Fighters such as Canelo Alvarez, James Kirkland, Anthony Joshua and Felix Sturm are in action this week.
We’ve learned three things just by waking up this morning:
- Life goes on
- Boxing isn’t dead after all
- This fight week looks fantastic!
There’s something this week to satisfy everyone. Brawlers such as Saul Alvarez and Matthew Macklin feature, as do British stars Anthony Joshua, Ricky Burns and Jamie McDonnell.
Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO) vs. James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO)
The Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas hosts young Mexican Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez taking on heavy handed southpaw James Kirkland in a Light Middleweight bout.
An extraordinary young man, Canelo turned professional at just 15 years of age, and already has 46 professional fights to his name. His only loss came against top dog Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in 2013, and Canelo is widely touted as boxing’s next No.1.
Coming in off an 18-month lay-off, the Mandingo Warrior’s sole loss was to Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida by knockout. Just three of his fights have gone the distance, earning him a deserved reputation as an explosive puncher.
59 knockouts between them should ensure that this one doesn’t go the distance.
Verdict: Canelo Alvarez @ 1.158
Matthew Macklin (31-6, 20 KOs) vs. Ferenc Albert (12-7, 7 KOs)
This is a crucial match-up for Matthew Macklin in Birmingham on Saturday, as since losing valiantly to star Gennady Golovkin, The Tipperary Tornado also lost his most recent bout against Jorge Sebastian Heiland by KO.
He takes on Hungarian Ferenc Albert, who has lost 7 of his 19 bouts. The fight looks to be set up for the purpose of giving Macklin an easy path back into the winner’s circle, but Macklin realises the importance of not overlooking Saturday night, as he told RTÉ:
“It is must-win on Saturday; I cannot afford to lose at this stage of my career and coming off the last loss. It is an eight rounder but it is potentially the fight before a big, big fight. There is a lot at stake.”
Verdict: Macklin by TKO – 5th round
Anthony Joshua (11-0, 11 KOs) vs. Raphael Zumbano Love (36-10-1, 29 KOs)
Joshua (a.k.a Lennox Lewis Mk. II) takes on Brazilian Raphael Zumbano Love on the same card as Macklin and Albert. This is actually a tune-up fight for AJ, as he faces American Kevin Johnson at the end of the month. The Olympic Gold Medallist hasn’t gone past the third round yet – winning all 11 of his professional fights by knockout.
His opponent has lost ten times in 47 fights, going the distance with former World Champion Shannon Briggs last year.
Verdict: Anthony Joshua by KO – 2nd round
Omar Figueroa (24-0-1, 18 KOs) vs. Ricky Burns (37-4-1, 11 KOs)
This bout at junior welterweight sees big underdog Ricky Burns travel to the State Farm Arena, Hidalgo, Texas to take on undefeated local Omar Figueroa.
A former WBO lightweight champion and super featherweight champion, Ricky Burns was declared bankrupt in March and will be motivated to upset the odds. Figueroa is also a former World Champion (WBC Lightweight belt), coming in as the favourite with wins over the likes of Michael Pérez and Daniel Estrada.
Two recent losses to Terence Crawford and Dejan Zlaticanin don’t bode well for the Scotsman, but we’re backing the dogged Burns to cause a sneaky upset in Figueroa’s backyard.
Verdict: Ricky Burns @ 8.2
Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19 KOs) vs. Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12 KOs)
Jamie McDonnell’s WBA bantamweight title is on the line against the undefeated Tomoki Kameda of Japan. McDonnell hasn’t lost since 2008, while Kameda struggled to a split decision last time out against Alejandro Hernandez. It’s a close fight to call, so we’ll side with the slight betting favourite.
Verdict: Tomoki Kameda @ 1.403
Felix Sturm (39-4-3, 18 KOs) vs. Fedor Chudinov (12-0, 10 KOs)
The interim WBA super middleweight title is up for grabs as former IBF, WBO, WBA and WBA (Super) middleweight champion Felix Sturm goes toe to toe with undefeated prospect Fedor Chudinov.
Sturm has only won one of his last three fights, while Fedor has won all but two of his twelve bouts by knockout. It’s a big step up in opposition for the Russian, but he could well topple the German, who has lost fights while deemed favourite in the past.
Verdict: Fedor Chudinov by Decision