Compiled By Jim Cawkwell.
|For the second consecutive year Don King brings us a boxing bonanza to feast upon, except that this time the fights are largely heavyweight attractions. Two heavyweight championships will be at stake as Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline fight for the IBF title while John Ruiz defends his WBA version against Andrew Golota. Hasim Rahman knows|
that beating Australia’s Kali Meehan will virtually assure him a shot at either the WBA or WBO titles while Evander Holyfield has been told that a win against Larry Donald will set him up for the title shot he so craves. The consequences of victory beyond November 13th are as plentiful as the complexities of each fight. Our saddoboxing.com writers have converged once again to bring you their predictions, read on for their breakdown of each fight.
Rahman-Meehan. An interesting match-up. I think Rahman’s big fight experience will stand him in good stead in this one. Rahman by unanimous decision.
Holyfield-Donald. How many more times will Holyfield go to the well? Although I have great respect for Holyfield’s past accomplishments, that's all he’s fighting on now. Holyfield will probably start well like he did against James Toney but he can no longer fight for sustained periods. Holyfield to probably win early rounds but to fade down the stretch losing a unanimous decision.
Byrd-McCline. This is a fight that could go either way. Byrd as we know has experience of fighting bigger men. For McCline to win this one he needs to pressure Byrd and not let him get into a rhythm. I think this will be the most competitive fight on the bill. However that being said I feel that Byrd has the big fight experience and McCline has the demons of the Klitschko fight where he just seemed to freeze. I predict that Byrd after surviving a few scares will box his way to a close, hard fought but unanimous decision.
Ruiz-Golota. Golota is coming off his best performance in years when he pushed IBF champion Chris Byrd to the limit back in April. Always in the back of everyone’s mind when Golota fights however is the indiscretions he showed against Riddick Bowe in two bouts he was clearly winning. Although he showed great discipline against Byrd, there’s again a chance he could stray against Ruiz. Ruiz has shown in fights against Holyfield, Johnson, Rahman and Oquendo that he’s a tough man to beat and I think it’s gonna be the same against Golota. I predict that Ruiz will mess Golota around, frustrating him on the way to winning a unanimous decision in a fight that's far from pretty.
Another big Don King card, the guy has been around for years and is never scared to match his fighters with the best around.
Chris Byrd, I see his fight against Jameel McCline going the distance with Byrd winning a unanimous decision.
John Ruiz just edges his fight with Andrew Golota by close unanimous decision or even a split decision.
As for Evander Holyfield, I“m one of the guys who thinks Holyfield should have retired ages ago, but I also remember saying he shouldn't have gone into the first Tyson fight, so I'll never write him off again. “The Real Deal’ via unanimous decision against Larry Donald, and hopefully his last fight as he's rich and has proven himself and his place in boxing history years ago.
Hasim Rahman I think will give us the first KO of the night and early against Kali Meehan.
There are some pretty even match-ups on this card and I wouldn’t give you a strong argument about any of my picks. ((just get some beers in and enjoy the action)).
Rahman-Meehan: Rahman by KO. Rahman's bad, Meehan's worse.
Holyfield-Donald: Holyfield by KO. Let's hope it's like a good trip to the dentist -quick and painless.
Byrd-McCline: Byrd on points. At the start of this fight, set your alarm to go off in about forty-five minutes, fluff up your pillow and settle down for a nice nap. Wake up just in time to hear the scorecards. Believe me, it'll be better that way.
Ruiz-Golota: Golota by KO. Why? I have no idea...
This card is worse than the apocalypse. If the world is going to end, pray it happens before Saturday night.
Rahman Vs Meehan: If Rahman's head is in the game, I think he'll KO Meehan inside six rounds. If Rahman is expecting an early stoppage and it doesn't come, he'll become despondent and Meehan will have a good chance of stealing the fight. Rahman's last three fights ended inside two rounds so he's got to be confident. Rahman KO 5.
Holyfield Vs Donald: Has Holyfield got anything left? How much did that beating that Toney laid on him take out of him? Holyfield has won two out of his last seven. It doesn't look good for “Vander. Donald has won four out of his last seven and hasn't been destroyed by Toney. Would it be an upset if Donald won? Donald KO 8.
Byrd Vs McCline: McCline is six-feet-six, weighed in at a massive 274 pounds for his last contest and has an eighty-two inch reach. Byrd is six-feet-one, weighed in at 210 pounds against Golota and has a seventy-four inch reach. Byrd has good boxing skills though. And I think he'll be able to get a unanimous decision. If McCline can get a big shot in though we'll see a repeat of when Byrd met Ike Ibeabuchi. Byrd UD.
