EXCITING APRIL LEADING UP TO MAY 2nd
By TOM WATT on April 14 2015
With all the excitement and fanfare around the ‘Fight of the Century’ between the two P4P best fighters in the World, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao, it is easy to forget that the rest of the World keeps turning! Away from the super-fight in Vegas on May 2nd there are plenty of other reasons to be excited as a Boxing fan - Below I have a look at some of the upcoming events to put in your diary in the run up to May 2nd
Terence Crawford Vs Thomas Dulorme (April 18th)
On April 18th the former Lightweight World Champion and 2014’s biggest climber in the sport, Terence Crawford makes his first moves in the Light Welterweight Division as he takes on rugged Puerto Rican, Thomas Dulorme in Texas.
Crawford is one of the hottest names in Boxing right now, having stormed to the top of the Lightweight Division last year, beating Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymundo Beltran on way to being named BWAA Fighter of the year. Dulorme for his part is on a 6-0 streak himself and as the natural Light Welterweight will bring natural size and power to the table that will surely be his keys to victory.
Crawford will no doubt be the favourite going in but Dulorme is no slouch and can make life difficult for Crawford if he uses his natural advantages well, he will however be without World Class trainer, Robert Garcia for this fight which could make all the difference. I’m expecting Crawford to outbox Dulorme in this one but it won’t be easy.
Lucas Matthyse Vs Ruslan Provodnikov (April 18th)
The Main Event ahead of Crawford Vs Dulorme, this clash of 2 of the most exciting fighters in any division is set to be explosive and action-packed from the off. Both Matthyse and Provodnikov are ‘Fight Of the Year’ winners and you’d be hard-pressed to think of a time where they didn't deliver for the fans. That’s what makes this such a mouth-watering clash, the fact that two genuine warriors were happy to get in the ring together to battle it out.
For those of you unfamiliar with the pair, Provodnikov is an all-action come-forward fighter that will walk his opponent down for every minute of every round, Matthyse for his part is more than happy to engage in a war when it comes his way. If both fighters bring their A-Game then this has ‘Fight of the Year’ written all over it and cannot be missed for any Boxing fan. The winner of this fight will be in a great position for a Title fight later this year with Danny Garcia being mentioned in the pre-fight press conference – Matthyse lost to Garcia in September 2014 a by UD and would no doubt love an opportunity to right that wrong, Providnikov on the other hand is a fighter that many have avoided over the last few years so an impressive win here would make him a harder man to dodge.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Vs Andrzej Fonfara (April 18th)
Not to be outdone by HBO’s packed card, Showtime have a big night of their own planned on the 18th as Mexican Super-Middleweight Superstar, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr takes on towering former Light-Heavyweight contender, Andrzej Fonfara who in his last outing more than held his own against WBC Champion, Adonis Stevenson.
Fonfara is by no means a journeyman, at 6ft2 ½ the Polish native (now fighting out of Chicago) has made life difficult for every one of his opponents and is looking to make the most of Chavez Jr’s inactivity and propelling himself into title contention. This fight is at a catch-weight of 172 lbs so Fonfara will be stepping down and Chavez Jr should be more comfortable than he was as he battled his way to the 168 lbs limit at Super-Middleweight, although his natural power advantage may be slightly diminished against a natural Light Heavyweight.
All eyes will be on the Mexican come Saturday night and any less than an impressive win will be met with heavy criticism but this is nothing new to the man that has grown up in the shadow of one of Boxing’s greatest men, his father Julio Cesar Chavez. If Fonfara is able to out-work and out move Chavez then he will have a chance at taking the win that could take his career to the next level. This is bound to be an interesting fight and I would fully expect Chavez Jr to take home the win but of all the big fights mentioned in this article, this has the biggest chance of an upset given Chavez’s history of poor preparation.
Klitschko Vs Bryant Jennings (April 25th)
On April 25th, dominant World Heavyweight Champion, Wladimir Klitschko heads back to America for the first time since 2008 as he looks to take on Philadelphia-born contender, Bryant Jennings for the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight World Championship at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Ukrainian superstar has ruled the division (alongside his brother) for a number of years and most fans agree that it will be his retirement that opens up the titles and not a contender for his crown, come April 25th though, Bryant Jennings will be looking to change that. Interest in the Heavyweight division spiked earlier this year when the ‘Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder defeated Bermaine Stiverne to become the first American Heavyweight Champion in a long time, the PPV numbers told the story that everyone wanted hear, Boxing’s glamour division is coming back.
Interest in Klitschko fights outside of Germany and the Ukraine has been limited but this return to fight on American soil against an American fighter is sure to get the fans interested. Jennings is an interesting fighter himself, his natural athleticism is similar to that of WBC champion Wilder and has helped him progress rapidly as an amateur and as a pro – Jennings turned pro 5 years ago and is already squaring off against arguably one of the best Heavyweights in history. If he is to stand a chance of winning this fight then he will need to use every ounce of that athleticism and outwork the ageing Ukrainian.
Clever money is obviously on Klitschko but stranger things have happened in the sport of Boxing and this is the heavyweight division. Waiting in the wings for the winner is controversial British Heavyweight, Tyson Fury who is now mandatory challenger for Klitschko but claims ‘Dr Steelhammer’ wants nothing to do with him. That’s definitely a fight I’d like to see later this year if Klitschko can come out on top April 25th.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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