This is a rather slow September, considering it includes a heavyweight belt-holder and the best pound for pound fighter in the world. However, the TBA theme in boxing, especially with Al Haymon fighters, continues here. I will devote an entire article to Mayweather-Berto, so it is not included here, but as of press time, it is looking like Wilder will defend against unranked Hughie Fury, while Quillin has not even had an opponent selected for him. The afterthought of opponents let's you in a bit on the matchmaking ideas of Haymon, especially for his unbeaten fighters. Therefore these are the "name" fights I am able to discuss, for now.
Adonis Stevenson vs. Tommy Karpency
Stevenson's days as champion are numbered. Other than one big left hand, the fighter of the year for 2013 would be a big underdog against Kovalev or Ward. Promotional problems may keep him away from those fighters, but with Beterbiev and Alvarez also sharing Haymon and Montreal, odds are it will come to an end shortly. For now, however, he is looking at a steady stream of nobodies until he is forced to face someone with a pulse. No offense to Karpency, who gave his all in a dream shot against Chad Dawson. However, even against a shot and crippled Dawson, he barely won the fight. That tells you all you need to know. Stevenson by KO, probably by round 5.
Roman Martinez vs. Orlando Salido 2
9 lives? Forget about it. Salido has seemingly hundreds, and just when you think he is done, he comes back with another impressive victory. He has plenty of tricks (not all of them legal) to keep him in tough fights, and although both men looked pathetic against Mikey Garcia... who didn't? I may be predicting this with my heart, rather than my head, but I have not been a fan of Salido since his cheating win over Lomchenko. Salido hit low, came in heavy, and still I thought Loma deserved the decision. My official pick is Martinez by UD again. However, if Salido somehow came up with yet another resurrection, I would not be surprised.
Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders
This may be the only close, hard to predict, fight of the month. In a rare forced mandatory by the WBO, Lee must face a real threat in his hometown middleweight title defense. Just ask Michael Nunn and Sergio Martinez how well that works out. Saunders has looked good, albeit against lesser opposition, and it seems as if Lee has been living on borrowed time for a while now. He is legitimately talented and has heart, but his two biggest wins came via one punch KO in fights he was losing. Even his draw with Quillin was more a testament to Quillin's terrible lack of finishing skills, than his own abilities. I am picking the upset here. Saunders by late round TKO, maybe from behind.
Deontay Wilder vs. Hughie Fury
I hope this fight does not happen. It is an attempt from a marketing perspective to get a Wilder - Fury family feud going on. Haymon is assuming, as all are, that Tyson Fury will be soundly beaten by Wladimir Klitschko, and Wilder can make more money finishing off the wounded prey, if there is a 'family' aspect to the marketing. Hughie Fury has been impressing some people with his development, as has Tyson, but ring experience is a whole different matter. However, we can kick and scream over a fighter's lack of credentials all we want. Haymon does not care. Just ask Rod Salka. If the WBC does not sanction this fight, he will make it non-title. That way, there is even less risk to his prize heavyweight. Fury might land a knee-buckling shot or two, but all that will do is focus Wilder, who will finish him off soon after. Wilder by KO, inside of 3 rounds.