Convicted Artist Magazine

May 25th
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boxing_imageFor the first time in many years, November will go by without a major fight.  This is in part to neither of the big draws, Pacquiao or Mayweather, fighting in that month.  It is also in part because of the Klitschkos being without a serious threat.  Finally, it is also due to the rampant Latino pandering that ensures most big fights in the middle divisions take place in May and September.  None of this need bother the die hard fan, however.  November is still full of exciting possibilities.

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Mariusz Wach
I know the Klitschkos have to look hard for competition.  Either their contenders have lost to them already (Adamek, Arreola, Chambers, Haye), or are seemingly afraid to face them (Helenius, Boystov, Povetkin).  Wach is from the Manuel Charr school of unproven, yet big.  Therefore, maybe it will look like less of a mismatch, that is until 15 seconds into round one.  I predict Wach's size, and new-found power will only make it harder for him to get away once he realizes how overmatched he is.  Klitschko by 5th round TKO.  Only Klitschko's measured style will allow it to last that long.

Vanes Martirosyan vs. Erislandy Lara
Martirosyan's handlers were probably thinking they'd be rewarded with a free belt by taking the slow road.  Little did they know how interesting 154lbs would get.  After an 8 year unbeaten pro career (only Vernon Forrest comes to mind as an Olympian who took longer), Martirosyan is stepping way up.  He is a live underdog here, yet the awkwardness of a Carlos Molina, and persistance of a Paul Williams seem to be the only things that have bothered Lara to this point.  Neither of these things can be found in Vanes.  Lara does not possess much power after his first-round explosions, so I think 10-12 rounds of solid counterpunching are what we are likely to see.  Lara by UD.

Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia
So much for giving Salido an easy touch after his brawls with Juanma Lopez.  However, for a fighter who started at age 15 with a losing record.. he's had his hometown defense, and repeated the win over Lopez, so now it's time to cash in.  Taking advantage of the cowardly Celestino Caballero management's recent avoidance of anyone, Salido gets Garcia.  Conventional wisdom says Garcia possesses too much natural ability for Salido to overcome.  I am not so sure.  I have no idea why, but I get the feeling we're headed for an upset.  I don't think we've ever seen Garcia really tested.  He is a far better fighter than Mike Jones, so the following comparison might not seem fair, but I feel Garcia is headed for a Randall Bailey moment, and Salido is just the fighter to deliver it.  Salido by late round KO, after falling way behind.

Chris Strait

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