Friday, February 26, 2016

Scott Quigg vs. Carl Framptom

Manchester Arena, England, Feb. 27
TV: Showtime, Sky
By Peter Lim

This title unification bout between two undefeated British Isles boxers is truly a toss-up. Frampton is the better boxer, but not by much. Quigg has the higher KO percentage, but not by much. While Quigg has had more fights, Frampton has fought a caliber of opponents, but not by much.

Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) pulls ahead early but Quigg turns up the pressure in the middle rounds to land the more noteworthy shots. Frampton rallies back in the championship rounds but Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) holds his own to eke out a controversial split decision.

What kind of fight plan did Quigg have that he only started throwing punches in the second half of the fight?

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Kiko Martinez

Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, Feb. 27
TV: Showtime
By Peter Lim

Martinez was previously stopped by Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, both of whom would be slight underdogs if matched against Santa Cruz. Granted, styles make fights, but there's nothing too mysterious or cagey about Martinez's one-dimensional chug-forward style. Unless Martinez has some trick up his sleeve that we've never seen before, he will be custom-made for Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) can essentially do what Martinez does with more finesse and firepower. He willingly engages the Spaniard and effortlessly outguns the Spaniard in the exchanges up close and personal. Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs) knows no other way to fight and valiantly attempts to out-brawl the Californian only to be met with pinpoint punches upstairs and down. Santa Cruz's debilitating shots take a cumulative toll causing Martinez to wilt in the seventh round.

Martinez was more relentless and resilient than expected but so was Santa Cruz.

Terrence Crawford vs. Henry Lundy

Madison Square Garden, New York, Feb. 27
By Peter Lim

This is a convenient stay-busy fight for Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) to raise his profile and boost his bargaining power for a big payday in the talent-rich 140-pound division. Lundy (26-5-1, 13 KOs) may be a decent gatekeeper type fighter but talent wise, he falls several notches below Crawford. While Lundy has had his limitations exposed in his five losses, Crawford, at this juncture of his career, has shown limitless potential and early signs of greatness. Crawford quickly figures Lundy out and systematically picks him apart en route to a seventh round TKO in a one-sided mismatch.

Crawford looked tentative and vulnerable in spots but showed how strong a finisher he can be.