Ruiz Vs Golota: I'm not a big Ruiz fan. Golota KO 7
Holyfield by split decision.
Ruiz by unanimous decision.
Rahman by knockout.
Byrd by unanimous decision.
Byrd-McCline: Arguably the most intriguing match up of a curious bill. Logic says it is an easy fight for Byrd; McCline froze the last time he fought at this level (Wladimir Klitischko (LKO10)), and although a big man, McCline has failed to impose himself as a legitimate threat after his mighty impressive blow out of Michael Grant (KO1), that made his name. But is Byrd slipping? He has not looked impressive since his decision win over Holyfield two years back. Both Oquendo and Golota could feel hard done by, in Byrd’s last two fights. I think McCline has a real chance, because he will not feel physically threatened by Byrd, like he was against Klitischko; and added to Byrd’s recent poor performances I believe McCline will upset the betting and come out on top by way of close but unanimous decision. McCline WU12.
Ruiz-Golota: The two biggest enigmas in the division. Ruiz is an honest pro, who is sadly remembered for his two worst performances; Tua (LKO1) and the Jones (LU12) fight. Golota has been in controversial fights since May 1995 when he took a chunk out of Samson Po’uha’s shoulder. Although Golota is coming off his draw with Chris Byrd I still see no evidence to suggest that when the going gets tough, Golota will rise to the occasion. I think although he will not get blown out of the way he was by Lewis or to a degree Tyson; Golota will not be able to cope with Ruiz awkward, ugly style. I wonder how Golota will respond when Ruiz starts using his head and frustrates Golota, by fighting dirty on the inside? I think this could be another controversial ending as an increasingly frustrated and desperate Golota either quits or gets himself DQ’d late in the fight, unable to cope with Ruiz. Ruiz WDQ10.
Rahman-Meehan: A total mismatch in my opinion; Meehan is nowhere near Rahman’s class. Apart from a decent effort last time out against Brewster (LS12) Meehan has beaten no one of any reasonable pedigree. Rahman is streaky but will be far too much for the big New Zealander. Rahman WKO3.
Holyfield-Donald: Again, this is going to be another mismatch; Holyfield has had put one solid effort in since his series against Lewis (his victory over Rahman); he is totally shot, it is always sad to see a great, fighting years past their best. Donald never fulfilled the potential he showed early in his career, but he has always been on the fringes, has good basic skills and a reasonable chin, more than enough to beat this version of Holyfield, rather easily. Donald WKO6.
Rahman-Meehan: Meehan SD12 - Meehan hasn't really fought anyone of note except Brewster and that fight was difficult to assess due to Brewster's unfathomable style. I think Rahman will just try and load up right hands all night and I can see the very tall Meehan being able to avoid them while doing just enough to win the rounds on points. Hasim has seemed a bit slothful of late and I wonder how hard he will have trained for Meehan.
Holyfield-Donald: Holyfield UD12 - Evander is forty-one (forty-two?) but Donald is also thirty-eight. It's tempting to predict an early to mid fight stoppage victory for Holyfield but his reflexes have been gone for a while now. Still, a faded, slow and sure to incur an injury during the fight Holy should still be able to do more meaningful things then Donald in order to take this.
Byrd-McCline: Byrd UD12 - Victory goes to the guy who throws more than twenty punches a round! I worry this could be a snoozer. Byrd is at heart a counter puncher and McCline can be very tentative with his shots. Byrd wins it no doubt and will school the somewhat still (in comparison) raw McCline. The only question is will we see the counter punching Byrd or the more aggressive Byrd, the one who tried to open up and trade with Fres Oquendo with disastrous results (the judges gave him that one but I thought he clearly lost). I can see Byrd hanging back and punishing McCline when the giant throws and misses. Soon McCline won't throw anymore and Byrd will continue to wait for countering opportunities.
Ruiz-Golota: Golota KO6 - Tempting to call this one by disqualification but that's no fun is it? Ruiz will probably ratchet up the wrestling in order to piss off Golota into a few groin shots but I think Golota is too good, too strong and too mean to let Ruiz off the hook. I think Ruiz's whole style is built around protecting a shaky chin and Golota is the best real heavyweight that Ruiz has ever stepped in with. I'm not sure it will even go
six. Afterwards there could be an all Eastern European unification fight between Vitali Klitschko and Golota. That would be a great fight!
