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The Weekend TV Cheat Sheet

Perry / Kayode - Photo © Tom Casino/Showtime
Perry / Kayode - Photo © Tom Casino/Showtime

This weekend’s boxing schedule endured more last-minute cancelations, changes, and substitutions than the first round of Showtime’s “Super Six” tourney. Until wrecked by medical ailments, the line-up of fights was the opposite of what boxing fans were treated to last week. Only six days ago, HBO and Showtime featured six top ten-rated fighters squaring off against one another and threw in two other top ten-rated boxers on the undercard. That was presented to fans as part of their cable package for a nominal sum (during concurrent free preview weekends, to boot). In spite of headliner Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. falling out with a fever, the “In Harm’s Way” show goes on and fans will still be asked to part with a PPV fee. Don’t look for the asking price to be reduced either. The Telefutura card was similarly struck with a last-minute pullout when Mexican prospect Pablo Cano came down with the flu. He’s replaced with an 18-1 Gilberto Gonzalez, that lost to a 2-1-1 opponent and whose opponents climbed into the ring with an average record of 3-4-.5 (and I was generous in rounding up). Showtime does their usual level best with the “ShoBox” presentation tonight, matching up-and-coming prospects against the best competition of their short careers. All-in-all, a letdown when compared with last weekend’s action.

December 3rd (Friday), 2010
At The Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA

(Showtime) Luis Franco (7-0) vs. Eric Hunter (15-1)
(Showtime) Lateef Kayode (14-0) vs. Ed Perry (18-4-2)

Ed Perry - On paper, Perry is an aging 34-year-old who found a second wind defeating his last eight opponents. In reality, Perry started boxing late at age 21 and was fed to the wolves, collecting losses to European boxers with great amateur backgrounds who feasted on Perry’s inexperience. He is a late bloomer to be sure and might have finally amassed enough experience and skills to handle larger challenges like Kayode, something Perry hinted toward in recent interviews. “I’ve had a few tests, so I know what it takes. I know how a real test feels, too. When it comes to experience, I think I’ve got him beat hands down. It should be a good test for him. Me seeing what Lateef can do and knowing what I can do, this should be a good Showtime fight for everybody. That’s what we are – entertainers." Though Perry has been on a hot streak, it would be more impressive if more than one of his recent victims had a winning record. His last opponent was 0-2 and Perry has a loss and draw against 3-7 Carl Gathright that does not inspire. Activity is a plus for Perry, fighting three times this year, but in previous two years, he only made three ring appearances. He is a solid cruiserweight, fought as high as 220 pounds but is not particularly muscular or packs one-punch power. Best performance came three years ago, when Perry held upstart Shawn Hawk to an eight-round draw and he also had a respectable split decision loss to heavyweight Nicolai Firtha. Best asset is his chin, having never been stopped and I could find no record of his hitting the canvas. Because Perry lacks speed, that chin gets tested but he rolls nicely with punches and sees them early enough to begin evasive moves. Outside of a good jab, nothing stands out on offense and even Perry’s 45% kayo ratio is higher than he actually punches, considering the weak opposition it came against. Doubles up on the jab and uses it well on offense to both score points and disrupt the timing of an opponent’s offense. Right hand is his sucker punch, which is used as a counter instead of lead and is more effective than debilitating. Perry is easy to categorize, a tough guy who can soak up punishment and tests opponents’ commitment and ability to stick to a game plan.

