seen before, Wilder will easily outbox him to win a lopsided decision or late-round stoppage.

Post-fight commentary 

Result: Deontay Wilder W12 Bermane Stiverne

If these were the two best heavyweights on this side of the Atlantic, the elite action in the division is going to remain in Europe for a while, not that the talent pool runs very deep over there either. Despite the pre-fight hype that undoubtedly led to its high ratings, Stiverne-Wilder did little to generate excitement in the heavyweight division on this hemisphere.

Stiverne proved he had a torpedo-proof chin but that was about it. But if his chin was made of concrete, so it seemed, were his feet as he was unveiled as plodding and one-dimensional with little ability or even willingness to adjust.

As slow-footed as Stiverne was, he nevertheless showed that all you had to do to close the distance against Wilder was to move forward, no feinting or bobbing and weaving required. Wilder displayed a long stiff jab but more often than not, he used his left to paw, poke and prod, exposing himself to counters that more versatile fighters would have exploited.