Rahman-Meehan: Rahman has been staying busy as part of the Ballroom Boxing series, but struggling with guys like Al Cole doesn't speak well of the former world heavyweight champion. My first glimpse of Kali Meehan was his gutsy bout against WBO titlist Lamon Brewster in which I scored the fight in favor of Meehan. Now Rahman is no Brewster and I believe Rahman will give Meehan all he can handle so for now, I'm going with Rahman over Meehan by split decision. Rahman W12 Meehan
Holyfield-Donald: Groan...Oh, alright.....Holyfield broke his promise when he said that he'd retire if he ever got beaten up. Well, James Toney beat the Hell out of him and “The Real Deal’ is still here. Now he's facing Larry “The Legend’ Donald. I'm not sure how Donald earned the moniker but some people think “Coyote’ is a retarded name, so I shan't quibble. I don't know much about Donald so I can't comment about much but he's lost to the likes of Kirk Johnson and Vitali Klitschko while drawing with Obed Sullivan and defeating Tim Witherspoon. That being said, I'm reluctantly going with Holyfield by decision (Great Spirit help me.....). Holyfield W12 Donald.
Byrd-McCline: My KO sense is not tingling for this one. Unless you live on the moon or Uranus (Heh, heh......Uranus....), you know that Chris Byrd doesn't focus on closing the deal. Byrd does love to zip around, stick his tongue out and swat the Hell out of his opponent. That's why I enjoy his work. He's a boxer, first and foremost and he scores. It's his job. I think this is why I'm going with Byrd over twelve because although Jameel McCline is strong and outweighs Byrd by about sixty pounds, he won't catch the IBF titlist without a tuna net. Byrd has already proclaimed that he made the mistake of fighting his last two opponents' fights. Look for Byrd to prevail by sticking to the cutie style that got him where he is today. Byrd W12 McCline.
Ruiz-Golota: Now say what you will about a potential snoozefest but I think this one has the potential to delight us. The potential, I say. This doesn't mean they'll put out, mind you. Golota is still buzzed from his impressive showing against Chris Byrd this past April and now feels there's new life in his career. But this time, Golota isn't taking on a 215 pounder. He's taking on an infamously rough in-fighter in Johnny Ruiz who, whether you like it or not, has taken on some top guys in the past 3 years. THAT'S why Ruiz gets my props. Ruiz is coming off a disputed KO victory over Fres Oquendo and he wants to put “The Foul Pole’ in his place once and for all. Expect the WBA titlist to walk out of Madison Square Garden, belt intact, in one of two ways. 1. Ruiz KO or TKO 9 Golota or Ruiz DQ 7 Golota from Golota's absolute frustration from Ruiz' smothering style.
Tomorrow night, there is a big Don King bill in Madison Square Garden, arguably the home of boxing title fights featuring many fighters from the marquee division. So why don't we care? Let's have a look at the participants involved.
Chris Byrd (37-2-1) vs. Jameel McCline (31-3-1) (IBF Heavyweight belt)
Isn't Byrd the longest reigning current heavyweight champion? I don't know. He has great skills but his fights are the equivalent of a lap dance by an Eskimo. McCline has the size but fights like a man outweighed by sixty pounds instead of the other way around. Both nice guys, but I do not care who wins.
John Ruiz (40-5-1) vs. Andrew Golota (38-4-1) (WBA Heavyweight belt)
GO AWAY!!! Both of you. Please.
Hasim Rahman (39-5-1) vs. Kali Meehan (29-2) (WBO and WBA contender title shot on the line for Rahman).
Hasim apparently threw away a HBO contract in return for a suitcase full of cash. He then spent a few years wandering in the heavyweight wilderness (and being head butted by Mr. “Real Deal’), weighing in up to fifty-pounds overweight. He now seems serious. This doesn't look good for Meehan who had a nice scrap against Brewster but was knocked out in Ruiz time versus Danny Williams.
Evander Holyfield (38-7-2) vs. Larry Donald (41-3-2) (Title shot promised to Holyfield if he should win).
Does anyone know God? Can you ask Him to tell Holyfield to retire? And
Donald, you lost to Kirk Johnson. Yes, we know. It's no secret.
Monte Barrett (30-3) vs. Owen Beck (24-0)
Now this is the best fight on the card. A tough contender who gave Joe Mesi ,(remember him?) a brawl, before beating the “next big thing’ Dominick Guinn. Owen Beck has fought NO-ONE, but he is Jamaican (always tough), he is undefeated in twenty-four fights with eighteen knockouts. This should be a good brawl.
Oliver McCall (41-7) vs. DaVarryl Williamson (20-3)
Will the loser please retire? Will the winner please retire after their next loss? McCall is so old, he remembers Holyfield's third birthday party. Williamson has a Business Degree and a first round KO loss to Joe Mesi. Someone is throwing him a hint. Listen.
Remember to check back to saddoboxing.com for our writers predictions on all of the big fights.