Lateef Kayode – California-based Nigerian has an impressive stoppage record with 13 kayos in 14 bouts (93% kayo ratio) and his last name is simply made for boxing. Nickname of “Power” does nothing to conceal his most potent weapon and is what will draw Kayode a solid following. You only need to know one thing about Kayode’s potential; he is trained by none other than Freddie Roach and has been given positive reviews by veterans at the Wild Card Gym. Rounded out a solid amateur career by taking second place in the All-Africa tourney, losing to Tunisian 2008 Olympian Mourad Sahraoui. Had plenty of international seasoning though and could be more complete than given credit for but only through better opposition will we see that. At 27, is a mature prospect and physically able to make the choice to be a small heavyweight or big cruiserweight. I would rate him along the lines of a Jean-Marc Mormeck in that sense. Kayode has never scaled above 210 pounds and in five appearances in 2010, came in at 199 pounds. Despite kayo ratio, I would not consider him a one-punch knockout artist; instead he puts great leverage into punches and it is the considerable speed he generates that stuns foes. Is on a 13-fight kayo streak but has only been eight rounds once because of those stoppages. Sleek and elongated build is not as perfectly sculpted as some cruisers (Steve Cunningham, for instance), with his chest and arms able to hold ten more pounds of muscle comfortably. Would even go as far as to say Kayode looks larger than he is. On defense, holds a high guard when pulling out of engagements but needs to move his head more instead of only bobbing at the waist. Pops a solid jab and dealt well with a speedy Marcus Dickerson’s punches but looked one-dimensional and lacking options in a pedestrian win over Alfredo Escalera Jr. Has a penchant of moving his hands needlessly before punching, might just be a tick, thus taking away some accuracy. Right hand is Kayode’s payoff punch while the left still loops but has been thrown much more since he’s worked with Freddie Roach. Despite looking like a killer S.O.B., is said to have a great work ethic and behaves in a courteous manner to all outside of the ring. If bulked up properly, could develop into the best young American-based heavyweight, along with Seth Mitchell, over the next couple years. But for now, and rightfully so, the cruiserweight class is what Kayode and his team are focused on.

Verdict - Choosing the winner in this fight is not difficult; the manner in which Kayode wins is the only question. Perry’s reliable chin and experience against quality European boxers makes him a tough nut to crack and if Kayode is not patient, it could turn into an ugly affair with a lot of holding. Kayode’s superior athleticism and speed will allow him to connect with his punches but he has to be smart in putting them together to get the stoppage. He did not show that ability against Escalera Jr. but a higher connect percentage against the slow Perry should cause a referee-induced stoppage between the fifth and seventh round.

Eric Hunter - A dangerous product of the tough Philly gym system, which Hunter matriculated through as an amateur and professional. 24-year-old is fundamentally sound, gaining a lot of experience over a 176-4 (Juan Manuel Lopez accounted for one loss) record as an amateur. Capped that portion of his career as a 2004 Olympic alternate and turned pro at age 19 instead of waiting four years for another Olympic run. As a pro, Hunter has had a rash of bad luck including a broken hand in his only loss and eye surgery that kept him out of the ring for over a year between 2008 and 2009. A five-year pro now but with only 16 fights, which Hunter has been working to correct of late with this being his fifth ring appearance of 2010. Hunter lost his sixth bout (a controversial split decision) but has rebounded to knock out his last four opponents to include one-time prospect Leon Bobo. Style-wise, likes to keep both feet under him, only taking long steps when chasing a hurt foe or cutting off the ring. Otherwise, Hunter likes to stay stationary and look for openings made by foes that his fast hands can exploit. Maintains control of the pace with intelligent movement and has the quickness to lead with a left or right hand out of an orthodox stance. On defense, left hand is unreasonably low (tangling at his knees at times) but Hunter’s reflexes allow him to get away with it as well as pulling his head and exposed chin straight back. Leads opponents into a quick, straight, right hand that comes up the middle by voluntarily retreating, then setting his feet quickly to catch incoming opponents on the wrong foot. Is in his physical prime and wins over lanky Leon Bobo and former title challenger Roberto Bonilla were easier than anticipated. A 50% kayo ratio speaks to Hunter’s stinging punches, which catch the judges’ attention even if they do not debilitate the opponent. Overall, I find his style a bit reminiscent of Nate Campbell but based on accuracy and smarts more than quickness and instincts. I also like Hunter’s fighting spirit, not shying away from challenging fights and displaying plenty of confidence. “I am not looking past Franco; he is a tough test for me. But after I get by Franco, I want to fight the top guys in the division. I am ready to be a World Champion." If luck is finally gotten by Hunter’s side, he has the tools to work his way to a title shot.

