!WoW-Abraham/Froch vs Marquez/Katsidis For FOY!
Post Thanksgiving, November 27th this Saturday sees what could well be two of the top ranked action packed Fight of the Year candidates.
Just a quick note with all due respect to the abruptly terminated middleweight classic Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams put on.
Martinez is smokin’ red hot coming off his dramatic career signature victory and rumored to be in talks to face the newly Showtime signed Lucian Bute, two potential candidates to meet the winner of the Super Six tourney………double WoW!
First serving this Saturday comes from the “exotic” locale of Helsinki, Finland as part of the Showtime Super Six SuperMiddleweight Tourney when former middleweight champ King Arthur Abraham goes against former supermiddleweight champ Carl The Cobra Froch for the vacant WBC supermiddleweight crown that used to belong to Froch.
These two are far and away the most physical and powerful fighters in the tourney and they usually get their way in the ring by knockout with each being the best or near that the other has ever fought. The ring is gonna get a workout in this one as most folks are thinking a knockdown, drag out, knuckle busting war here.
Both are coming off their first career losses and are hungry to reclaim the glory that used to be theirs. It’s also worth noting that Abraham has knocked the first two fighters he faced clean out of the tournament with brutal concussive force. In Froch’s last bout, Mikkel Kessler outgutted and outboxed him but took enough punishment to pull out of the tourney, citing eye problems that first surfaced in the Ward fight, so fighting Froch is no Sunday picnic.
Froch has really stepped up his competition in his last 4 fights, 3 of which he took some solid punishment in. At age 33, he’s beginning to enter boxing’s twilight zone when traditional athletic attributes start to erode and a fighter needs to make use of smarter conditioning, better ring craft, and nuance. Froch generally likes nothing better than to get in a slugout rather than box which has served him well since he’s so strong, but I rate Abraham’s power over his, so we shall see what transpires when push comes to slug.
Abraham is also a pretty basic boxer, never really looking to outbox anyone, but rather to engage in a test of wills, ring generalship, and power. To that end, he does two things exceedingly well: 1-He covers up well on the ropes as he uses them to rest, to gage, and to extend out the opposing fighter. 2-He tends to attack without warning in violent bursts that do a lot of damage and he’s a great finisher when needed.
That’s pretty much 90% of any fight against him that he controls using his style, the ringmanship.
Not many have given Abraham much credit for his footwork, but it’s also topnotch as he’s very quick on the mark, can cut the ring off, and has stayed very well balanced from what I’ve seen in his career save the Dirrell fight where he was forced into a chicken chase of the greased lightning Dirrell and looked off balance and off his game in the early going.
Nobody ever looked good chasing chickens around the pen, though.
If Abraham has any real weakness, it might be found in his titanium rebuilt jaw that Edison Miranda literally shattered in one of the most brutal fights in boxing’s history. It’s a gut wrencher to watch after you understand the full extent of that damage.
I wouldn’t claim to know how long a rebuild of that type could last, but Froch is very heavy handed and the fight game is about exposing and then exploiting any weaknesses as they show up, a predator’s artform.
So for me, it’s Abraham’s footwork and basic style over Froch who will be wanting to rock hard with Abraham in a brutal beauty.
About eight or so time zones later in the more traditional locale of Las Vegas, Nevada, modern Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez means to put his lightweight titles on the line against Aussie based Michael Katsidis for the Ring, WBA and WBO belts.
Marquez is getting up there in years and accumulated ring time, being 37 years of age now and having turned pro in 1993 some 57 fights ago, but he’s currently the man to beat in the lightweight division, so this is the goose who laid the golden eggs opportunity of a lifetime for former WBO champ Katsidis.
Katsidis is the younger, age 30, bigger, stronger, and more powerful puncher in this one whose natural style is as a swarming puncher/brawler. He showed he can box some as the undefeated young contender Kevin Mitchell found out this year when the cagey Katsidis moved and boxed to open before luring Mitchell in for the quick finish.
Marquez is a natural counter puncher, but he won’t back away from a tear up when it comes to him, which it will since Katsidis figures his time is now and knows he could never outbox Marquez on the cards in his adopted Las Vegas fight home.
Marquez knows that he should be able to sharpshoot this one to mark up Katsidis badly, so the question is whether he can finish it before the swarm comes when his old war weary bones will be forced to trade heavily?
This one is tougher for me to call. Marquez beat their common opposition that Katsidis lost to, Casamayer and Diaz, but he was struggling although the Diaz rematch went much smoother for him.
Katsidis had Casamayer finished but wasn’t smart enough back then to close the show, and he was never troubled by Diaz, a split decision loss in Diaz’s hometown of Houston, a lackluster fight between two dispirited fighters coming off their first losses and boxing too carefully without any of their usual fire.
Katsidis is now back on the upswing again with a new swagger and better experience whereas Marquez is coming off a dispiriting, lopsided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr that his rematch win over Diaz scarcely bandaged. Marquez knows that a win puts him in the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes, a rubber match that has plenty of support in the boxing community, but he also knows that his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, they are being sued by Manny Pacquiao for defamation, so what was a natural 3rd fight between them becomes problematic.
Katsidis could well wear down the creaking Marquez, but only if his face lasts the distance. Marquez will be the substantial betting favorite though, and Vegas is effectively his home town, so he gets all the officiating perks of the hometown fighter, all ring conditions the game road warrior Katsidis is experienced with. He means to walk through fire for this Golden Goose or go out on his shield trying.
WoW, 2 likely Fight of the Year candidates on the same day well separated by time constraints for your select viewing. Must see to believe!