The Doghouse Boxing Team Rings in with their Predictions for June 5th
Compiled by Anthony Cocks, Site Editor (June 4, 2004)
In a prelude to a mooted September clash, Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins will fight on the same card in separate bouts this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view.
Photo © Chris Farina, Top Rank
De La Hoya makes his first foray into the middleweight division against WBO title holder Felix Sturm, while undisputed middleweight champ Hopkins faces off against Robert Allen for the third time. The best fight of the night is undoubtedly the pick 'em match up between Juan Lazcano and former world champion Jose Luis Castillo for the vacant WBC Lightweight Title. Read on to find out who the esteemed Doghouse Boxing scribes believe are going to win and why…
DE LA HOYA Vs STURM
Tom Gray: I think Oscar will stop Sturm late. He would probably stop him sooner, but Sturm's natural size will allow him to soak up a lot of punishment, before the gulf in talent decides the issue.
Joe Trabucco: Sturm? Unless De La Hoya spontaneously combusts in the middle of the fight, this shouldn't even be close. De La Hoya KO9.
Vito Trabucco: De La Hoya I think will be tested a little in this. But he was matched up against Sturm for a reason. De La Hoya by decision.
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Krishen Rangi: De La Hoya by KO or decision depending on the way Joel De La Hoya bets the over/under.
Ben Franco: De La Hoya by KO8.
De La Hoya wants that fight with Hopkins very badly and with that said, Oscar by UD.
Jim Cawkwell: Obviously the real attraction of June the fifth is that if Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins win their respective fights, they will fight each other later in the year. Oscar is doing the right thing by acclimatizing himself to the weight; if he proves to be as comfortable at middleweight as he claims, I think he will stop Felix Sturm in the late rounds.
Sean Newman: I think these two fights are no-brainers, and I can't even believe it's a pay-per-view. That's my biggest gripe, because usually they feature two fighters in separate bouts on HBO to build up the pay-per-view. Not this time. My pick is De La Hoya by decision.
Jason Petock: I read an interview on another website with Felix Sturm where he said: "He (Oscar) comes from the lightweight, I'm from the beginning of my career, a middleweight. And I'm young (25). He's a bit older than me. He has a lot of money, a lot of championships, and a lot of belts. I have just one belt and I never give this belt back." I've never seen him fight before, but at least he's confident. Only thing is that he's from Germany and has never fought out of his homeland before, and we all know Germany's track record concerning their fighters. Oscar will knock him out and I won't give a round number because I've never seen Sturm in action. Oscar's been in 25 title fights his entire career (36-3-0,29 KO’s), and this is technically Sturm's first legitimate title fight (20-0-0, 9 KO’s). Oscar has more experience with better fighters, and experience as a Champion and fought Jimmy Bredahl for the WBO Super Featherweight Title after just 11 opponents as a pro. One thing that may play a factor in Sturm's survival is that he fought Tshepo Mashego for the IBF Youth Middleweight Title with a broken hand, but it's unlikely seeing as this is the majors not the minors. De La Hoya was in the big leagues way before Sturm's career even began so Oscar has nothing to worry about.
Brent Hedtke: Oscar will be dominant, but still very cautious. De La Hoya by wide unanimous decision.
Martin Wade: De La Hoya by late stoppage. Oscar will show surprising power, Sturm won’t be able to deal with the speed and crispness of Oscar's combination punching.
Alex Pierpaoli: De La Hoya says he feels strong at this weight, call me crazy, but I believe him. I've never seen Sturm, but I've got a hunch Goldie wins easy and we see flashes of real power. Even though Oscar will use more of the ring and less of his sting versus Hopkins this Fall, De La Hoya beats Sturm by knockout. I'm already salivating for September...
Aaron Imholte: Oscar seems to be overlooking Sturm. He can use Hopkins as motivation in training and outside the ring, but once he gets into it his mind must be on Sturm and carrying out his fight plan. If he does that I've got him winning this one handily by mid to late round TKO.
Juan Angel Zurita: Sturm is a natural middleweight with a bit of athleticism, therefore, De La Hoya won't walk through him like some expect. Sturm likes to use the ring, De La Hoya will have to pursue him a bit, Sturm will have some success, but in the end De La Hoya will win a deserved decision.
Wayne Richardson: De La Hoya W12. Don't know much about Felix Sturm, but know that Oscar is smart enough to hand pick a beatable opponent for his debut at middleweight. De La Hoya is too experienced for Sturm who isn't powerful enough to have a punchers chance, he will be outboxed over 12.