Luis Franco – Another in the recent string of fantastic Cuban amateur talents to defect to the west and try their fists at the pro game of boxing. In an odd way, it was teammates Yuriorkis Gamboa and Odlanier Solis who sealed Franco’s fate with their defections. The Cuban government lost faith in that entire squad, so even though Franco was not implicated, he was left off the 2008 Cuban Olympic team. A decade ago, Franco splashed on the scene by winning the junior world championships, followed by a quarterfinal run in the 2004 Olympics. Was unjustly removed from the international scene before the 2008 Olympics because of Cuba’s wariness of more defections at international competitions. So it seemed natural when Franco did defect and quickly racked up seven wins with five stoppages. Showed professional moxie throwing low blows in his last fight, slowing an overanxious and speedy Wilton Hilario to a cautious pace. At 28, is still near or at his prime and Franco’s dispatching of veteran survivors Yogli Herrera and Walter Estrada (who just upset Nate Campbell) were professional works of art. Franco was dropped by Herrera but did not seem hurt and retaliated with two knockdowns of his own and a stoppage. Learned to avoid the pitfalls of other Cuban defectors by talking with successful transplants Gamboa and Guillermo Rigondeaux. “They have given me advice, especially with the experiences they went through when they first fought as professionals.” Competed in over 400 amateur bouts, two of which were victories over Yuriorkis Gamboa (most reports have them spitting their series 2-2) and two more wins over current rising star Erislandy Lara. Franco might have been an even better amateur if he did not have such a pro style, predicated on power and forward movement instead of long-distance accuracy. Never seems off-balance when throwing shots and his hand speed is accentuated by accuracy. Franco says he molds his style after Sugar Ray Leonard, “He was fast and liked to throw punches in bunches. That’s how I like to fight." At 5’8", has good size for a featherweight and that frame will be used by trainer Orlando Cuellar, who guided Glen Johnson to success over the years. Franco sounds like he is ready. “I want to fight Chris John, Juan Manuel Lopez, Celestino Caballero, and Gamboa again. I fought Gamboa as an amateur. I fought Lara and Rigondeaux as an amateur. I can fight anybody right now. I came to here to rip heads and I’d like to fight for a world title before my tenth fight.” Manager Henry Foster, who was to retire with current client Glen Johnson, has decided to keep working because of Franco. “The chance to manage Franco kept me in the game; Luis has great ring generalship acquired through over 400 fights. He has hand speed equal to or better than anyone else in his weight class. He is extremely elusive and hits without getting hit in return. He has no fear and will fight any opponent. Altogether, he’s just the whole package."

Verdict - This is a very intriguing fight that will prepare the winner for a top-15 opponent, while the loser learns enough from the setback to work his back into contention. When looking at this pair, everything that Hunter does, Franco does slightly better and faster. Franco also does it without as much forethought and is smoother and more attuned to finding the right distance from which to throw punches. The other key is Franco’s superior defense and Hunter won’t be able to get away with his low left guard against someone as accurate as Franco. Hunter has more flash but the cleaner more effective punches of Franco will impress the judges who apportion him a three or four point victory on the scorecards.

December 4th (Saturday), 2010
At The Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

(PPV) Humberto Soto (53-7-2) vs. Urbano Antillon (28-1)
(The Ring magazine #2 lightweight vs. #8)
(WBC lightweight belt)
(PPV) Nonito Donaire (24-1) vs. Volodymyr Sydorenko (22-2-2)
(The Ring magazine #5 pound-for-pound/#4 junior bantamweight vs. #10 bantamweight)
(PPV) Miguel Garcia (23-0) vs. Olivier Lontchi (18-1-2)

Olivier Lontchi - I was impressed enough with Lontchi to list him as a “Boxer to keep an eye on” in a 2009 preview article, noting his toughness and willingness to take on big challenges in spite of limited pro experience. The Canadian, by way of Cameroon, won my admiration in a tough ten-round fight with road-tested Mexican Eduardo Garcia. He overcame a first-round knockdown and battled back valiantly to earn a draw. That’s right, a draw. Not every prospect has to have a perfect record and I’d rather they lose to a superior opponents instead of the soft touches that pad most contenders’ records. Lontchi’s mid-round rally was inspiring, nearly stopping Garcia in the eighth round. If it were a 12-round bout, Lontchi would have gotten the decision. The speedy combination-puncher followed countryman Herman Ngoudjo to Canada but in his only bout outside of Canada, lost to Juan Manuel Lopez in America. No shame in that and Lontchi did not stop throwing punches even though accurate counterpunches were catching him flush. Succumbed to the Puerto Rican’s power in the ninth round, lacking the seasoning to revert to a Plan B or physicality to overwhelm the faster champion. The Lopez loss took place a year-and-a-half ago and unfortunately, Lontchi has not fought since, so his timing and fitness has to be called into question, given the long layoff. Lontchi is trained by former champion Otis Grant, who continues to think and speak highly of his fighter. “Pound for pound, he is one of the strongest guys we have in the gym; I wouldn’t hesitate for a second putting him in with any of the champions at 122 pounds." And they did with “JuanMa” and now they have moved up in weight and are taking on the best prospect in the weight class six pounds from where they last fought. So some of that physical advantage will be lost and speed is the one category in which Lontchi is only average. Defense is not as poor as the Lopez fight suggests and Lontchi showed his willingness to take a punch to try and land one of his own in that setback. As I said in the opening, Lontchi has a fighter’s attitude and is not afraid to take risks and fight anyone anywhere. This fight against Garcia is more proof of that and if Lontchi’s confidence is not ruined by the “JuanMa” loss, he remains dangerous.

