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I Said THAT?! The 2010 Preview Review: Part Two

In Part One of the annual preview review, I lamented how journalists making predictions for 2011 are certain in the knowledge that few readers will remember what they wrote in a year’s time. To write for Maxboxing is to be held to a higher standard, and to that end, I venture back in time to review my predictions for the 2010. Again, I encourage readers to take a look around the ‘Net. I don’t think you will find another sports website or publication taking the time to analyze itself on editorials from the past year.

In Part Two, I revisit predictions from featherweight to junior middleweight, examining my picks for a champion who will stay, a champion who will go and a boxer to watch out for. I do not make any changes to the 2010 predictions, removing the temptation to make myself look better through minor removal of erroneous or irrelevant content. That forces me to separate this feature into three parts in order to keep the word count below that of a Stephen King novel. At the end of each prediction, I apply a simple grade, from A to F, along with an opinion on how the prognostication turned out.


Champion who will stay: Elio Rojas

What I said: Why chose an unknown Dominican when I could select the reliable Chris John? In Part One of the 2010 preview, I stated that talent is only half the equation in evaluating whether a champion will stay or go. Opposition is a key factor and Chris John might meet Yuriorkis Gamboa this year. While I like John in that fight by a very slim margin for now, why take the chance when Rojas has a weak list of IBF-mandated challengers. Rojas does not have the name recognition for a tough unification bout either. Not only that, Rojas is a good fighter with an extensive amateur résumé (bronze medalist in World amateur championships and defeated Juan Manuel Lopez). Is 27 and overcame some inactivity, one fight in 2008, to take the title from a good Japanese southpaw Takahiro Aoh in Japan by wide unanimous decision. One of the few good fighters Don King has left in his stable but, because of that affiliation, Rojas has not been active. Will likely smash comebacking Guty Espadas Jr. in his next fight and fight two more beatable foes if Don King can find him dates.

Grade- A- : Did I get lucky that Rojas’ fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa was cancelled because of an injury to Rojas? Perhaps but Rojas would have been a live underdog in that fight and will be competitive with anyone at 126 pounds. What I foresaw for all Don King fighters came to fruition, with Rojas not fighting much in 2010. In fact, Rojas only beat Guty Espadas Jr. (winning every round), with his shoulder injury scuttling Rojas’ only other scheduled bout for 2010. Let’s hope Rojas does not remain a lost treasure in 2011.

Champion who will go: Steven Luevano

What I said: Faces off with phenom Juan Manuel Lopez on January 23rd…enough said. Plus, I really like IBF champ Cristobal Cruz and refuse to root against him. Even though Cruz is less talented than Luevano and is just as likely to lose his crown in 2010. The overriding factor in picking Luevano is the force that Juan Manuel Lopez is and even if he beats Lopez, it could take enough out of him for an inferior boxer to pull an upset later in the year.

Grade- A: Not only did Luevano lose to “JuanMa” (by seventh-round TKO), he declared a retirement from boxing shortly after citing burnout that prevents Luevano from dedicating himself 100% to the sport. I give Luevano an A for honesty and the same for myself.

Will rise in 2010: Satoshi Hosono

What I said: In his last fight, Hosono defeated formerly world-rated Japanese veteran Hiroyuki Enoki and has fought solid competition since 2008. The 26-year-old still relies too much on power, 12 stoppages in 16 fights, but displayed composure in the Enoki fight, using the jab to good effect. That was a change for Hosono, who has the reputation of a pressure fighter with good power in both hands. Still prefers to come at opponents and force the action whenever possible. Given his hand speed, Hosono could develop into more than just a volume guy and I hope that comes with experience. On defense, like his offense, Hosono looks able to do more than he shows and impressed me at times with an evading-and-ducking style even when on the attack. Recuperative powers were tested against light-hitting Masaki Sanagawa, who surprised Hosono with his aggressiveness, when he was staggered in the first round but came back to kayo Sanagawa in the fourth. Hosono will not develop into a fancy fighter but it’s good to see him expanding on a bulldog repertoire and add some extra weapons to his arsenal before a title shot.

Grade- D+: There are no passing grades for boxers that lose the same year I pick them to shoot up the rankings. However, Hosono did lose in a title fight to respected Thai champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. It was a close bout, a majority decision, but Hosono failed to capitalize on his physical advantages and home country backing. Hosono was resolute in defeat, giving me hope for him in the future. "It was a shock for me that I couldn’t beat the champion. I couldn’t hit him because of his excellent technique. I’m going to work harder and get stronger."


