Television: HBO (USA)
Time: 2:30AM GMT / 9:30PM ET / 6:30PM PT
Vacant WBO light middleweight title
Demetrius Andrade 19(13)-0 vs. Vanes Martirosyan 33(21)-0-1
I’m just thankful that something is happening with both these fighters.
Andrade is a former 2008 Beijing Olympian who’s been primed for great things for a long time. It was thought that his win over Grady Brewer was to bring him into bona fide title contention.
Unfortunately, his promoters decided to lower his level of opposition. For what reason, I don’t know, but whoever they stuck in front of him, Andrade has definitively won each time. Andrade has maintained a 68% KO ratio. Those times he’s made the distance, Andrade has won by wide UD — almost always shutting out his opponents on the scorecards.
Martirosyan has been in the same boat as Andrade to the point of it being inexcusable. After wins over Kassim Ouma and Joe Greene, what business did Martirosyan have in the ring with Troy Lowry — who was 1-5 in his last 6 fights?
He’s been a professional since 2005, and rated by RING Magazine as well as BoxRec for much longer than that. Thankfully, Martirosyan was given a chance to fight an eliminator for the WBC title last year… only to draw against Erislandy Lara in a forgettable match-up.
Whoever wins this fight should finally move their career along — perhaps facing the winner of Kirkland-Tapia.
Prediction: Andrade by UD.
Nonito Donaire 31(20)-2 vs. Vic Darchinyan 39(28)-5-1 II
At the beginning of the year, Donaire was declared the 2012 Fighter Of The Year. It was deserved too. In the space of a year, Donaire beat Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffery Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka, and Jorge Arce.
Then Donaire faced Guillermo Rigondeaux last April. Rigondeaux boxed Donaire’s ears off, and even closed his eye. With Donaire’s first loss since 2001, the hype train was derailed.
So where to go from here?
A rematch with Darchinyan — who Donaire previously blasted out in 2007. 6 years ago, Darchinyan was undefeated, was in his prime, and looked unbeatable. Donaire, however, KOed Darchinyan decisively, resulting in the RING Magazine KO Of The Year as well as the Upset Of The Year.
Since then, Darchinyan has remained a world class opponent but has been very beatable. While Darichinyan has wins against Orlando Del Valle, Evans Mbamba, Yonnhy Perez, and Rodrigo Guerrero, he also has losses against Joseph Agbeko, Abner Mares, Anselmo Moreno, and Shinsuke Yamanaka.
Put simply, is Darchinyan likely to win? No. However, Donaire is still coming off his first loss in years.
Prediction: Donaire by KO7.
WBO super featherweight title
Mikey Garcia 32(27)-0 vs. Roman Martinez 27(16)-1-2
After revealing himself to be a supreme talent at featherweight, Garcia is entering the super featherweight division in the same way.
At featherweight, Garcia blew away Matt Remillard, Rafael Guzman, Jonathan Victor Guzman, Orlando Salido, and Juan Manuel Lopez. Through this, he’s maintained an 84% KO ratio.
So will it be largely the same at super featherweight? Here’s my opinion: the only threat to Garcia is Takashi Uchiyama — and that fight is unlikely to happen.
Martinez, on the other hand, is considered by me to be the weakest titlist at super featherweight. He has already been defeated by Ricky Burns, should have lost to Juan Carlos Burgos but was gifted a draw, and nicked a competitive SD against Diego Magdaleno.
On a positive note, Martinez has proven durable and well-conditioned. He can win the toe-to-toe battles.
However, Garcia is a supreme boxer-puncher and won’t let himself get bullied.
Prediction: Garcia by KO6.