SHOWTIME 9:00 PM, Saturday, October 20th, 2012 from The Barclays Center, New York City, NY
Danny Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) vs. Erik Morales (52-8, 36 KOs)
Weight Class: Junior Welterweight (140 Pounds)
Title: Garcia’s WBC and WBA Titles
Analysis: This is a rematch of their March fight which Garcia won by unanimous decision. He picked up the vacant WBC title in that bout. The title did belong to Morales, but was vacated when Morales failed to make weight. Garcia would then pick up the WBA title in July when he scored a fourth round stoppage win over Amir Khan. Morales has not fought since losing to Garcia. I believe Garcia will successfully retain his titles in this rematch. Garcia won the first bout fairly easily. Yes, Morales put on a good show, but the result was never in doubt. Now we enter the rematch with Garcia flying high off of his upset win over Khan and Morales entering the bout an older man and fighter. I see no reason to expect the aging warrior to flip the script in the rematch. I like Garcia to win this bout based on youth, an improving skill set, and stamina. Morales will hear the final bell, but the result will not be in question.
Prediction: Garcia 118-110
Paul Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KOs) vs. Pablo Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs)
Weight Class: Welterweight (147 Pounds)
Title: Malignaggi’s WBA Title
Analysis: This will be Malignaggi’s first defense of the WBA title he won from Vyacheslav Senchenko this past April. Malignaggi has a fast jab, good foot movement, and solid defense. His power, however, is non-existent. As for Cano, he is small for this weight. He should probably be fighting closer to 135 pounds. Cano is also only three fights removed since suffering a stoppage loss to Erik Morales in September of 2011. I bring that up because, at this stage of their respective careers, Malignaggi possesses the greater skill set. I think Malignaggi will box his way to a decision victory. He will beat Cano to the punch and use a rare size advantage to his favor.
Prediction: Malignaggi 116-112
Peter Quillin (27-0, 20 KOs) vs. Hassan N’Jikam (27-0, 17 KOs)
Weight Class: Middleweight (160 Pounds)
Title: The Vacant WBO Title
Analysis: I believe this is a tossup fight. While Quillin is the big named prospect, N’Jikam is a dangerous opponent. He can move and punch. N’Jikam’s last three opponents have been solid tests unlike Quillin who will now be fighting someone not coming off a loss for the first time in his last six bouts. Both fighters have good power, but we don’t know a whole lot about their chins. Quillin’s chin has never been tested while N’Jikam’s chin did look vulnerable in his bout against Giovanni Lorenzo. Both chins will be tested considering the defensive deficiencies of both fighters. While I think N’Jikam will make a good show and possibly win this bout, I am picking Quillin. He is the home town fighter and his promoter, Golden Boy, is running the show. He will get every sincle benefit of the doubt. Give me Quillin by close, controversial decision.
Prediction: Quillin 116-112
Randall Bailey (43-7, KOs) vs. Devon Alexander (23-1, KOs)
Weight Class: Welterweight (147 Pounds)
Title: Bailey’s IBF Title
Analysis: This will be Bailey’s first defense of the IBF title he won by knocking out Mike Jones in round 11 this past June. Alexander is the younger, more skilled fighter. He moves better, has faster hands, and possesses the better defense. As for Bailey, he is getting old. Bailey has a deadly right hand that can end fights in a heartbeat, but he doesn’t pull the trigger like he once did. In his title winning performance against Mike Jones, Bailey was being out boxed for nine plus rounds before he finally threw and landed the right. I expect Alexander to box his way to a comfortable win in this bout. As Bailey ages, it will only get harder to pull the trigger. Add in a mover and quick fighter like Alexander and it does not bode well for the titlist.
Prediction: Alexander 117-111