Champion who will stay: Robert Guerrero

What I said: I’m done underestimating Guerrero. I am picking Guerrero even though his rising star status ensures at least one big challenge in 2010. I have consistently underrated Robert Guerrero. For some reason, I choose to remember his loss to Gamaliel Diaz more than impressive stoppage victories over the likes of Jason Litzau and Martin Honorio. Why? I am not sure. I just have and he has made me regret my evaluations in the past. Guerrero is a hard-hitting southpaw, whose abilities are diverse enough to let him box patiently before switching into seek-and-destroy mode when an opponent is hurt. A former featherweight titlist but I do not think all his power has traveled up with him to junior lightweight. At 26, he is in his physical prime and looked good overcoming awkward Malcolm Klassen in his last fight. Humberto Soto, another junior lightweight champ, might move up in weight, which is another reason to stick with Guerrero.

Grade- B-: Great, I stop underestimating Guerrero and he rewards me by unexpectedly moving up in weight after coming up one weight class only a year ago. The southpaw puncher did score a career-best win, over Joel Casamayor, and notched two other wins that put him on verge of another title shot for 2012. Because of those factors, I give myself a grade above C, since I believe he would have easily retained his crown against anyone in the IBF’s top ten.

Champion who will go: Juan Salgado

What I said: I like the kid but despite a kayo of highly-regarded Jorge Linares, I do not see him as championship material. That win was a bit fluky to my eyes and a rematch of that fight looms in Salgado’s future. I am not even certain Salgado will get by tricky Takashi Uchiyama in his next fight. Salgado showed in a fight with Marcos Licona that he can go to a plan B. In that contest, Licona did not go down from an early bombardment and Salgado switched up and went with precision punches to win on the scorecards. This is the fight where I got the impression Salgado is not as good as finisher as his 67% kayo ratio suggests and that he can be pushed backward by a physical brawler. Salgado is solid in every area, without showing any elite traits. In a fight against Ivan Valle, Salgado displayed maturity, refusing to get in the trenches and found a second wind in the tough fight. My other choice here was Roman Martinez but his schedule should be easier to navigate than Salgado’s since Salgado became an attraction in Japan after his huge upset of Linares.

Grade- A: Yep, the Linares win looks more and more like a fluke, which I remind Ring magazine editors of weekly with my input on their ratings since he remains in their top ten. Salgado lost his title 11 days into the New Year, suffering a 12th round stoppage to Takashi Uchiyama in Japan. Credit to Salgado for rebounding with a good win over countryman Guadalupe Rosales but I just do not feel he is of world champion timber.

Will rise in 2010: Daud Yordan

What I said: Showed potential in a two-round no-contest fight with Robert Guerrero. The young Indonesian commits to his punches and it is a given that Asian boxers show up in shape. Yordan was a good amateur boxer and he traveled with an Indonesian team that was trained by Cuban Carlos Torres. Another plus is that he comes from a boxing family, with his father and siblings having all forged boxing careers. Yordan passed one good test in America, beating Mexican trial horse Antonio Meza over eight rounds. Meza is a decent banger and Yordan took his punches with no problems. The young man is obviously skilled and Golden Boy Promotions would not have inked his American rights (a reported five-year deal, at four fights per year) if Yordan did not have potential beyond the Guerrero bout. Needs to improve on his defense and upper body movement but his father/trainer and promoter Pino Bahari will put the 22-year-old on the right course. Yordan did not show any signs of stage fright in the Guerrero fight either and should be brought back to America for further exposure.

Grade- F: No other pick I made was disproven as badly as this one. Yordan was dominated by Celestino Caballero on HBO with their commentary team begging for someone to step in stop the massacre, his lack of experience and quality corner clearly exposed. Knocked out two inconsequential foes after the loss, only helping his confidence while doing nothing to improve Yordan as a boxer in the long run. Can still be a player on the world level, if his confidence was not ruined by what Caballero dished out in 2010. That remains to be seen in 2011.


