This week SecondsOut’s army of writers have been kept busy predicting not just one big fight this weekend but THREE. In Buenos Aires, Argentina Sergio Martinez defends his world middleweight title against England’s Martin Murray, Danny Garcia defends his WBA and WBC light welterweight titles against Zab Judah in New York and Amir Khan takes on Julio Diaz in Sheffield, England.
See below who our army of writers think will be victorious this weekend.
Khan Vs Diaz
Amir says that he has finally learned his lesson and will box more rather than involved in a fight and I hope he sticks to his plan because if he does I think he can become a champion again. As far as the Diaz fight goes if Amir does box more then I see him being victorious and scoring an eighth round stoppage.
Khan tko 8
Martinez vs Murray
Sergio insists he’s had the best training camp ever but I’m not so sure after his recent knee injury. I do believe his best days are behind and this fight may just prove that. Murray I feel is very underrated approaching his prime and hits harder than some may think. I would not be surprised to see an upset here if Murray does not allow the big fight occasion to get to him. That said I see Martinez nicking a tight but unanimous decision. Martinez may win but Murray will have learned a great deal will eventually win a world title.
Garcia Vs Judah
I can only see one winner here. Judah is a tad past his prime whilst Garcia is in his. I get the feeling that as soon as Garcia lets his hands go the fight ends.
Garcia tko 6
Editor In Chief
Khan vs Diaz
Golden Boy has put together an unofficial tournament by matching Danny Garcia - Zab Judah followed by Lamont Peterson - Lucas Matthysse. Chances are that they are grooming the winner of this tournament to face Amir Khan. All of Golden Boy’s horses and all of Khan’s men are ensuring that his chin remains in tact so he could fight for a title again. In order to do this they penciled in Julio "The Kidd" Diaz, a natural lightweight, as his opponent. Diaz has been a pro for 14 years. Over a decade ago he suffered his first loss to none other than Angel Manfredy. It has also been over five years since Diaz was knocked out by the "Baby Bull" Juan Diaz, a fighter who later retired and made a come-back this month. But Diaz has a name and he deserved a win over the undefeated Shawn Porter in his last fight. That being said, I do not see how Khan allows this fight to go beyond three rounds.
Khan Ko 3
Martinez vs Murray
There is nothing not to like about Sergio Martinez. I have had the honor or covering his fights live in Atlantic City, and I’ve never been disappointed. He is one of the most athletic fighters to ever wear the middleweight crown, but he is also willing to mix it up and always puts an emphasis on closing the show. In his last fight he was rewarded for all the years of traveling and taking short money in order to raise his profile. He was suddenly headlining his own PPV against a guy, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., that brought out a mean streak we had not seen in "Maravilla". He was painting a masterpiece for 11 rounds when he suddenly ran out of gas, got caught, dropped, and had literally limped to the final bell. At 38, he is not only coming off his most important win, but also a knee injury that required surgery. His motivation is that he is finally fighting at home in Argentina; but I wonder if that is enough. Martin Murray is a solid middleweight who was robbed when he went into Germany and out-fought Felix Sturm, but had to settle for a draw. He has proven that he could perform in a hostile environment, and he is going to Argentina to win simply because he has yet to lose. Martinez previously struggled with Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, and I expect him to struggle on Saturday night. He still has one punch power to rescue him, but in this case I think it will be the judges that do so.
Martinez SD 12
Garcia vs Judah
I felt that Danny Garcia deserved to win the 2012 Fighter of the Year Award. He came from behind to knock out Amir Khan, and then gave Erik Morales every advantage (legal and illegal) and still scored a highlight-reel knockout. Garcia was hungry, humble, and he may have snuck up on his opponents. Now, he is facing a man who has been in the ring with the best of this era. A man who has had more career ups and downs than he would like to remember. A southpaw with speed, power, and the realization that this is his last chance (gotta be, right?). I would not be shocked if Judah pulled out the upset, but I can’t get his non-effort against Amir Khan out of my mind. I think this fight will play out like so many of Judah’s other big fights. He will start fast. Soon Garcia will adjust to Judah’s speed and begin to break him down with his underrated body attack. And when we hit the championship rounds, Judah will fade and get stopped. Should be fun to watch it unfold.
Garcia tko 11
Khan vs Diaz
I am not convinced Julio Diaz’ recent draw with Shawn Porter is an indicator of a renaissance for the former champion, but rather that the aforementioned prospect was a bit exposed for his limited ceiling of potential. Conversely, many in the boxing world are ready to throw out Khan as damaged goods. After two high profile defeats, the former champion needs to put in some good work and further establish himself as a main stay in the division. However, Khan needs to solve his identity crisis and focus on being a long range boxer and not an inside brawler. He can probably get away with more inside work against Diaz, but he must first break his many down from long range using his jab to control the pace and set up his power shots. Diaz’ chin is both reachable and dentable. I see a focused Khan getting in some good rounds under his new trainer to further gel their relationship and build upon their training camp together. Diaz will fight bravely, knowing his is an elder lion in the sport sensing his demise. I see a right hand ending the night after some sustained body work softens Diaz up.
Khan TKO 10.
Martinez vs Murray
The most important factor surrounding this fight, in my opinion, is how will Martinez’ mobility be impacted after his knee surgery? If Martinez is slowed even just a hair or two, I see the real possibility of an upset. Murray has looked solid since his draw with Felix Sturm and even looked to hit a little harder than his KO percentage indicates last time out stopping Jorge Navarro. We cannot overlook the fact that Martinez is so exciting in the ring because he is so vulnerable. His bouts with Williams I, Pavlik, Barker, Macklin, and Chavez have asserted this. Is Murray in that same league? I think so. Look for Murray to try to step into the role of the puncher as Martinez tries to box more safely with a noticeable loss of mobility and perhaps anxiety. Murray will have his success in spots and even appear to have Martinez in trouble at some point. However, the Argentine champion will be charged by his home country.The fight will take a turn in the later rounds as the championship experience in Martinez takes over. He may even showboat a little as his faster hands begin finding Murray more frequently and from more angles. He will not need any heroics this time as Murray wilts late and possibly hits the canvas in the final round or two.
Martinez W 12
Garcia vs Judah
I have written Zab Judah off many time, but he always seems to muster a necessary win over a respectable opponent to remain relevant in the game. Danny Garcia is not as good as his inflated ego and reputation portray him as. Judah, while still capable of fighting, is not capable of winning a big fight. His mental fortitude and stamina have plagues him in every significant fight he’s had outside of his rematch with Cory Spinks. Garcia can punch, but I think his power has been slightly overestimated by the chin and age of Amir Khan and Erik Morales. It does not take one punch KO power to solve the Judah riddle though. It just takes time. If Garcia and fight as he has for six or seven rounds,he will build a substantial lead over Judah. Once Judah falls behind his mental game begins to break down. In the end, we will see Zab complaining to the referee and looking to him for help from fouls that aren’t even being committed. For some reason, I see Judah standing his ground in this one. He will tire, but I don’t see him folding.
Garcia W 12