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Margarito Vs Kyvelos: HBO Boxing Preview from a Numbers Standpoint

Jan 26, 2004  By Rick Caldwell
Here we go again fight fans. After a long layoff, Home Box Office (HBO) has two great fight cards in two weeks. Last weekend we saw the return of Arturo Gatti against someone other than Micky Ward, and one of the hottest prospects in boxing, Francisco Bojado. It was a great night of fights, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

This weekend current World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight Champion Antonio Margarito is defending his belt against WBO #7 ranked contender, Hercules Kyvelos. On the undercard, current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight Champion Rafael Marquez defends his title against IBF #1 ranked contender, Pete Frissina.

Instead of my normal reasoning, I chose to analyze these two fights strictly from a numbers standpoint, and let me tell you, I was surprised at what I found. Looking at Margarito’s record, it’s pretty impressive at 29-3, 20 KO’s, but what’s even more impressive is when these wins, losses and knockouts took place.

Margarito started his pro career with a record of 9-3, with his last loss occurring in June of 1996, and he’s never been stopped as a pro. Since his last loss, he’s gone on an absolute tear with a record of 15-0, with 13 knockouts along with one no contest. He was severely cut in the first round of a fight from an unintentional head butt, resulting in the one no contest in his career. To sum all that up, this guy can bang. He’s been blowing everybody out, and now he’s fighting a really good undefeated fighter.

Kyvelos is 22-0, 11 KO’s as a pro. In the same time period Margarito is 15-0, Kyvelos is also 15-0, but with only 6 Knockouts. His competition hasn’t been as tough as Margarito’s, but he’s never lost as a pro.

Their builds are very similar too. Margarito is half an inch shorter, but has a one inch reach advantage. I almost can’t pick a winner in this fight. If you’re going to twist my arm about it, I’m going to take Kyvelos for one reason.

Unless the undefeated fighter is a joke, I never bet against him. He’s never lost as a pro, and I think his hand speed, and his ability to get off first will neutralize Antonio’s power. Besides, how can I not pick a guy named Hercules? Caldwell’s Prediction: Kyvelos by Split Decision.

In my opinion, the undercard fight is much easier to call. Marquez is 30-3, 27 KO’s, and he hasn’t lost since 2000. He also won a close fight against Mark Johnson, then gave him a rematch and stopped him in the eighth round. That’s impressive. The thing that scares me is that Marquez was knocked out in all three of his losses. I think he’ll be all set in this one because Frissina hasn’t knocked anyone out since late 2000.

Like Margarito, Frissina had a rough start to his career going 9-3 in his first 12 fights. Since his last defeat he is 18-0-1, 9 KO’s against limited opposition. I think he’s in for a rough night. Marquez has fought the tougher fighters, and has looked better in those fights than Frissina has looked against mid-level fighters.

I don’t think he has the power to keep Marquez honest, and I look for Marquez to throw bombs and take Frissina out somewhere in the middle rounds of the fight. I doubt Frissina has the power to pull the knockout upset, but it’s not out of the question.

Caldwell Prediction: Rafael Marquez by sixth round knockout.

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