Champion who will stay: Edwin Valero

What I said: I believe he is for real and even though Valero is already 28, he still has a chance to become a special fighter on the international stage. Is 26-0 with 26 stoppages and those numbers do not flatter to deceive. Sadly, America has not gotten to see enough of Valero, mostly because an MRI revealed Valero had sustained cranial damage in a 2001 motorcycle accident that caused his suspension. Since then, only fought once in America (Texas licensed him) but is now having visa problems because of a DUI that could hold his career back. Unlike many South American boxers, especially bangers like him, Valero had a good amateur career going 86­-6. Began to box at age 12 and was signed by Golden Boy Promotions before moving to Japan’s biggest promoter after his American career was scuttled by the MRI. Made four defenses of the WBA junior lightweight title and a win over talented Vicente Mosquera (KO 10) proved Valero is more than a pure knockout artist. Valero used a jab and movement, when in trouble, after being knocked down in the third round, and proved his finishing skills were up to snuff at the highest levels. If someone teaches this kid how to maneuver defensively before he really needs it, and the art of counterpunching, he might become this generation’s Aaron Pryor. Has a tough fight against Antonio DeMarco next but unless he fights Anthony Peterson, I don’t see anyone with the style at lightweight to defeat Valero.

Grade- A: Not sure how to approach this grade. I’m obviously unable to avoid the fact that Valero killed his wife and took his own life shortly afterward. I will concentrate solely on what happened in the ring, as Valero’s other side is unfathomable and his actions were that of a cowardly and deeply disturbed human being. He scored a breakthrough win over Antonio DeMarco on Showtime, displaying versatility and excitement that seemed to set the Venezuelan up for big fights on HBO and PPV. Valero finished with a 28-0 (all coming via knockout) record that will forever mark him as an equally reprehensible and intriguing “Could have been.”

Champion who will go: Juan Manuel Marquez

What I said: I pick Marquez since he is technically still the champion of the WBO and WBA and there is no IBF champ, thanks to the ridiculous Ali Funeka – Joan Guzman draw. So I am left with no other choice. I do not think Marquez will return to 135 anyhow and fight Ricky Hatton instead. This means his titles will go to others in 2010.

Grade- C-: I explained that boxing politics left me no choice but to pick Marquez but I also stated that I did not believe he could return to 135 pounds. Then I added a prediction of a Hatton clash that was intensely rumored in Britain, which never materialized. Because I was wrong on both those accounts, a C seems more appropriate than a B-level grade.

Will rise in 2010: Kevin Mitchell

What I said: The English boxer/puncher showed sharp boxing skills dismantling Breidis Prescott over 12 one-sided rounds a couple weeks ago. Usually a pressure fighter, Mitchell avoided Prescott’s charges and early attacks with his feet and sweet counterpunching, two assets he had not shown in such abundance in 29 previous wins. Usually Mitchell gets drawn into brawls- the Carl Johanneson bout comes to mind- where his chin and short punches serve Mitchell well when pulled into the trenches. Shown himself to be a good finisher, using fast hands in combination when he has someone along the ropes or trying to tie up. Despite a tendency to take more punches than needed, Mitchell was a good amateur boxer and signs of that are evident with his punch accuracy. I am hoping Mitchell employs more of the skills he showed in the Prescott bout in the future and saves wear-and-tear on his body, although he usually only fights an average of three times a year recently. Has a lot of self belief and I look for that to see him through if promoter Frank Warren can lure a champion to English shores.

Grade- D: Climbed into The Ring magazine top 10 with quality wins over Breidis Prescott and Ignacio Mendoza and was then dealt a brutal setback at the fists of Michael Katsidis in a fight for the WBO title. That was over six months ago and Mitchell has yet to return from the savage kayo. Has the skills and solid backing in England to rebound and challenge for another title but must fight smarter and not allow himself to get drawn into firefights while improving his lateral movement. I don’t think an F was appropriate, given his body of work in 2010, but could be swayed in the other direction if Mitchell does not return to the ring soon.


Champion who will stay: Timothy Bradley

What I said:
In the absence of Manny Pacquiao, Bradley has proven himself the best 140-pounder. I was astounded by the physical and mental discipline Bradley showed getting up and subsequently dominating Kendall Holt after a thunderous first-round knockdown. The speedy southpaw is a picture book boxer who does not deviate from the basics and employs a fluid boxing style to befuddle opponents. Aside from the Holt knockdown, where Bradley was too hyped at the opening bell, he makes few mistakes on defense. Bradley likes to be the counterpuncher, where superior speed and instincts allow him to make the most of opponent’s mistakes. When Bradley defeated Junior Witter, he overcame a slow start to sweep the championship rounds, thanks to a crucial knockdown in the sixth round. But, in general, I do not look for Bradley to rely on power and it has never really been a big part of his weaponry. Handled a talented prospect in his wide but entertaining win over Lamont Peterson. With apologies to Manny Pacquiao, Bradley might be the most well-conditioned boxer in the sport. Just defeated his number one challenger and the rest of the WBO’s top ten is beatable for someone with Bradley’s multiple talents.

