This Saturday night promises more fireworks than Guy Fawkes Day and the 4th of July combined when HBO Championship Boxing televises the explosive doubleheader featuring the highly anticipated showdown between consensus featherweight kingpin Manny Pacquiao and dual belt holder Juan Manuel Marquez. On the undercard, is an intriguing crossroads bout between junior welterweight heir apparent Miguel Cotto, and recent world title challenger Lovemore Ndou.
Read on to see who the astute Doghouse Boxing scribes believe are going to win and why...
COTTO Vs NDOU
Tom Gray: Lovemore Ndou established himself with a fantastic performance against Mitchell and he is definitely world class. Unfortunately I think Sharmba has went back a little, while Cotto is in electric form. I look for the boxer-puncher to break down a tough challenge from Ndou by late stoppage or wide points decision.
Martin Wade: Cotto by split decision, also controversial. Cotto will win by
way of landing the harder shots and gain much needed experience. Some will say this fight proves he's not ready, I disagree.
Vito Trabucco: Cotto is the man.
Rick Caldwell: Cotto more than proves his worth after knocking out a guy Sharmba struggled with. Cotto by KO in 6.
Sean Newman: Cotto is naturally a better puncher than Sharmba Mitchell, and that factor, combined with his other obvious talents, will make it a much easier night for him against Ndou. Cotto by 5th round knockout.
Alex Pierpaoli: Cotto looks like the future, so far it's hard to find any chinks in his armor. But I think Ndou may be more than he can handle at this stage. Ndou knows this is his chance to score a spectacular win and I think he does it. Ndou by unanimous decision in an all-action fight.
Ben Franco: In the undercard fight I see a big upset brewing and I like Lovemore by close split decision (115-114 Ndou).
Krishen S. Rangi: It's a step up for him, but I'll still take Cotto. Too bad it wasn't Victoriano Sosa though. Still, they're trying build him up as the next big thing and I don't think they'd overmatch him.
Juan Angel Zurita: Ndou gave Sharmba Mitchell a tough time, but I happen to believe that had more to do with him being a late fill-in. Cotto is young and seems to be getting better and stronger each time out. Ndou's aggressive style will play right into Cotto's strengths. Cotto shines via 10th round TKO.
Wayne Richardson: Cotto over Ndou - Cotto punches too hard and Ndou is too open - TKO 8.
Joe Trabucco: The matchup between Miguel Cotto and Lovemore Ndou is a little tougher. This is going to be Cotto's toughest test to date. Ndou is fearless, and just recently put up a very good fight against Sharmba Mitchell. In this fight, though, I'm going with Cotto. He is supposed to be the next big thing, and this will be the fight that shows he's ready. Pick - Cotto wins by unanimous decision.
Jason Petock: I'm going with Cotto.
Brent Hedtke: Ndou has been very active this year and will come to the ring in great shape. Cotto is the bigger puncher and he will definitely try to get to Ndou early. Remember, Ndou has never been knocked out and he has showed he has a big heart. Unfortunately, I see him coming up short and losing a unanimous decision.
Anthony Cocks: Ndou is a rejuvenated fighter since his close decision loss to Mitchell. While Cotto is obviously a talented kid who appears to be the future of the division, Ndou's combination of skill, experience and determination will cause a boil-over. Ndou by decision.
Epie M. Almeda: Cotto over Ndou. Cotto is stronger and still on the rise. While Ndou gave Mitchell a fight, he will find it difficult to match punches with the heavier handed and skilled Cotto. Unless he goes up in weight, Cotto will fill in the shoes of Kostya when the champ retires.
"Bad" Brad Berkwitt: In another strong fight on paper, I think Ndou finally pulls the off the upset against Cotto that he was not given against Mitchell. Ndou by a close decision.
Special Guest: WBA Welterweight Champion, Jose Antonio Rivera: Cotto all the way. He is the next Trinidad. He is a very poised and disciplined for a young
fighter, with a lot of heart and will. Not to mention he is also very strong. Cotto by late round stoppage.
The last word on the matter deserves to go to my learned colleague Martin "Nostradamus" Wade, who made an alarmingly accurate prediction when I first asked him for his forecast on Saturday night's fight: “It’s a big win for boxing fans!”
Spot on, brother.
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