Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 25th
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boxing imageAndre Ward vs. Edwin Rodriguez
Finally, the second best fighter on the planet is back in the ring.  He is actually taking on the most interesting fighter left in his division.  Rodriguez in undefeated, has exposure on the major cable networks, has ventured into the 175lbers with success, and has an inspiring back story.  Everyone else who is both ready and willing has already been beaten by Ward, or exposed by one of his victims.  Unless Chavez starts looking like more than a glorified journeyman, or Golovkin moves up, the future is at 175 for both men.  Rodriguez can be put to sleep, or discombobulated by good ring generalship, heart, or awkwardness.  Ward can do all three.  He can do whatever bothers his opponent, actually.  If Edwin's skin busts up, we may even have a stoppage, but I doubt he'll win more than a round or two.  Ward by wide UD.

Jorge Linares vs. Richard Abril
This is a battle of two men who could easily be undefeated.  If not for Linares's chin and skin betraying him, he has shown himself the offensive superior of all of his opponents.  Ditto Abril, who has not been betrayed by his body, but his lack of connections.  The winner here will get nothing but the win, and each man is not typically the type to give the other one problems.  Abril will likely not KO Linares, while Linares will not pressure Abril.  This could be a dud, but it is also the first time that Abril suffers a legit defeat.  If I am wrong, he is the best lightweight in the world, but something tells me, Linares turns it around on this night.  Linares by MD.

Carl Froch vs. George Groves
Carl Froch does not want Andre Ward... he merely wants it to look like he does.  George Groves is a talent, and a live underdog, but not enough is known about what he can do on the highest level.  Froch raises his game, especially when pressured, and makes believers out of all of us.  He just can't beat Ward, but can likely beat everyone else.  Groves will make it to the final bell, but probably not accomplish much else past round 4.  Froch by wide UD.

Vanes Martirosyan vs. Demetrius Andrade
Some fighters are held back fearing they will not excel at the next level.  Others just never rise fast enough due to injuries and mismanagement.  Vernon Forrest was the latter.  I believe Martirosyan was the former.  You could have scored both of Vanes' fights with Ouma and Lara against him, yet his unbeaten mark remains.  Here he is again, against a slick, busy fighter with fast hands.  He may be the Rocky Juarez of this generation, but I say the gaps in Martirosyan's game reveal themselves here, more than Andrade's lack of quality opposition will.  Andrade by wide decision, or late round TKO on cuts.


Chris Strait

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