Grade- A-: Will reign as the king of the division as long as “Pac-Man” stays at 147 and I should note Bradley looked good in his welterweight debut. That fight, against Argentine banger Luis Abregu, was Bradley’s only ring appearance in 2010, which is disappointing and drops my grade to A- instead of a solid A. Fights Devon Alexander in a month’s time but don’t be surprised if you still see Bradley’s name in this same spot for my 2011 preview.

Champion who will go: Juan Urango

What I said: Last year went to welterweight for a payday, losing a lopsided decision to Andre Berto, but the Colombian returned to his natural weight class to retain his IBF title against Randall Bailey. At junior welterweight, Urango uses his impressive physique and attacking style to impose his will on opponents, consistently putting them on their back foot. No matter the weight, Urango moves forward, not always with a plan other than to throw looping punches, and has proven he can get guys out with one punch. Chin is great, having only been dented by Bailey but otherwise held up, despite facing some high-class offensive firepower. Urango is unique in that he is a southpaw pressure fighter but that also negates the natural advantage lefthanders have in the angles that punches come at their opponents. Despite being a burly guy, with a lot of his musculature on his torso and upper body, Urango has long arms that carry a 71-inch reach. Does not use this advantage either and if he had a good jab, Urango would not take as much punishment on the way in. Urango is what he is. A straight-ahead, get-in-your-face guy, who pressures and mauls his way to wins over all but the elite. Is in his physical prime, age 29, but could fade at any time since he is never in an easy fight. Urango is just too one-dimensional to hold the title for any length of time and be matched with a resurgent Paul Malignaggi in 2010.

Grade- A+: I was alone predicting a title-less Urango in 2010 but I doubt anyone saw the iron-chinned Colombian a stoppage victim at the hands of smooth boxing Devon Alexander. Has not returned since becoming a “Kayo of the Year” candidate but when he does, will likely peak as a top-level gatekeeper on Showtime and HBO. In a final analysis, Urango is just too one-dimensional a fighter.

Will rise in 2010: Mike Alvarado

What I said: This was the hardest choice I had to make so far, with Alvarado beating out Denis Shafikov, Victor Cayo, and Leonardo Zappavigna. On skills alone, maybe Shafikov is better but I believe Alvarado will be given more opportunities to advance because of his association with Top Rank promotions. Alvarado is one of the few legitimate prospects to come out of the Midwest in recent years but falls into the category of a boxer who does everything well without excelling in a particular area. Looked good dismantling former champion Cesar Bazan, showing a formidable jab before dropping Bazan with a right hook. Alvarado’s kayo of Emmanuel Clottey was worthy of “Knockout of the Year” consideration (Clottey dropped as if falling through a trap door) and he puts in solid work to the body to set up attrition stoppages if the brilliant one does not arrive. Alvarado has won me over, as I did not see him as world-class at first. Maybe because his hand speed and power are not in an elite class? Could develop into a Fernando Vargas type, making up for a lack of physical skills with intelligent movement and accuracy. 2010 will tell us that since Alvarado will be pushed and would already have had his biggest test if he were not injured in preparations for a Paul Malignaggi fight.

Grade- C-: It’s hard to make a good impression behind prison bars, which is why I give myself a nearly failing grade, despite Alvarado notching two wins and remaining a title threat with the aid of Top Rank. Needs to stay away from alcohol and other bad influences and Alvarado is reportedly doing that since his release from county lockup. At age 30, Alvarado is playing catch-up but seems capable physically if he can discipline himself mentally. Look for some FOX Sports and perhaps a Showtime appearance to push Alvarado back into the limelight, with an outside shot at a title late in 2012.


Champion who will stay: Manny Pacquiao

What I said:
I am picking Pacquiao despite what should be a very difficult schedule; he is just that good! Even with a fight against Floyd Mayweather looming, I cannot pick against the little package of dynamite. Of course, the Mayweather fight is up in the air now but I would rate Floyd to take out anyone they get to replace Mayweather. Manny’s other interests (politics and films) will keep him from entering the ring more than twice this year, which is a very manageable schedule for the 31-year-old dynamo. I am not going to get into the feeble Mayweather accusation that threatens to scuttle their big fight. I will just note that Mayweather against anyone else does not interest me, while Pacquiao against anyone is a virtual PPV must-buy. I was tempted to pick Jan Zaveck, who I do not even rate in my top ten, because his likely schedule is much easier than Pacquiao, Mosley, and Berto’s. All three will have at least one losable bout in 2010. But the 33-year-old Zaveck could run into trouble if he faces young Selcuk Aydin or a rematch with top-rated IBF challenger Rafal Jackiewicz.

