Smith's Weekly Breakdown
Vasyl Lomachenko became the WBO featherweight champion in just his third fight as a professional when easily outpointing Gary Russell Jr. The Ukrainian star amateur used his superior footwork and speed to bamboozle his American opponent and bossed the later rounds. Lomachenko is still learning as a pro and was outmanned by Orlando Salido in March, maybe a rematch with the Mexican warrior will happen in the future.
Russell Jr has talent but was simply shown up in his first real test. 24 fights unbeaten may well make him sound good but he stepped up and got beat. Just imagine the type of record and opponents Lomachenko will have after 24 fights.
Robert Guerrero faced Yoshihiro Kamegai in a ‘get back on track fight’ which turned into an instant fight of the year candidate. The Ghost elected to trade with his Japanese opponent but he looks too small and too slow up at welterweight and should really be down at 140lbs. He’s been far too inactive in the last two years and has the potential to grab a slice of the title madness if he keeps busy.
Punches were pinging of the face of both opponents throughout and you can’t help but think Guerrero could’ve got the job done easier. Khan, Thurman, Porter and many more could be likely opponents going forward.
Devon Alexander was typically industrious en route to a 10 round decision win over decent, but over the hill, yardstick Jesus Soto Karass. Alexander stood up to the Karass’s early storm before going on to dominate late on with his opponent tiring. Alexander was slightly more exciting than we normally get to see and it’ll be interesting where they go with the welterweight from here after he got well and truly exposed by Shawn Porter last December.
This Week’s Action
Ricky Burns enters the road to recovery on Friday night in Glasgow and Matchroom have managed to find an unbeaten fella from Montenegro who's apparently ranked with the WBC.
Burns struggled badly in his last three fights and lost the latest of those in March against the vastly talented Terrance Crawford (more on him later).
Burns will have a significant height advantage over his usually busy opponent by the name of Dejan Zlaticann and I envisage the Scot dominating with his jab en route to a safety first (don't forget the chin) points win. No prices for that yet but Burns is just 1/9 to win the fight via any method.
Curtis Woodhouse retired in February following a career defining British title win over Darren Hamilton. I believed his retirement plans were genuine but within six weeks he was touting for new sponsors on Twitter.
You could've sympathised with Woodhouse for coming out of retirement for a massive payday, something which he's been no way near previously, but a British and Commonwealth title scrap with Willie Limond doesn't quite fit the bill. It's on away soil in front of 4,000 patriotic Scotsman against a bloke who's only fought three times since November 2011.
Limond once upon a time operated at super featherweight with his best days at lightweight. Now the inactive 35-year-old faces a fully-fledged 140 pounder who wouldn't look out of place at welterweight. Woodhouse should be too physically big and busy for Limond and 10/11 represents value.
The big question here is, can Woodhouse reproduce the career best form he showed against Hamilton? It was such a huge effort and all sorts of emotion went into that night in Hull. Can he get up for this one? I actually think Woodhouse could be a couple of notches below his best and still win.
If the aforementioned Braehead Arena bouts fail to whet your boxing appetite the showdown between Wadi Camacho and Stephen Simmons certainly will. Bad blood aplenty in the build-up and both can bang.
Simmons is the betting favourite at 1/3 but I can't help but think Camacho is overpriced at 11/4. Yes the London based Spaniard has a couple of blotches on his 14 fight record but he seems relaxed with his new trainer Tony Sims and relishing in the pantomime villain role.
Of the two it's Simmons who I think is more likely to be adversely affected by the occasion but also the one with more future potential. It's a grudge match for sure and only in his 10th contest.
One thing is for sure. This isn't going the 10 round distance.
Terrance Crawford showed Burns and the rest of the boxing world that he's the real deal when winning the WBO lightweight title in February. It wasn't far off a boxing lesson in my book.
The Omaha native makes his first defence against the immensely talented but annoying inactive Yuriorkis Gamboa. I tipped the former Cuban standout amateur for stardom in 2012 after a whirlwind ascent to the featherweight top table but since then he's had all sorts of problems including promotional and even drug related.
Crawford will have major height and reach advantages on Saturday night and Gamboa has looked increasingly vulnerable as he moves up the weights. There's no way he's big enough to impose his will on lightweight opponents and needs a career best effort to win the title.
It's sure to be entertaining as Gamboa will be hell bent on testing Crawford's chin but I can't see him controlling enough parts of enough rounds to win. Crawford points win is the best bet at 11/10.
The Kell Brook vs Shawn Porter saga goes on and the rumor mill was in overdrive over the weekend. Facts are hard to come by but it looks like the deadline for the IBF welterweight bout to happen is September 7th.
Wladimir Klitschko will face Kubrat Pulev in Hamburg on September 6th. At least the unbeaten Pulev will provide some sort of test to the champ, or so we hope.
Curtis Woodhouse and Terrance Crawford win double is just over 2/1. Both should be too big for their respective inactive opponents.
Stephen Simmons and Wadi Camacho won’t be going the distance but there’s no price yet.
Ricky Burns to beat Dejan Zlaticann on points but again the bookies are keeping us waiting on a price.
Quote Of The Week
“Possibly one of the worst piece of matchmaking I've ever seen but I’m not here to criticise.”
Eddie Hearn on Nathan Cleverly vs Sergey Kovalev in an IFLTV interview this week.
Tags for this Thread