Miguel Garcia – One of boxing’s many overlooked, feel-good stories, Garcia is a dedicated boxer in the ring who graduated from the Ventura County Police Academy a couple months ago. Has a great team around him, starting with undervalued trainer and older brother Robert Garcia. Robert was an IBF junior lightweight champion and is one of boxing’s best young trainers. “Mikey’s” manager is Cameron Dunkin, a longtime associate of numerous boxing world champions and one of boxing’s true insiders. The Oxnard product has lived the game and seems to have an innate sense of the ring that cannot be taught. Was 58-7 as an amateur, despite using the bouts to further his pro potential and style instead of hunting for national tourney successes. There is no hesitation in this kid when throwing punches; they come at sharp and straight angles with a velocity born of perfect balance. Showed a ton of maturity outboxing former title challenger Walter Estrada, despite breaking a finger early in that fight, and Garcia has stopped 11 of his last 13 opponents. Mature beyond his years, often sparring with Israel Vazquez, Garcia has displayed real stopping power in his right hand without overusing it. Is still developing a ring persona but has shown the ability and diversity to beat opponents with speed, power, or movement. Calm ring demeanor is unnerving for such a young fighter (he is 22), reminiscent of the way Marco Antonio Barrera hunted down opponents behind a poker face that featured no emotion. Steadily increased the level of opposition and will need to be at his physical if not mental best to cope with what Lontchi brings to the fight. Finally went into double-digit rounds in his last fight, against veteran test Cornelius Lock, but only been eight rounds on two other occasions. So, the 12-round distance is less of a concern if this bout gets that far. The only hiccup to date for Garcia was a knockdown suffered against Walter Estrada but it can be forgiven, considering the lefty power-puncher entered with a 34-6 record. I rate Garcia one of the best prospects with less than 25 bouts to his resume and, based on his pedigree and form in the last three fights, as close to a surefire future champion as someone can be.

Verdict – In the loss to Juan Manuel Lopez, Lontchi showed vulnerability to counters and also an inability to make tactical changes. In Garcia, Lontchi faces a bigger version of Lopez, who has displayed the same uncanny ability to select the proper punch for small openings. Moving up a weight class will not help Lontchi, since he relies on breaking down opponents with his strength and inside skills. Garcia’s feet are too good for Lontchi, allowing Garcia to win the fight from the outside. Lontchi’s timing will be affected by the long layoff and not allow him to gain an early advantage. Lontchi would need to plant a seed of doubt in Garcia’s still-maturing mindset. Look for a replay of the “JuanMa” loss, with the similarly accurate and naturally stronger Garcia getting the job done in six instead of nine rounds.

Urbano Antillon – Born in Mexico but raised in America, Antillon started boxing age ten, establishing an average amateur career he estimates at 25-15. Did not see the sport as his future profession, so Antillon didn’t put much effort into it and lacked motivation to excel or build a better résumé in the unpaid ranks. Despite this, won the 2000 National Golden Gloves, defeating good pro Anthony Mora and future champion Paulie Malignaggi en route to his lone title. I would categorize Antillon as an aggressive stalker, who has good enough feet to cut off escape paths and allows him to move into position for well-placed body shots from the outside. In majority of wins, went the volume route wearing opponents down with consistent pressure and trapping foes on the ropes whenever possible. In a win over Tyrone Harris, displayed good accuracy and a before unused jab, which was needed after Antillon was cut badly in the third round. Showed calmness and adaptability, allowing his corner to get the flow of blood under control before knocking Harris out, three rounds later. So there is some versatility to be had with Antillon. 69% kayo ratio is a testament to relentlessness, with opponents worn down by mental pressure as much as thumping punches. Lone loss came to talented Miguel Acosta for an interim title and the scores were even when Antillon was stopped by an uppercut he never saw. That loss was his first with new trainer Abel Sanchez and they have bonded more over the last couple fights. The pair improved his strength with weights and upper body exercises, without lowering his already average speed. That will be rewarded when Antillon gets his way and works on the inside, raking the body and grinding out wins. Antillon says of his relationship with Sanchez, "I’m back to where I was when I was younger. It was a thrill to come to the gym and it’s like that again. I haven’t felt like this in a very long time. It was just my job before. Now I wake up in the morning looking forward to my run. It’s great." Turned pro at age 18 and after ten years of seasoning, the blue-collar worker has matured into a legitimate threat rated in the top ten by The Ring magazine.

