April is indeed a huge month for boxing; so much so, that not only did I predict 10 fights before, but I have to add a few before we move on to May. These fights all are scheduled for April 30, below. Now, in a year rife with cancellations, odds are they won't all come to fruition. However, most of these fights are setting up something bigger in the summer or fall, so I hope they do happen.
Badou Jack vs. Lucien Bute
Not sure if Bute is Romanian for "cat" but this fighter keeps getting new lives. Or should I say, new shots? He was never more than a #2 ranked fractional belt holder at 168, who benefited by opting out of the Super Six. However, he looked dominant at that level when he had his confidence, and is still a good body puncher, so he always had a shot. Much like Berto, he is most exciting in his losses, so promoters are willing to take a chance with him. I think Jack's intelligence is too high now, after his loss to Edwards, to take chances with big money unifications on the horizon. Jack by wide UD in a tactical fight.
Billie Joe Saunders vs. Maz Bursak
Saunders deserves his gimme before losing to GGG, and he is going to get it with this matchup. Bursak has failed every time he has stepped up, but he doesn't embarrass himself, which is all they need here. Saunders deserves credit for taking on men like Lee, Eubank, and Golovkin (if he does), as the Brits seem to be the only ones risking life and limb to tackle GGG. He is not a puncher, however, which means this fight may not be a good fit for US TV. Saunders by wide UD or TKO on cuts.
Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz 2
This fight is the big crossroads fight. The loser is pretty much finished at the championship level, while the winner gets one last try at it. Both men have made a lot of money despite only being fractional champions, and here it is again. They knocked each other around for 12 rounds 5 years ago, and have only gotten easier to hit since. It will be exciting, for as long as it lasts, but I think the better luck has been on the side of Berto lately. Berto by late TKO, in an exciting contest, but not as thrilling as the first one.
James DeGale vs. Rogelio Medina
Not much is known about Medina, except his shocking KO over J'Leon Love. He is tough, and a puncher, but not in DeGale's class. However, DeGale has earned the right to have his defenses predicted. I'd like to think that DeGale fighting on the same card as Badou Jack is setting up a unification match, but it looks like Jack will be facing a mandatory this fall, should he get by Bute. That would delay this desired matchup. On paper, Medina will be rugged and motivated, but little else. DeGale has a good chin, and is also not the kind to usually make deals. In fact, never mind the Dirrell fight, he scores stoppages over fighters that most do not stop. DeGale by middle rounds TKO, after winning every round.