The TSS Prediction squad has gone out on the proverbial limb once again, fearlessly offering their takes on Saturday's boxing bounty.
Feel free to digest our takes, and then by all means offer your own guesses on what goes down in Jones/Hanshaw, Margarito/Williams, Gatti/Gomez and Cintron/Matthysse.
Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams should make for a very interesting scrap. It may be an awkward one, but still good nonetheless. Margarito and Williams are very similiar fighters. Both fighters are high volume punchers that like to come foward. But keep in mind that neither guy is a big puncher, and if the saying "you are just as good as your last fight" is true, then both fighters have failed to impress the boxing pundits. Margarito had a horrible outing against Joshua Clottey and
Williams didn't impress anybody when he stopped Sharmba Mitchell and Santos Pakau. Williams will have the edge in speed, but Margarito will prove to have the better chin. This fight is going to showcase probably two of the most overrated fighters in all of boxing. But because each fighter has a tendency to disregard their defense, and their styles compliment each other, this will be an okay fight. I am picking Margarito by majority decision in a close and tough fight. I just can't see the Margarito-Miguel Cotto fight not happening.
The Kermit Cintron-Walter Matthysse bout is another difficult contest to call. With Matthysse only fighting twice in the United States, it makes it difficult to express an opinion on him because we haven't seen enough of him. However I will give Matthysse the benefit of the doubt. I fully recognize and understand that because I haven't seen any of the guys he knocked out in Argentina, that doesn't mean that they're bad fighters. But based on what I saw from Matthysse in the fight with Williams, he appears to be very limited. Cintron on the other hand has improved tremendously under the guidance of Emanuel Steward. Cintron is a very big puncher and Matthysse looks like the type of fighter that is easy to hit. It took Williams 10 rounds to stop Matthysse. Cintron should do it in half the time. I am taking Cintron by TKO in round number 5.
I like everybody else feels that Arturo Gatti should retire. Gatti has three strikes against him: 1) Age; 2) A lot of wear and tear on his body from all of the tough fights that he had; 3) Gatti's propensity for partying appears to be catching up to him. But what defines a shot fighter? A shot fighter is a boxer that can't beat anybody. It's quite clear that at this stage of Gatti's career, he can't beat anybody good. It is difficult for me to label Alfonso Gomez as a good fighter. Gomez may be fun to watch but he is nothing more than a glorified club fighter. I don't know too many people that took "The Contender" seriously. I feel that Gatti should be able to beat a guy like Gomez. But if Gatti lost or if the fight was ruled a draw I wouldn't be surprised. Gatti is 35-years-old and has taken a substantial amount of punishment throughout his career. Obviously Gomez isn't as skilled as any of the fighters that have beaten Gatti in the past, but he is hungry. So who knows what can happen if Gomez puts pressure on Gatti all night. But with that being said, my official prediction is Gatti in 11. I feel that Gatti's left hook is still a very dangerous weapon. Please keep in mind that I am making my pick reluctantly because I just don't know what to expect from Gatti in the ring anymore. It's going to be interesting to see how the one-year layoff is going to affect him Saturday night.
As for Roy-Jones and Anthony Hanshaw, I thinks that's an easy one. Remember that Hanshaw is a super middleweight and is moving up in weight to fight Jones. As a light heavyweight Jones is too big and too strong for Hanshaw. As a light heavyweight Jones is still a tremendous physical talent. So on athleticism alone Jones blows Hanshaw away. Jones will easily outpoint Hanshaw in a snoozer by scores of 119-109 and 118-110 (2x's). I expect Jones to be pot shotting Hanshaw all night. In my years of watching boxing, I can truly say that Jones has been the best fighter that I have seen. But truth be told, I don't give Jones any props for fighting Hanshaw. It leads me to believe that Jones still isn't confident enough in his ability as of yet, when he agreed to fight Hanshaw.
Antonio Margarito vs. Paul Williams: I think this will be Margarito vs. Cintron all over again. Based on the quality of opposition I'm taking Margarito in a mid fight TKO.
Arturo Gatti vs. Alfonso Gomez: Both men take a lot of punishment but the key here is that Gomez has taken a lot less than Gatti who's been in many brutal wars. I think Gomez wins this because he's younger and fresher.
Kermit Cintron vs. Walther Mathysse: Mathysse is a pretty good fighter with hard hands. The problem is he's only good for about three rounds. If Cintron can weather the storm, he'll win decisively by stoppage in the later stage of the fight.
Margarito-Williams is a fascinating matchup. It's two guys that have obvious strengths but few apparent weaknesses. In a battle between two big, strong welterweights I see Margarito's ring-smarts being the telling factor. Margarito on points.
