Convicted Artist Magazine

Apr 25th
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boxing_imageBernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson 2
With Nathan Cleverly and Beibut Shumenov choosing to face bums and no-hopers, while Tavoris Cloud reels from his 'loss" to Gabriel Campillo, it seems we must look to Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins and hope for some excitement at 175lbs. Ismail Sillakh is looking the next big thing, but the avoidance has begun, so don't expect him to get a shot until it't forced. Pascal is playing the waiting game as well. Given their career histories, as well as the first 4 minutes of fight 1, I am not optimistic about Hopkins-Dawson being a barn-burner. The truth is Hopkins intimidated Pascal out of their two fights, and I do not believe Dawson is vulnerable to that head game. Nobody dominates Bernard Hopkins, but much like James Toney a few months back, this may be the fight where Hopkins finally shows his age. Dawson by dull unanimous decision.

Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril
While in no way should it be a PPV, Top Rank never downgrades a card, no matter what happens.  Remember the Chavez Jr. vs. Gomez fiasco.  They also know better than to go to regular TV with this mismatch and try to get any decent money.  Abril does possess some skills, but even a murderous puncher is likely to get nowhere with Brandon Rios.  Abril is not a puncher at all.  Even if Abril fights the perfect fight, it may not be enough because of the talent gap.  Abril's only chance is that Rios will be let down from the Gamboa tease, and looking ahead to a Marquez bout.  Even if this happens, I would still not pick Abril.  He may show heart and durability, but I wouldn't even bet on that.  Rios by early KO.

Paulie Malignaggi vs. Vyacheslav Senchencko
Malignaggi has still been outboxing fighters at 147, and figures to be capable of doing the same against Senchenko. The Ukrainian has been protected throughout his career, and is only ranked as highly as he has been (#5 Ring Mag), because of his alphabet belt. Other than that, he is largely untested. Built like a miniature Klitschko, he is too slow and robotic to legitimately defeat a slickster like Malignaggi. However, the fight is taking place in the Ukraine, and I believe Senchecnko is smart enough to punch in spots, go defensive, and land body shots during clinches. This should be enough to "confuse" the judges, and score a hometown decision. Senchencko by bad decision.

Felix Sturm vs. Sebastian Zbik
I am not a Sturm fan, mostly because of his dull style and countless questionable victories, but you have to give him this... he is taking on some tough contenders, and staying active. You could easily have scored Zbik-Chavez Jr. for Zbik, and Sturm often goes quiet for minutes at a time, allowing a fighter like Zbik to look busy. However, Sturm is capable of that same cover up and body punch style that Chavez used to impress the judges. Plus, Sturm has a good jab, and can make it difficult for a light-hitting fighter like Zbik to get inside. Sturm has not won a fight legitmately for quite some time, but I think Zbik presents the right style to get his name in the mix again. Sturm by legitimate decision.

Chris Strait

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