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IBF super middleweight title
WBA Super World super middleweight title
Carl Froch 30(22)-2-0 vs. Mikkel Kessler 46(35)-2 II
We all know that Andre Ward is the lineal super middleweight champion. But who’s the clear #2 in the division? Well, it’s either Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler.
Both men have already fought each other. However the contest was close. Both men threw a lot of punches with not a whole lot landing. Froch only landed 18% of his shots while Kessler landed 19%.
In the end, it was volume that made the difference. Froch threw 546 punches and landed 98. Kessler threw 765 and landed 147.
Will this fight be any different?
Personally, I like Froch’s chances. Since going the distance against Andre Ward in a losing effort, Froch has blown away Yusaf Mack and Lucian Bute — both within 5 rounds. It’s apparent, then, that no fighter who isn’t A+ has any business being in the ring with Froch.
But all indications show that Kessler is A+. Since losing to Andre Ward then defeating Froch, Kessler has been on a 3 fight KO streak with wins over Brian Magee, Allan Green, and Mehdi Bouadla. Besides Ward, the only other fighter Kessler has lost to is Joe Calzaghe — who should be considered an All Time Great.
It’s a tough fight, but I like Froch’s chances better than Kessler’s not only because the fight is in England, but also because Froch has been more impressively lately than Kessler — even if barely.
Prediction: Froch by UD.
Vacant WBA Inter-Continental super middleweight title
George Groves 18(14)-0 vs. Noe Gonzalez Alcoba 30(22)-2
Hopefully after this fight, Groves takes on someone more noteworthy because although Alcoba is a fine fighter, he really should be in line for a title shot soon.
Let’s talk statistics. Groves has a 78% KO ratio with 4 of his last 5 fights won by KO. His last four wins were all right: victories over Baker Barakat, an over-the-hill Glen Johnson, Francisco Sierra, Paul Smith.
But his best win, by far, has been over the previously undefeated James DeGale — a 2008 Beijing Olympian who won a gold medal at middleweight. To this day, DeGale remains a great prospect, with Groves remaining the only man who’s defeated him.
At 34-years-old, Alcoba doesn’t have nearly the same promise as Groves, but he has a punchers chance. He has a 69% KO ratio with 15 of his last 16 fights won by KO. However, he was recently KOed by Adonis Stevenson within 2 rounds. Consequently, he’s 5-1 in his last 6 fights.
Alcoba has wins over Miguel Angel Cobas, Ruben Padilla, Gustavo Magallanes, Antonio Arras, and Michi Munoz. His two losses are to Adonis Stevenson and Felix Sturm.
Prediction: Groves by UD.
WBC Silver light heavyweight title
Tony Bellew 19(12)-1-1 vs. Isaac Chilemba 20(9)-1-2 II
Bellew and Chilemba last fought on March 30 of this year. I said that fight was a pick ‘em, and I say it’s sequel is a pick ‘em too. As it happened, the last fight was a draw.
For the record, I thought Chilemba should have won the fight, but I see why one would score the fight for Bellew.
Bellew is 4-1-1 in his last 6 fights. While he did lose to Nathan Cleverly in a WBO light heavyweight title challenge, that was a life and death fight — and Cleverly was lucky to escape with an MD win. As it stands, Bellew has good win under his belt against Roberto Feliciano Bolonti, Edison Miranda, Danny McIntosh, and Mathew Ellis.
Now, many people have claimed that Bellew’s draw against Chilemba proves he’s world class, but I disagree. Chilemba is a legit talent. He easily out fought the previously undefeated Maxim Vlasov — a very hot prospect who still has a bright future ahead of him. He also has wins against Edison Miranda, Jameson Bostic, Vikapita Meroro, and Michael Bolling. Chilemba’s lone loss is to Willbeforce Shihepo — who Chilemba later avenged. Chilemba has also drawn against current IBO super middleweight tilist Thomas Oosthuizen.
Prediction: Chilemba by SD.