Cintron-Matthysse should prove to be exciting. Both fighters are aggressive and aren't afraid to mix it up. But Cintron should be too polished and powerful for the rather limited Argentinean. Cintron KO9.
Gatti-Gomez is a crossroads fight if ever there was one. A win for Gatti can lead to at least one more mega payday, while a loss will certainly end his status as a big attraction. Gomez is well-known, but unproven. A win for him can turn him into a big name player in the division, but a defeat to a shopworn Gatti would severely damage his credibility. Two flawed sluggers should make for an entertaining and competitive scrap. Gatti on points.
Jones-Hanshaw poses plenty of questions. How much does Jones have left? How good is Hanshaw? If Jones performs like he did against Glen Johnson then expect Hanshaw to win on points. But if Jones can fight at 50% of his best, and that's a big if, he should eke out a points win. Jones on points.
Margarito/Williams--I love this match-up and respect both brawlers. Williams is not too strong for Margarito, but he is too long. At 6-2 (and with an even longer wingspan) The Punisher's potent combination of reach and accuracy will prove too much for Margarito. Williams by UD.
Cintron-Matthysse--Cintron seems re-focused and should be too much for a dangerous Matthysse. Expect fireworks in this one and a kayo victory for Kermit. But he'd best be careful.
Gatti-Gomez--After the fireworks, Thunder will rumble with Alfonso Gomez, who probably doesn't belong in the ring with a fighter like Gatti. If he has taken this fight seriously and has anything left he should KO Gomez. But there's a good chance Gatti is sticking around too long. I like Gatti by KO, but I say that with all the self-confidence of George McFly.
Jones-Hanshaw--Here we have another match-up where the biggest question is whether or not the legendary vet has anything left in the tank. Roy's got a little something left, but E is approaching. Junior by decision.
I love Gatti, but think Gomez is young and aggressive enough to win a hard fought decision.
Margarito is getting another chance to shine after a couple of disappointing outings. My guess is he's a tiger this time out and stops Williams in seven.
Cintron learned a lot from his loss to Margarito. With Emanuel Steward in his corner, he'll show all he was capable of earlier on and stop Matthysse in nine rounds.
Gatti said his head wasn’t in his last fight, against Carlos Baldomir a year ago. Personal matters weighed on him, and that was why he looked nothing like the tosser of Thunder we’ve come to know and love. I may be a sucker, but I’m prone to believe him. And even if he is blowin’ smoke, and making excuses, he still has enough left to handle Alfonso Gomez. If Gomez had more pop—he has a 33% KO pct-then I’d be more worried. But his hands are lighter than Baldomir’s, and plus, I think Micky Ward will re-energize the 35-year-old Canadian. Gatti will stop Gomez for the first time in the 26-year-old Mexican born “Contender’s” career (21 fights). A date with JC Chavez Jr will not go down the drain, there’s too much dough to be derived…
Kermit Cintron will get hit, and there may be precarious moments for the 27-year-old Puerto Rican, but he’s simply on a higher plane than the 28-year-old Argentine Walter Matthysse, who has only fought outside of the homeland twice in 28 pro fights. Kermit drops his hands too much for my liking, but he’ll be on message on Saturday, as a BIG FIGHT looms if he wins, and looks exciting, against the Argentine Matthysse, who turned pro at 23.
Ouch, make me choose in the Margarito/Williams. I have a hard time being objective, as I did the “As Told To” pieces with The Punisher, and I’m always a sucker for a mega-confident pitch, as Williams has been delivering. I’m tempted to say that Williams’ long reach will be too annoying and off putting for Margarito, who will have trouble finding the genetic freak, Williams. Also, I saw Margarito against Clottey, and that spotty display sticks out in my mind, fresh. I think Margarito’s hand speed has diminished, and he’ll have trouble landing. He’ll look to dig in left hooks and will get cracked with straight rights. Williams D12.
Roy has a pretty good idea of how much he has left, despite his “Pound for Pound” talk. His team has scouted Hanshaw, a top level amateur who hasn’t panned out as a pro. People yelp that he’s a super middle going up to 175, but he’s been fighting in that neighborhood. More importantly, he cannot and will not hurt Roy. RJJ-UD12.
I can rank the "stars" in regard to their likelihood of defeat. Unless Gatti or Jones are as shot as many people claim, I don't think they're facing foes with enough to beat them. Cintron should keep improving for now, and is probably matched safe enough, but there are still questions regarding how much he really had in the first place. The biggest question is whether Margarito either lives up to his promise or his detractors. I've never been sold on Margarito. If Williams deserves his hype, he'll win.