This weekend, live from the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Nonito Donaire will take on tough South African Jeffrey Mathebula in a 122-pound unification bout, and Kelly Pavlik will take on New Yorker Will Rosinsky in a Super Middleweight fight.
It should be a good night of fights out west. Here are my previews and predictions.
Pavlik vs. Rosinsky
Kelly Pavlik and Will Rosinsky are both taking this fight on extremely short notice. Pavlik fought about a month ago, and Rosinsky fought three weeks ago.
It's hard to say how this will effect them, but it shouldn't really be a problem, as neither were involved in tough physical bouts in their last fight.
In Pavlik, you know what you're getting. He's a big, tall fighter with a lot of power who is trying to get back on top after his fall from grace, largely due to problems with alcohol that he seems to have under control.
With Rosinsky, you have a limited guy who is tough and surely tries his hardest to win, as he'll be viewing this as the biggest opportunity of his career.
Rosinsky will know that his best chance to win will come early, so you can bet that he'll definitely come out swinging.
Unfortunately for Rosinsky, I see this fight as an easy one for Pavlik.
Pavlik has all the advantages in this bout, and he knows that if he loses his career is all but over. He's going to flourish in the HBO spotlight, and should come away with a knockout victory.
Call it a sixth round KO for Kelly Pavlik.
Donaire vs. Mathebula
This fight could be a very good one—Donaire is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world at the moment. He is looking to unify super bantamweight titles before he moves up in weight to take on the bigger names in the lower weight classes.
Donaire certainly has talent. He has excellent power in both hands, great reflexes and awesome speed.
He's like a mini Manny Pacquiao in that he seems to be able to do it all in the ring and is very explosive. In this fight with Mathebula, Donaire will be facing a fighter who is five inches taller than he is.
The height difference could potentially cause a lot of problems for Donaire. Mathebula has a good jab, and if he can control distance effectively he could make it a very hard fight.
Nonito will need to be sure to go to the body early to slow Mathebula down and let him get inside on the tall South African champion.
I think that Donaire should take this fight, but it will be closer than the experts think. Donaire by either unanimous decision or a late round stoppage.
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