Humberto Soto - Bob Arum is doing his best to turn the hard-charging banger into the next Antonio Margarito (minus the controversy), featuring Soto on the Manny Pacquiao–Joshua Clottey undercard and as a headliner of FOX Sports broadcasts. However, Soto is generating a lot of trash talk from contenders for backing out of fights and taking bouts against limited foes recently. Aggressive style and highlight reel stoppages cause many to overlook the way Soto sets up wins with malicious forethought, which he implores critics to notice. “I work very hard in the gym to learn different things. I’m a technical boxer. I think my strongest point is my counterpunching.” Outside of an unexpectedly lopsided loss to Joan Guzman in 2007, Soto was a beast at junior lightweight. Lacked a high-profile rival to elevate him in the consciousness of boxing fans though, which is why he moved up to lightweight to win a vacant alphabet title against David Diaz. Won and made four title defenses at 130 pounds and has been battling elite foes since 2002. Born into boxing as well, his cousin Hugo Cazares was a champion and his father was an amateur boxer. Began to fight at age seven and had approximately 60 amateur bouts. Won a national title but never participated in international tourneys that would have given him more seasoning. Turned pro at 17, capturing American fans’ attention, handing Rocky Juarez his first loss on HBO. Came up the hard way, learning while losing five fights early in his career. Soto had the perfect combination of speed, size, and kayo power at 130 pounds. Not so sure at 135 but his consistent pressure and aggressive assaults translate well at any weight. Given the way Guzman absorbed and counterpunched him at lightweight, there is some doubt about Soto at 135. Soto is deceptively fast, landing solid combinations because of how quickly he closes the distance with his feet as much as pure hand speed. Is rarely on the wrong foot or unable to throw a punch when an unexpected opening presents itself, again a product of his balance and educated feet. Has put in 425 rounds as a pro in 63 bouts, keeping a busy pace for the 30-year-old, who looks in his prime. Soto has not lost since 2007, outside of a bogus disqualification, and looked dominating but not impressive, pounding David Diaz into retirement. A potential star searching for an opponent to take him to the next level, Soto needs to be featured now because action fighters like him can burn out unexpectedly.

Verdict – In style, Soto is everything Antillon aspires to be and has achieved it because of the one thing Antillon lacks compared with Soto...a great set of wheels. Where Antillon rushes and reaches, Soto accomplishes the task in quick decisive steps, anticipating an opponent’s movement with blocking strides. Soto can make this fight easy by staying on the outside and with his feet, will make Antillon take irreversible steps into punches. Soto is slightly faster and better on defense as well and Antillon is not as intelligent a ring tactician. Antillon is the naturally stronger man but without the ability to cut off the ring, cannot force a pace to slow Soto. I doubt Soto stops Antillon, unless he cuts him, but would not be surprised if Soto wins ten of 12 rounds.

