Saturday 20th April sees some major fights occurring in The UK and USA.
Terence Crawford defends his WBO Welterweight title against former WBA and IBF Super-lightweight champion Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden, in a fight that is meant to showcase Crawford as a No1 P4P candidate as well as a PPV star.
A loss, especially a stoppage loss would likely spell the end of a long and very successful career for Khan, the former Olympic silver medallist from Bolton, England. Casual boxing fans will only remember Khan from his last fight in America when he was knocked out in brutal fashion by Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the Middleweight crown, even though he has had 2 wins since in the UK.
Khan has retained much of his speed which translates into knockout power, but cannot seem to shore up his defence to a level where he doesn’t get hit and hurt against decent opposition.
Some experts have Crawford as their P4P No1, even though Vasiliy Lomachenko is the most common pick for that spot. Either way, the Omaha, Nebraska man is a quality performer at the peak of his powers so I can only see Khan lasting until the 3rd or 4th round.
Another of the world’s leading 147lb protagonists, Danny Garcia, makes his comeback after losing 2 out of his last 3 fights. The fact that those losses were to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter in world title fights and that both were extremely tight points decisions won’t make it any less important for Garcia to get the “W” against perennial gatekeeper Adrian Granados.
With 6 losses and 2 draws on his ledger, Granados might seem an easy comeback opponent, but he isn’t by any stretch of the imagination. Many believe the Illinois native deserved the nod over Adrien Broner in their 2017 bout. He also took Porter to a decision that same year.
Garcia is a class act and should have too many skills for Granados and should win by decision over the 12 round distance.
At the O2 arena in London, former WBA regular heavyweight title-holder Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne of Australia meets Doncaster’s David “White Rhino” Allen in a 12 round bout that will lead to thoughts of retirement for the loser.
Brown was knocked out cold on his last visit to the O2 Arena against WBC No1 contender Dillian Whyte a little over a year ago but has rebounded with 3 wins since, the last of which ended in a controversial points win over Kamil Sokolowski (6-14-2) in Scotland last month.
3 years ago, we wouldn’t be discussing the possibility of Browne losing this fight but he has looked dreadful recently and at 27 years old, Allen should stop the Aussie inside 10 rounds after a tough battle.
On the same bill, Derek Chisora also comes back after a Ko loss to Whyte. He faces Senad Gashi who gave a good account of himself against Carlos Takam in his last fight, also at the O2 Arena on the Whyte vs Chisora bill.
This fight is meant to get Chisora some competitive rounds after the Whyte loss. It is a big step down from the likes of Whyte and at this stage of his career, I think a higher ranked fighter with a winning record should have been chosen for Dell Boy. Chisora by stoppage in 6 rounds.
On the undercard to Crawford vs Khan, Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez takes on Finland’s Edis Tatli (31-2-0 10 Ko’s). Lopez says he is ready to take the 135lb throne from Vasiliy Lomachenko right now, but the likes of Tatli are not going to get the 21-year-old Brooklyn native ready for Loma.
Lopez is the top prospect in boxing in my opinion, but he still needs fights against legitimate contenders to hone his already excellent skillset.
Tatli is not a heavy puncher and you need that to make Lopez respect what’s coming back at him. Lopez should blow Tatli away in 1-2 rounds.
On the Garcia vs Granados undercard heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr takes on 6’ 7” German based Russian Alexander Dimitrenko. Ruiz is a capable heavyweight with fast hands and good basic boxing skills. His only loss was by majority decision to Joseph Parker for the WBO title in December 2016.
Ruiz Jr has been relatively inactive since the loss to Parker with only 2 fights in 2018. Dimitrenko also has a loss to Parker but by 3rd round Ko. Losses to Eddie Chambers, Kubrat Pulev, Parker and Bryant Jennings, show that the big Russian losses when facing good opposition.
The roly-poly looking Ruiz Jr should stop the former EBU champion in 8 rounds.