By: Scott Gilfoid
Heavyweight Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KO’s) will be in the ring this Saturday night in what could be an excellent showcase fight on Showtime against the towering 6’6″ Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KO’s) in what could be the best fight of the card head-lined by Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO’s) defending his IBF 175 lb. trap against Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO’s) at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.
The Deontay-Firtha fight will be most interesting bout on the card because it matched two huge heavyweights that will be trading bombs from the get go. Firtha may not be a top world class heavyweight right now, but he’s got class power. There’s definitely nothing wrong with the kind of power that Firtha’s packing.
Deontay, 6’7″, is being groomed for a world title shot against one of the Klitschko brothers in 2014. It could be WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, as Deontay has been pushed up to the #3 by the World Boxing Council. It also could be IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, because he came out last week saying that he’s interested in a fight against Deontay once he’s ranked high enough to make the fight happen. Deontay is currently ranked #3 WBC, #4 WBO, #6 WBA, #13 IBF. The oddball ranking is clearly the IBF, because they seem to have their rankings upside down by having Deontay near the bottom instead of the top. The IBF’s top 5 contenders are as follows: Kubrat Pulev, Ruslan Chagaev, Bryant Jennings, Tomasz Adamek and Odlanier Solis. The only fighter I rate out of that bunch if Pulev, and he can’t crack eggs with his punches.
Prediction: Deontay stops Firtha in 1st round KO
The Hopkins-Murat fight will be slightly interesting because it involves B-Hop, but it could turn into a very dull mismatch due to Hopkins huge talent and experience advantage over Murat. I’m kind of put off by this fight remembering how easily Nathan Cleverly beat Murat in 2010. That’s enough for me not to have any interest in the fight because it’s going to be one-sided from start to finish. Hopkins hasn’t knocked out anyone in nine years since he stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the 9th round in September 2004. You can’t expect Hopkins to be able to stop even a fighter like Murat with that kind of a dry spell between KO wins. What that means is we’re likely going to see a boring fight where Hopkins dominates the badly outclassed Murat.
Prediction: Hopkins by dull 12 round unanimous decision over Murat
The least interesting fight on the card involves WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KO’s) facing Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KO’s). This fight is going to end in a quick knockout if Rosado doesn’t run from Quillin like he did earlier this year in his 7th round TKO loss to WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Rosado moved up in weight for that fight from the junior middleweight division, and that’s where he should be fighting at, not in the middleweight division. I’d like to see Quillin face a good middleweight instead of facing junior middleweights. Quillin had a disappointing first defense of his WBO strap against Fernando Guerrero last April. Boxing fans were hoping that Quillin would fight Golovkin, but instead he chose to fight Guerrero, and that fight was an easy 7th round TKO victory for Quillin.
Prediction: Look for Quillin to KO Rosado in 2 rounds