It’s another huge weekend in British Boxing as there are 2 world title fights involving Anthony Crolla and Amir Khan as well as Dereck Chisora’s IBF eliminator for the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua. Lets get straight into my previews for these 3 fights starting with the biggest one of the lot…
AMIR KHAN V SAUL ALVAREZ
‘King’ Khan’s big opportunity has finally come around and he has to take it with both gloves. The man from Bolton stepped up to Middleweight to take on the dangerous Alvarez, who has only 1 career defeat to Floyd Mayweather, for the WBC world Middleweight title.
The odds are massively stacked against the Brit and people are saying this as a ‘go big or go home’ sort of fight for Khan as he already has 3 career defeats on his record. A crushing defeat could signal the end of Khan’s career as it would mean he has been exposed on 4 separate occasions and the only fight that might be worth taking after that would be one against Kell Brook. However, I think Khan will put in a good display on Saturday night. People and pundits all over are giving him a discredit for moving up to fight Alvarez as they believe he will just be found out again as he has done in the past against the likes of Danny Garcia. I don’t think this is boom or bust for Khan, if he can put in a good display that shows he can still box the best fighters around, even if he loses he can open up more opportunities to fight at the bigger weight. Khan’s speed is one of his best assets as a fighter and he said this in the build up to the fight earlier this week:
“The speed has still been there, I thought it was going to decrease a little bit, but it’s still there. The sharpness of my shots and the power has definitely improved, So, I really believe he is going to have big problems going into the later rounds especially with the speed.”
“Like I said, with the speed now we have a lot of power, having put a little bit more weight on. When I do hit him with these quick shots, he is definitely going to be hurt by them.” – Amir Khan
It’s clear to see that ‘King’ Khan’s game plan might be to take the fight into the later rounds and by utilising his speed he can wear the Mexican world champion down before looking for a stoppage or winning by decision. Khan doesn’t get much support from the British crowd, he is often seen as someone with no chin and is much more favoured by American’s – more so as his fights take place in the USA. I hope Amir can prove to everyone he still has the quality and the extra weight he has had to put on has helped improve his chin. His speed and power will be influential in the fight, I hope he can win it would be excellent for both himself and British Boxing but unfortunately I think he’ll just miss out after a spirited performance, Alvarez to win by UD.
ANTHONY CROLLA V ISMAEL BARROSO
Manchester fan favourite ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla is back in action defending his WBA Lightweight title against Venezuelan Ismael Barroso who, as we all know, knocked out Kevin Mitchell in his last fight for the interim WBA title.
This fight should be the best of the weekend and it’s one I’m very excited for, two excellent fighters battling it out for a world title. Anthony Crolla has come a long way since the burglar’s that attacked him left him with significant damage to his body but he’s back, and he has a world title to his name after knocking out Darleys Perez in their second fight last year.
Ismael Barroso is a very dangerous opponent to be facing, especially for his first title defence. Barroso’s fight against Mitchell was a classic but left many fans heartbroken as it effectively ended Mitchell’s career as a top class boxer and ended his dream of a world title. The South American is undefeated in his 21 fights, drawing 2 and winning 18 by KO – a man not to be messed with. Crolla has to go into the ring with a game plan, as I’m sure he will do and try to stop Barroso from showing how powerful his shots can be. He is world champion after all and he needs to prove how good he really is. Crolla is an honest fighter and always wants to take on the best opponent he can, he had this to say at todays weigh in:
“I think when you’re world champion, you take on the best challengers. That’s what a champion does and I’m a proud champion. There was no way I was going to swerve Barroso.” – Anthony Crolla
I’m sure this will be a fight that will have some British fans biting their nails, with moments where both men will look like they have an opportunity to end the fight but that’s not how I see this finishing. I think Crolla wins by a close UD. Not to big this one up too much (as we saw how that went with May Pac) but expect a classic.
DERECK CHISORA V KUBRAT PULEV
An interesting fight for the European Heavyweight title and for a chance at Anthony Joshua’s IBF world title, Dereck Chisora will step into the ring to take on Kubrat Pulev also on Saturday night.
Chisora always seems to be that domestic fighter that creates a lot of noise, but can never prove he’s good enough in the ring. We saw this against Tyson Fury (twice) and David Haye, he lost against both men. Despite having 5 defeats on his record and having only fought for a world title once, he interestingly has the opportunity as AJ’s IBF title providing he can beat the Bulgarian Pulev.
The European nicknamed ‘The Cobra’ has lost just once so far in his career against Wladimir Klitschko 2 years ago after being knocked out in the 5th round. Chisora however took the older Klitschko, Vitali, 12 rounds before losing by unanimous decision. This could be an interesting comparison to make if you don’t know much about these two fighters but despite not many people liking Chisora in the UK, you can’t deny he has a proper fighting spirit. He is always willing to take on whoever wants to fight him, win or lose he will put himself in the ring with the best. He has a huge opportunity at a second world title fight, an opportunity that won’t come round again so he has to take this and show his quality. People (including me) are hoping Chisora can win this fight to set up a bout with AJ, providing he can make a successful defence of his belt, this would be a domestic fight a lot of people would want to see despite not having the attraction a fight against Haye or Fury would have. Eddie Hearn is one of these people and he said this about Chisora:
“I’ve got my fingers crossed that Dereck can beat Pulev and win that European title and if he does, I believe he is a prime candidate to challenge Anthony Joshua if he can get past Dominic Breazeale.” – Eddie Hearn
So not the biggest fight of the weekend but one people certainly should have their eye on, especially AJ fans. I think it will be a cagey fight that will go the distance with neither men really going for a knockout so I’m saying Chisora will win by UD.
All of my prediction’s for this weekend are unanimous decision victories, they’re all definitely going to be 3rd round knockouts now aren’t they. Thanks for reading, let me know your predictions if you have any!