(Image from wikimedia commons)
By Niall Doran
Starting off in the UK this weekend James DeGale returns to action in Kent when he faces tough Croatian Stezpan Bozic, who beat Carl Froch as an amateur. With all the back forth verbal exchanges between De Gale and Froch lately don’t expect Froch to pick up the phone to De Gale to give him any tips on how to box Bozic this weekend. Although Bozic will present a tough test I’d expect DeGale to look impressive here and take him out inside the distance, maybe between round 6-8. DeGale is a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him. For me as a purist I’m a big fan of him, purely for his boxing skill, which I believe is substantial and think we have not seen 60% of it yet. I’m a big fan of his trainer Jimmy McDonnell too, but if I’m honest ultimately I see ‘Chunky’ having to find a mentor that perhaps is a little better. It hurts me to say that as I like Jim McDonnell and respect him both as a fighting man during his career and as a coach, but that’s just my own opinion and the hard cold truth in what I believe De Gale will one day have to do in order to get to world level. Should De Gale look good here expect calls for a world title showdown with Carl Froch to gain more steam in the coming months.
Moving over to Berlin Germany on Saturday, WBO cruiser weight champ Marco Huck puts his title on the line in a third encounter with the always very tricky and awkward to fight Ola Afolabi. The first two encounters produced a a points win for Huck and more recently a controversial draw in 2012. Who will have learned the most from the previous battles is the main question I’d be asking here… Huck will have the home advantage and Afolabi may need to knock out Huck to get the win in Germany. But does Afolabi really have the power to spark Huck? I don’t think so. For me a Huck points win in what could be at times entertaining and possibly a controversial affair again.
Crossing the Atlantic to the shores of Canada there is an intriguing encounter in store for fight fans, and perhaps the biggest fight of the weekend between Chad Dawson who defends his WBC Light Heavyweight title against knockout artist Adonis Stevenson at the Bell Center in Montreal. A lot has been talked of Stevenson in recent weeks in the run up to this fight, with particular emphasis on his power. Sure his record is impressive and high in knockouts, but realistically who has he fought? Not trying to take anything away from the guy but if you look at the caliber in opponents between ‘Bad Chad’ and Stevenson it is night and day. Dawson will return to light heavyweight and fight for the first time since losing to Andre Ward last year when he unsuccessfully challenged for his super middleweight crown. For me I think this will have a lit a fire under him and I think he will run out a convincing points victor using his superior skills to negate Stevenson’s power, and prove why he is still the best at the light- heavy weight limit in this fascinating clash of southpaws.
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