Friday, May 29, 2015

Amir Khan vs. Chris Algieri

Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY, May 29
TV: Spike TV
By Peter Lim

Talent-wise, Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) isn't really a top-shelf fighter but his gritty split decision upset over Provodnikov has earned him back-to-back big-money fights, first against Pacquaio and now against Khan. This matchup would be a gross mismatch if not for one thing; the glass-chinned Khan is always one punch away from being dropped or even stopped. 

Like Mohammad Ali and Roy Jones, Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) is one of those fighters who does many things wrong but gets away with it because of his exceptional speed. While more seasoned and cerebral fighters might be able to capitalize on his flawed fundamentals, Algieri simply lacks the experience or know-how to do so. Khan can box and he can punch, but knowing he's a frontrunner for a mega payday against Mayweather, he opts to rapid fire his way to a lopsided decision in lieu of throwing caution to the wind to go for the knockout.

Kudos to Algieri. He came to fight.

Friday, May 22, 2015

James DeGale vs. Andre Dirrell

Agganis Arena, Boston, MA, May 23
By Peter Lim

This looks like a high-quality match-up considering DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist and Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. But styles make fights and it turns out to be a yawner of a chess match thanks to Dirrell's safety-first, fan-unfriendly mode of combat.

DeGale presses the action and attempts to initiate exchanges but the switch-hitting Dirrell backs away, smothers, holds and simply refuses to engage. As successful as Dirrell is in killing DeGale's momentum, he offers little in terms of a counter attack allowing DeGale to eke out a razor-close decision after 12 very forgettable rounds.

The verdict was correct: in a close fight, the guy who scores the knockdowns wins.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bahodir Mamadjonov vs. Richard Commey

The D Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV, May 22
TV: CBS Sports
By Peter Lim

Records can be deceiving which is indeed the case in this match-up. With a 90 percent stoppage rate, Commey (21-0, 19 KOs) appears at first glance to be a murderous, Golovkin-like knockout artist. But the Ghanaian's power remains a question mark given the fact that his victories have come against a very mediocre and obscure bunch of opponents in Europe and Africa.

Mamadjonov (17-1, 11 KOs) might appear somewhat ordinary on paper, but he has faced a higher caliber of fighters than Commey. A transplant to Houston from Uzbekistan, Mamadjonov was put on the fast track and matched against more experienced opponents early in his career. His only loss was via disputed split decision in his 12th bout against Darleys Perez, who was 25-0 at that time.

Mamadjonov's experience will ultimately tip the balance in this fight. A vicious body puncher, the southpaw will zero in on Commey's lanky torso with straight lefts, break him down and stop him in the middle rounds.

Jury is still out as to whether Commey is the real deal. Granted he pulled out the victory, but he lost five of seven completed rounds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gennady Golovkin vs. Willie Monroe Jr.

Forum, Inglewood, CA, May 16
By Peter Lim

On paper at least, this encounter looks like a man-versus-boy type mismatch, but styles make fights and Monroe (19-1, 6 KOs), a speedy sharp-shooter, does actually have the skill set to upset Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs), on the outside chance he can keep it up for 12 rounds.

Utilizing his superior hand and foot speed, Monroe will win the first couple rounds by sniping from long range with his right jab while spinning side to side to offset Golovkin. But as slick of a southpaw as Monroe is, he is no Pernell Whitaker; he can be countered and he can be cornered. Golovkin will time Monroe, maybe even drop him, with a few strategically-placed rights to the body and Monroe will quickly unravel.

By the fifth round Monroe will be reduced to fighting on survival mode, hanging on to Golovkin for dear life as the murderous-punching Kazakh violently tears into him with both fists. Trapping Monroe along the ropes, Golovkin connects with a straight right to the chin in the seventh round delivering a knockout so brutal it rivals last weekend's Canelo KO3 Kirkland for 2015 Knockout of the Year.

If Golovkin was really giving Monroe a chance to get back into the fight by letting himself get hit, he is more confident, fan-considerate and invincible than previously thought. Monroe's stock didn't go down as he chose to trade with 3G rather than fight on survival mode, but he sure didn't win any new fans from the Mexican-thick crowd at the Inglewood Forum by quitting on his feet.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. James Kirkland

Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX, May 9
By Peter Lim

This is truly a fire-and-ice match-up that pits a relentless brawler-banger against a cool, nerves-of-steel boxer-puncher, neither of whom are rarely in a dull fight. Style-wise, Kirkland's weaknesses play more into Canelo's strengths than vice versa, but one need only look at Kirkland's 87.5 percent knockout rate to know that he is capable of separating anyone from his senses.

Kirkland has other predicaments working against him - the absence of Anne Wolfe in his corner, his long layoff sans tuneup fight and his shocking three-knockdown stoppage loss to Ishida. But even if you discount those factors, the most tell-tale harbinger to the outcome of this fight is Carlos Molina. If a guy like Molina could befuddle the bejesus out of Kirkland (before losing a dubious final-round disqualification in 2012), imagine what Canelo will do to him.

Kirkland will test Canelo's chin and resolve like no other fighter before, but Canelo will pass with flying colors and stop Kirkland in the sixth round.

Read the preview and analysis of Canelo-Kirkland at