Grade- A+: OK, it did not take a genius to get this one right but “Pac-Man” did go through two physically bruising challengers (Clottey and Margarito) in 2010. If only Pacquiao could be more forceful out of the ring and refuse to accept whatever sacrificial foe is thrown at his feet by Bob Arum. I will even go as far as to say I would appreciate Pacquiao more if he retired from boxing if a fight with Floyd Mayweather cannot be made. The Filipino’s legacy’s is that great and Pacquiao has built himself into such a legend that any other fight is simply beneath a champion of his caliber.

Champion who will go: Andre Berto

What I said: It came down to who I thought would win the Mosley-Berto fight, so this pick tells you who I believe will walk away victorious on January 30th. Will Berto lose his crown this year? Perhaps not but he is a young and inexperienced champ facing one of the most battle-tested fighters of the last decade. Berto is a good young fighter and lacks nothing but seasoning. Berto was gifted the title when the WBC approved the Miguel Rodriguez fight as a title bout and the fight with blown-up Steve Forbes was more a test than a title defense. Had a tough time with crafty southpaw Luis Collazo and Juan Urango is limited in offensive variety and horrible on defense. Those kinds of fights get you ready for a title challenge but instead make up Berto’s title fight résumé. I really like Berto outside of the ring and believe the Mosley fight will make him better in the long run…but will also result in a loss.

Grade- D: God obviously worked against my picks in 2010, with the horrendously tragic earthquake that hit Haiti postponing and ultimately sinking the Berto – Mosley fight. I still believe Mosley would have won that fight, even though Berto showed flashes of greatness against Carlos Quintana and Freddy Hernandez. He won both fights by impressive stoppages but again, it is not what Berto does but the level of opposition that he plies his skills against which raises eyebrows. I can’t think of a champion of recent vintage who has gotten more exposure or an easier route to a title than Berto. Because of this, Berto is, perhaps unfairly, criticized. Otherwise, Berto is the epitome of everything that is great about boxing’s ability to lift people out of poverty and create honorable men.

Will rise in 2010: Oyewale Omotoso

What I said: Another foreign boxer (Omotoso is Nigerian) who has chosen to make a run at a world title from beautiful Australia (following in the footsteps of Tszyu, Darchinyan, and Sakio Bika). A lanky Erik Morales-type of puncher, whose natural power has been enhanced through a successful amateur career. From YouTube clips I have viewed, Omotoso is still a bit stand-up-ish, which means he might be able to expound even more on his power when he sits down on punches. Scored an impressive kayo of awkward American Emanuel Augustus in 2009, winning all but a couple rounds in the ninth-round stoppage of the respected veteran. Omotoso might be falling in love with his power and looks to be loading up on punches in search of highlight kayos. It worked against one-time prospect Sam Colomban, reportedly breaking a bone in his face in one of the knockdowns he scored. Omotoso has gone ten rounds once, which is always a concern with big punchers. Given his background, we can assume Omotoso can fall back on solid boxing skills, if forced to, but to this point, no one has been able to push back against him. Is 24 years old but a lack of maturity can be seen with unwarranted showboating. At 5’10", he can really evolve into a physically punishing fighter.

Grade- A-: Scored two good wins, over solid Argentine and Thai opposition, and gained a top 15 ranking with the IBF that is crucial to a future title challenge. I expected more of Omotoso but the absence of forward progress is because of a lack of promotional pull and the danger Omotoso represents than any shortage of ambition. Continues to be someone to watch out for, even if I do not use boxers more than once in my “will rise” section of yearly previews.


