Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 21st
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mikkel-kessler-vs-allan-greenDmitry Pirog vs Nobuhiro Ishida
Wow, Dmitry!  Way to quell those fears that you may be taking the easy way out.  It's been nearly two years since Pirog confused, then KO'd Daniel Jacobs.  But more and more, that is looking like a fluke.  Watching the fight then, I thought Pirog was a star in the making.  Watching it now, I see that Jacobs was distracted by his opponets style and the recent loss of his grandmother.  He was also starting to take over the fight, when he got caught with a big right hand.  Jacobs also came to life when he hit the canvas, and likely could have continued, but the way he fell was so dramatic, the referee stopped it.  Looking at it that way would explain how dissapointing Pirog has looked, since then.  Late stoppages or close decisions against nobodies, while hiding in Russia.  That has been the plan, and now that he has waited until another upset-made star has been exposed to give him a shot, the plan continues.  Ishida, like Pirog, also burst on to our shores with a big upset early KO over a hyped, unbeaten prospect.  However, unlike Pirog who has only been minorly exposed since, Ishida was thoroughly dominated by Paul Williams.  This is a step up for Pirog?  Ishida has all 7 of his losses coming by 10 or 12 round decision, so he has one heck of a chin.  Pirog's power has been in question lately, so the result here isn't likely to help anyone.  Pirog by wide unanimous decision, in a fight that kills time and interest.

Marco Huck vs. Ola Afolabi 2
I don't see a way this fight is going to go much differently than the first.  Afolabi was unfortunate to come out on the wrong end of a close decision, but that's what happens when you fight Huck in Germany.  His counterpunching style, and long periods of inactivity both in and out of the ring, do not help either.  Plus, Huck is motivated by his recent near-miss against Alexander Povetkin.  Big rematches loom with him, a chance to avenge a loss to Cunningham, as well as potential unification (something Sauerland promotions hates to do) with Yoan Hernandez.  The last thing he wants to do is lose to a fighter he has already beaten.  Huck could be looking past Afolabi, in which case a lucky punch could land.  But I see the British born, American-based, German promoted, Nigerian waiting too long.  Huck by unanimous decision, in a fight where Ola waits and waits for a moment that never comes.

Mikkel Kessler vs. Allan Green
Afolabi has only one other loss in his career, and believe it or not, it's to Allan Green.  Before Afolabi moved up to Cruiser, and Green dropped down... they fought a four rounder, which Green won.  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  He looked so good on his way up, that Green keeps appearing as a fighter of unfulfilled promise.  However, losses to Edison Miranda and Glen Johnson do not look good.  Those men are gatekeepers, and the true talent defeat them, regardless of excuses about illnesses and shots behind the ear.  Being dominated by Andre Ward is forgiveable, but I think we have found Green's level.  The question in this bout is: How much left does either man have?  After just trashing him, I really do think that a motivated Green can overcome an unmotivated Kessler, but the odds of both of those things haoppening are very low.  There are too many weaknesses that Kessler can exploit.  It's too big an "if".  Kessler does not want to suffer his first loss ever, in front of hometown fans.  He is a puncher, even if it hasn't looked like it lately.  Green had trouble with Johnson's constant pressure, imagine that but with bigger power in both hands.  Barring an injury to the aging Kessler, I see an 8th round TKO win for Kessler, after Green is down a few times.

Chris Strait

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