Carl Froch vs. Andre Ward
It would not be the biggest upset if Froch won the fight, but I’m struggling to envision that scenario. It would have to come in the way that both Vernon Forrest beat Shane Mosley, and the way he lost to Ricardo Mayorga. We’d need to see a weakness that had not yet revealed itself. Either Ward’s chin would have to go, or he’d have to suffer an injury that changed his mindset. The cut could re-open, but I don’t think a focused fighter like Ward would let that bother him too much. Froch could land heavy artillery, but he’s not a one-punch knockout artist, and I find it hard to imagine Froch catching Ward more than once or twice. Many people feel Andre Dirrell already laid out the blueprint for a fighter like Ward to beat Froch, and Ward is probably a better overall fighter than Dirrell. He’s also shown the ability to win at all different paces, while Froch needs his space, and looks quite uncomfortable when he does not have it. Froch is fairly durable, yet he will probably get stung just enough to keep him honest. Ward is not a finisher, either. Ward by unanimous decision.
Joseph Agbeko vs. Abner Mares 2
Agbeko has suffered a handful of knockdowns in his career, all erroneously scored. He has bad luck with officials, while Mares has had great luck. Even with all those pluses in Mares’ corner, he barely beat Agbeko the last time. Provided that fairness is insisted upon, I think Mares will have a rare foot-off-the-gas moment, and that is all it will take for Agbeko. Donaire is gone now, so there is no prize awaiting the winner. Except of course the winner of Darchinyan-Moreno, but that is not exciting anyone… yet. Agbeko has the motivation to be a 3-time champion, and do it the old fashioned way, by avenging the loss to the man who took the belt from him each time. Agbeko also knows he cannot let this one go any longer than it has to, as weird things can, and most likely will, transpire. I expect Mares to start faster, but get cut and hurt faster as well. This time, Agbeko will not let him off the hook. Agbeko by 7th round TKO.
Anselmo Moreno vs. Vic Darchinyan
This could be Moreno ’s time to shine, and it would excite a lot of people to have a new bantamweight face in this country, but I believe the experience gap is too great. Moreno ’s skills are winning a fight with 2 of 3 minutes, and 8 of 12 rounds, but that will not happen if the Darchinyan who showed up against Luis Perez is there. He didn’t even fight that badly moving backwards against Abner Mares. He is also highly motivated, as he will likely get a rematch with the Agbeko-Mares winner, which would be a chance to avenge a close loss, regardless of who wins. This fight should be competitive, but something tells me that it won’t be. Darchinyan by late round TKO.