Jason Unpingco: De La Hoya wins by decision against Sturm. I have never seen Sturm fight, but I don't think Oscar's handlers would put him in with too tough of a 160lb test, especially with the super-showdown with the Executioner on the line.
Anthony Cocks: Conventional wisdom suggests that De La Hoya will dispatch unknown quantity Felix Sturm within the distance - but I've never been a great follower of convention. In his first fight at 160lbs Oscar will be looking to test his body at the new weight, particularly his stamina. De La Hoya by comfortable UD.
Ed Ludwig: I have been watching Felix Sturm tapes over the last few weeks. He is a good well conditioned fighter with decent skills, but his chances of beating Oscar De La Hoya are slim and none. It will be competitive for awhile, but I expect the Golden Boy to stop Sturm in the tenth round. With so much on the line for De La Hoya and Hopkins it's important that they concentrate on the task at hand.
Orlando Rios Jr: De La Hoya probably by late stoppage or decision over Sturm. Sturm poses bigger threat to De La Hoya right now than Allen to Hopkins.
Rick Caldwell: Oscar also wins by late KO. Sturm is good, but no where near Oscar.
Epifanio Almeda: I don't know Sturm, but read only about his being a natural middleweight without power in his fists. So I have to pick Oscar by KO or decision for the master boxer and puncher that he is.
HOPKINS Vs ALLEN III
Tom Gray: Hopkins by KO over Allen, in the mid rounds, against the guy he must be sick of looking at!
Joe Trabucco: Hopkins will dominate Allen. Nothing else needs to be said. KO7.
Vito Trabucco: Hopkins should cruise past Allen with not much problem. Late knockout or easy decision.
Krishen Rangi: Hopkins by late round KO, setting up a September destruction by the former light-heavyweight of the former junior lightweight, something many fans have been waiting for impatiently over the last decade.
Ben Franco: 'Nard is the pick by UD.
“Bad” Brad Berkwitt: Hopkins knows that Allen couldn't do anything against him for the most part the first two times and this time around, he wants to send Oscar a big message for their upcoming fight. Hopkins in five.
Jim Cawkwell: I expect Bernard Hopkins to break Robert Allen down at around the same rate as De La Hoya does Sturm and that we will have a marquee event to look forward to for September.
Sean Newman: Hopkins by late TKO.
Jason Petock: As far as Bernard Hopkins vs. Robert Allen is concerned, I think Bernard is going to dominate Allen the entire fight and if he doesn't knock him out he will simply school him and win a decision. He's fighting him one last time - on the same card as Oscar to build up momentum for their future bout and it makes good business sense on all sides. It also shows that Hopkins is a stand up guy to give one of his former opponents a chance to redeem himself, even though we all know that won't happen.
Brent Hedtke: This will pretty much play out like their last one except Hopkins takes him out in the 5th.
Martin Wade: Hopkins will out work Allen to a unanimous decision. Allen will provide intrigue early by fighting Bernard even for about five rounds. Then erosion sets in.
Alex Pierpaoli: Hopkins is brutal in rematches. Ask Antwon Echols, and Allen isn't as good as Echols. Hopkins by stoppage - in a fight so rough and ugly it's pretty.
Aaron Imholte: Although I'm nervous about both De La Hoya and Hopkins seemingly looking past this fight, I don't think Bernard will slip up, he has all the talent in the world and seems to be ageless. He continues his reign and will stop Allen between rounds 9 and 12. Look for Allen to turn a few heads however in a valiant effort.
Juan Angel Zurita: Allen should give Hopkins a fit or two, but in the end he'll get executed before the distance once again.
Wayne Richardson: Hopkins W12. He is better than Allen and a more improved boxer since their last meeting. He will work over his opponent but is sure to hold back enough to not scare Oscar away.
Jason Unpingco: Hopkins wins by late round KO against Allen. Although, Bernard is a bit older this time around, so is Allen. And Allen was beaten up pretty bad in their last fight.
Anthony Cocks: Hopkins will disarm Allen in the early rounds and break him down for an 8th round stoppage.
Ed Ludwig: Bernard Hopkins will have a tougher time in his third bout with Robert Allen. The final fight in the trilogy will go to the scorecards with Hopkins taking a lopsided unanimous decision.
Orlando Rios Jr: Hopkins by TKO.