Champion who will stay: Cory Spinks

What I said:
Let’s start with Spinks being a Don King fighter. In the past, that meant he might be favored by judges…now it just means Spinks won’t fight much due to lack of dates. Spinks fought one time in 2009, once in 2008, once in 2006, and was downright overworked in 2007 when he fought twice. So I do not look for the 31-year-old slick southpaw to get more than two fights in 2010 and one of those fights is likely to be a winnable rematch with crosstown rival Deandre Latimore. Cory Spinks is not the most attractive fighter to watch but I respect a man that has been in the title picture since 2002, and whose last nine fights have involved a title belt. Even moved up to middleweight and gave Jermain Taylor a tougher than expected fight in losing a split decision. The problem for fans is that Spinks rarely needs to venture out of his jab-hit-pivot-move comfort zone to win and only uses four of his five gears. Spinks wins with minimal effort but showed in his first fight against Zab Judah and Antonio Diaz that he can be exciting when forced to. Cornelius Bundrage is rated highest by the IBF, another bout in which Spinks would be favored. I doubt the fit Spinks will move up in weight either and, unless he is put in with Sergio Martinez in a title unification bout, would not be an underdog against any junior middleweight.

Grade- F-: Not only did Spinks lose the only fight he had in 2010, he did so against a beatable opponent. Spinks’ lack of activity came back to bite him, as “K9” Bundrage stopped a rusty champion in five rounds. Spinks has had three fights in the last three years, losing two of them, and at age 32, is too unmarketable and awkward for any champion to take on willingly. A well-deserved F for me, despite the logic of his only fighting once against an inferior opponent being just too much for me to pass over.

Champion who will go: Sergiy Dzinziruk

What I said: Frankly, I don’t think any titlist will lose their belt at junior middle but I have to chose someone. Dzinziruk beats out a less-skilled Yuri Foreman on a combination of potential opponents and inactivity. Did not fight at all in 2009, his last victory was a convincing shutout of Joel Julio, and just waited out his German contract in hopes of signing with an American promoter in 2010. The normally active champ has now fallen of the radar. Was rumored to fight both Paul Williams and Fernando Angulo but those fights never materialized. Is a very accomplished pro and amateur, who has the skills and style to defeat anyone not named Paul Williams at 154. There were a couple of advantages to being a nameless European entity in America, especially if you hold a belt. One was that he drew big crowds at home, making it economically feasible to stay there and take on the WBO’s weak mandatory challengers. The other was that the big boys of boxing did not see a need to fight Dzinziruk, since it would not be a career validation to beat a nameless foe who holds no historical cache. Dzinziruk, of the Ukraine, has one more negative edge; he is a southpaw. If Dzinziruk is not stripped of the title, he might face Fernando Angulo in America, which I think he can win but is no gimme.

Grade- D: By all rights, Dzinziruk’s 18-month absence from the ring should have forced the WBO to take his title, thus giving me a passing grade. I deserve an F for thinking an alphabet organization would ever do the right thing and stick by their rules and bylaws. Credit to Dzinziruk for looking fabulous, sporting a world-class jab, stopping Daniel Dawson in his American TV debut after such a long layoff. Also, I did note at the beginning of this pick that I did not think any junior middleweight champ would lose his title in 2010. Even though this pick was somewhat forced upon me by circumstances, it was wrong (and I should have gone with Spinks) so a failing grade is in order.

Will rise in 2010: Joe Greene

What I said: The junior middleweight division is in a flux, so a young Joe Greene has a chance to launch himself onto the radar at 154 pounds. Is only 23 and just came of a ten-month layoff (a bout with kidney stones) to outclass decent Delray Raines. A solid southpaw puncher with a good amateur background (he won the 2004 National Golden Gloves), Greene might be the one New York City product that is not a figment of the NYC media’s imagination. Greene has a great mix of size, speed, and power, with that power adequately represented in a 70-percent kayo ratio. I don’t rate Greene as a one-punch guy but his finishing instincts make the punches more effective. Has upped the level of his competition in his last three fights without suffering on the scorecards. The confidence of Greene’s management is sky high, since he was slated to fight WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez earlier this year. That dance partner might have been a bit too much to ask of him at this stage of his career but Greene certainly is a part of the next wave of talent at junior middleweight.

Grade- D: As much I like Greene, I believe Vanes Martirosyan is a better prospect (choosing him in 2009 as the boxer that would rise in this division), picking Martirosyan to defeat Greene in my weekly TV Cheat Sheet previewing their encounter. Turns out I was right in that selection; Martirosyan scored a knockdown and won lopsidedly on points but it cost me here. I commend Greene and his advisors for taking on such a challenge, even if it hurts me in my final evaluation. The lessons Greene learned in the Martirosyan fight will be a blessing for Greene in the future and perhaps lead to a future title challenge against his only conqueror.

On Sunday, I’ll wrap up the 2010 preview review, scaling the final five weight classes covering the traditional glory and money divisions from middleweight to heavyweight.


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