Volodymyr Sydorenko – At beginning of his career, fought as Wladimir Sidorenko in American ringside reports. Like many Eastern European boxers, had an extensive amateur career, compiling a 290-20 record over 13 years. Sydorenko won a European championship as well as a bronze in the 2000 Olympics. Defeated the likes of pro champions Omar Narvaez and Daniel Ponce De Leon in the unpaid ranks, doing so with a volume-based attack vice the distance fencing matches usually rewarded in the amateurs. Upon turning pro, gained the nickname of "Powerhouse", more for his stocky and muscular physique than actual punching power. He really does sport great musculature, with the bulk of his weight spread across a large upper body and shoulders. Stamina is the most impressive part of Sydorenko’s game, seemingly tireless in his volume of punches with little variance from round one to 12. That pressuring style is how Sydorenko wins, surging forward and outworking opponents who have added the mental strain of knowing the volume is not likely to decrease as they tire. Sydorenko did show his technical side in one title fight, when faced with the stronger Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, who was able to lean, push, and outmuscle Sydorenko on the inside. To avoid this, Sydorenko used a halting jab and pivoted around the Thai to find the right distance to throw combinations from the outside. Sydorenko is not afraid to travel, defending his title in France and Japan. Panamanian southpaws are his Kryptonite, drawing twice with Ricardo Cordoba and suffering two losses to Anselmo Moreno. That duo just has the answer for everything Sydorenko tries but even those setbacks were close with Sydorenko winning some rounds decisively. Sydorenko’s workaholic style is not always pretty, sometimes throwing off-balance punches too early or while chasing and he is not afraid to get inside and turn fighting into mauling affairs when to his advantage. Timing and accuracy are also factors in his overall soundness and professionalism. At age 34, Sydorenko could be slipping just a notch. He was never the speediest to begin with, doing his best work by thinking one step ahead of his opponent. Favors his right hand but in limited time with trainer Freddie Roach, was able to work on his left though it never developed into a game changer. Sydorenko has fought twice in last 19 months; wins over Joseph Agbeko and Poonsawat shows Sydorenko can beat elite fighters and he should have a sense of desperation since this could be his last title shot, given his age and roughhouse style.

Nonito Donaire – Despite Donaire’s knockout of Vic Darchinyan, one of the last decade’s best, I remained unsure about his legitimacy until recently. Given five title defense victories since then, over well-qualified Moruti Mthalane, Luis Maldonado, and Raul Martinez, my skepticism flew in the face of reality. I have made a 180-degree reversal and now accept him as an elite fighter, although I cannot agree with his ranking by The Ring magazine as the #5 pound-for-pound boxer, especially given that Donaire has only defeated two top ten-rated opponents. At 28, Donaire is in his prime and has a wealth of amateur experience to fall back upon, if ever in a crisis. Now trained Robert Garcia, Donaire was so comfortable in his last fight that he toyed and worked on tricks against tough Hernan Marquez before knocking him out. His all-around boxing skills are multiplied by abundant hand speed and, despite a 5’6” frame, Donaire is a good body puncher. Moniker of “Filipino Flash” is justified and he hides those flashes of power behind a stiff blinding jab. Of course, the Filipino (who competed for a spot on the American Olympic team, losing to Brian Viloria but also defeating James Kirkland in the amateurs) lives in the shadow of Manny Pacquiao but Donaire’s visibility is rising around the world with the aid of Showtime appearances. Before winning title, held his own in sparring with Zahir Raheem, Joel Casamayor, and Manny Pacquiao. One flaw with Donaire is that he gives up too much of the ring to weaker opponents but that could just be his fighting preference to encourage foes into punches. Donaire moves backward and sideways well, luring opponents into mistakes as they advance. This worked to perfection against Vic Darchinyan, dropping the cocky Armenian with a left hook worthy of The Ring’s “KO of the Year” award in 2007. Kayos are what inspire Donaire. "I always want to look for a knockout.  That is the best way to victory you can achieve in a fight. I don’t want to be cocky or sound cocky but that is the best motivation for a fight and what I keep in my head." He should be more active (four fights in the last two years) and Top Rank has promised to remedy that in 2011. While Donaire has been inactive, other talented boxers in his weight class have scored career-enhancing wins. Donaire is not a part of Showtime’s great bantamweight tourney either, missing out on potential defining moments again. It is hard to find a fault with Donaire in any area but opposition. However, Donaire can develop into a top attraction if a proposed fight against Fernando Montiel materializes. For that to happen, Donaire must first get by a dangerous Sydorenko hurdle tomorrow.

Verdict – The old adage is “Styles make fights,” and Donaire is the worst possible style for a Sydorenko, who struggled with movers like Ricardo Cordoba and Anselmo Moreno. Granted, those two were southpaws but Donaire can fight effectively as a southpaw and is too nimble for Sydorenko in either stance. As much as Donaire might look for the stoppage, Sydorenko is tough and because of his forward momentum, will force Donaire to fight off the back foot preventing a kayo. The fight could have some drama in the late rounds if Sydorenko gets to Donaire’s body early but otherwise, Donaire stays on the outside and picks apart the slower Ukrainian. Because of Sydorenko’s attacking style, the referee will not find a spot to stop the fight and Sydorenko could suffer a bad beating as a result. I like Donaire by wide unanimous decision.

Prediction record for 2010 to date: 84% (213-40)


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