Rick Caldwell: Hopkins dominates and wins by late round stoppage, setting up their fight in September.
Epifanio Almeda: My pick is Hopkins by KO being the tested and talented fighter that he is. Tito Trinidad was and still is a much better fighter than Allen. So I go for Bernard.
LAZCANO Vs CASTILLO
Tom Gray: I go for Castillo against Lazcano, in what is probably a fight of the year candidate. It will more than likely go the distance.
Joe Trabucco: Lazcano/Castillo should be much more interesting. It will be a tough fight, but Lazcano should squeak out a close decision.
Vito Trabucco: Castillo by close decision.
Krishen Rangi: Jose Luis Castillo by decision. He really proved a lot against Mayweather in both matches and should be seen as the best in the division now that Mayweather is gone.
Ben Franco: I'm going to go with "The Hispanic Causing Panic" by split decision.
“Bad” Brad Berkwitt: Lazcano has wanted this shot for a long time against a top rated fighter. He gets that with Castillo. Lazcano by 8th round knockout.
Jim Cawkwell: I also think that Juan Lazcano will edge Jose Luis Castillo in a close decision. Lazcano, who has previously refused an offer at short notice from Floyd Mayweather, has patiently awaited a run at a title and I think that he is strong enough and willful enough to overcome Castillo and earn himself a shot.
Sean Newman: The real fight on the card is between Juan Lazcano and Jose Luis Castillo for the Ring Magazine's lightweight title. I'll go with Lazcano by TKO late in that one.
Jason Petock: This fight is a toss up. I get torn in both directions because I like both fighters and respect their strengths in the ring. I'm going to have to go with Castillo though. Castillo fought Mayweather twice and lost of course and fought Stevie Johnson twice for the WBC Lightweight Title. The first bout was 2000 Upset of the Year, and the second he won by a controversial decision. When Lazcano faced Johnson he knocked him down in the 1st, 10th and 11th in their Title Eliminator and he himself was down in the 2nd. I think Castillo will win ferociously and effectively. Maybe we'll be graced with a knockout...
Brent Hedtke: This could go either way but I see Castillo frustrating Lazcano en route to unanimous decision.
Martin Wade: Juan Lazcano out boxes Castillo by UD in a coming of age bout. This fight will also show a versatility that leaves Castillo with few answers. The kid was wise to turn down the Pretty Boy in favor of more seasoning, it will pay off Saturday.
Alex Pierpaoli: Lazcano-Castillo is by far the most intriguing match-up on this card. I like Lazcano over the distance. Lazcano is a great fighter and it's a shame we never saw him and Pretty Boy Floyd get together.
Aaron Imholte: On one hand Lazcano has not lost in 6 years; on the other hand Castillo is by no means a stroll in the park and has good power. I honestly am excited for this fight but see Lazcano outlasting and outpointing the dangerous Castillo, extending his unbeaten streak and getting the unanimous decision.
Juan Angel Zurita: Castillo may be a bit past it, but Lazcano's chin is still very questionable. That's not a good thing against a big time banger like Castillo, the man who arguably defeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. I expect both fighters to have their moments, but Castillo's power should take over late. Castillo via late stoppage.
Wayne Richardson: Lazcano W12. A pick ‘em fight between two evenly matched fighters but Lazcano is hungrier and on the move. This fight is the best on the card.
Jason Unpingco: Lazcano wins by decision against Castillo. Castillo's best years were against Stevie Johnston. I believe Lazcano is the hungrier up and coming fighter with plenty of skills to win against the solid Castillo.
Anthony Cocks: Lazcano has the fresher legs, he can box a bit as well as bang, and he is hungry for victory in this fight. On the flip side of the coin, Castillo has more mileage on his pugilistic odometer, he's been stopped four times before and he hasn't fought at 135lbs since his second bout with Mayweather in 2002. It won't be an easy night for 'The Hispanic Causin' Panic', but Lazcano pulls out the win here by hard fought but deserved UD.
Ed Ludwig: The intriguing bout between Juan Lazcano vs Jose Luis Castillo could be a main event on almost any card. I feel lucky that we get to see this sooner than later. I feel that Lazcano's best days are ahead of him and I expect a very close back and forth fight with Lazcano taking a majority decision.
Rick Caldwell: Lacanzo by UD.
Epifanio Almeda: I have to go with Lazcano. He hits hard and it's too bad he didn't get the fight with Mayweather. Castillo's style might have given Mayweather problems but I think Lazcano can solve them..
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