Ortiz and Collazo set for Brooklyn battle!

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On January 30, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, hosts the eagerly anticipated matchup between southpaws ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz and Luis Collazo who will battle it out for the WBA International title.

The former welterweight world title-holders will let their fists do the talking this Thursday, in what is a high-stakes fight for both fighters. Defeat for either man does not mean that they will consider retirement, but in the context of working towards another world title shot, it would be damaging.

Ortiz (29-4-2, 22KO’s), was the WBC welterweight champion after a unanimous points victory over Andre Berto in April 2011, but has since lost two in a row. Floyd Mayweather Jr knocked the Kansas native out in four rounds in September 2011 to get his hands on the WBC strap, and Josesito Lopez upset the odds to beat Ortiz (who suffered a broken jaw during the contest), in nine rounds in June 2012. That was Ortiz’ last outing, so he comes in to this fight with Collazo after a 19-month layoff.

Collazo (34-5, 17KO’s), held the WBA World welterweight title from April 2005 to May 2006, before dropping a close unanimous points decision to Ricky Hatton. The Brooklyn native went on to lose a wide points decision to ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley (for the interim WBC welterweight title), in February 2007 and a close points decision to Andre Berto (for the WBC welterweight title), in January 2009. Since the loss to Berto, Collazo, 32, has resurrected his career with five wins in six fights – which includes claiming the WBA International welterweight title in his last fight. He comes in to this Ortiz fight as the in-form fighter.

Ortiz turns 27 this Friday, so victory over Collazo would be the perfect perfect birthday present, but not only that, it would boost his confidence and reignite his career after two successive defeats – as previously mentioned.
This is no easy fight for either of these fighters, but both feel in tremendous shape and both are hungry to win, so there should be no excuses whoever loses and boxing fans should be in for a real treat come fight night.

Ortiz has a fan-friendly style as he is aggressive and has punching power, but he is vulnerable too. Many in the boxing world question Ortiz’ heart, but if asked to go to war on January 30, I am sure he is more than up to the task.
Collazo is a resilient fighter who has been involved in his fair share of battles. He is certainly no easy pushover, so if Ortiz is too eager or not mentally focused, Collazo can take advantage.

The winner of this contest will be the one who craves victory the most, the one who is prepared to dig in that bit more when the going gets tough, the one who believes in his own strengths more than anything else.

Paulie Malignaggi vs Zab Judah undercard previews

Whenever someone mentions the Zab Judah-Paulie Malignaggi fight to me, you know what enters my head straight away? ‘No sleep til Brooklyn’!!! – which is a song by the Beastie Boys. You ask why? Well, both men are from Brooklyn and their vacant NABF welterweight title fight, which is billed as ‘The Battle of Brooklyn’, takes place this weekend on December 7. There is a title on the line, but in all honesty it’s all about bragging rights and pride!

That’s the headline fight of the night and there is a great undercard to look forward to as well!

Co-featuring is the much anticipated light middleweight contest between southpaws Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, who will battle it out for the vacant WBA World light middleweight belt.

Trout is 28 years of age and was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, whilst Lara is 30 and was born in Cuba, but now resides in Miami, Florida. Trout’s record stands at 26-1-0, 14 KO’s, compared to Lara’s 18-1-2, 12 KO’s.

Trout tasted defeat for the first time in his career in April, dropping a 12 round decision to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Trout hit the deck for the first time in his career at the start of the 7th round, but he did give Alvarez problems throughout the contest with his judgement, jab and left hand. It was a very controversial decision in my eyes, especially with two scorecards being so wide in favour of Alvarez.
The Mexican kept hold of the WBC light middleweight title and added the WBA Super World light middleweight title with the win.

Lara claimed the interim WBA World light middleweight strap in June, after picking himself off the canvas twice to stop tough Mexican Alfredo Angulo in 10 rounds. That proved to be a very difficult test for Lara (who had never been down before in his career), as Angulo was relentless in his attacks. However, Lara landed numerous clean shots which eventually took its toll on the Mexican, forcing Angulo to turn his back on the action which resulted in the referee stopping the fight.
Lara showed a champions heart in that fight and showed his quality as a fighter to finish the job inside the distance.

This is a very solid matchup between two top fighters and it’s very tough to call a winner. I think it’s going to be a very cagey, tactical affair too – especially early on. Lara has advantages in reach and hand speed and he’s more elusive than Trout as well. Trout’s a well capable boxer, though, and he’s going to be very switched on for this fight, but I think Lara may well outwork him for the most part of the contest.

My Prediction: Lara via close UD

Devon Alexander vs Shawn Porter

Devon Alexander ‘The Great’ (25-1-0, 14 KO’s), returns and he is set to defend the IBF welterweight title against unbeaten prospect, Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter.

In May, Alexander fought Lee Purdy who was a late replacement for the injured Kell Brook. Purdy failed to make weight for the clash meaning there was no title on the line. Despite injuring his left hand in the 1st round, Alexander, 26, still managed to outclass the Brit forcing Purdy’s corner to stop the fight after the 7th round.

Porter (22-0-1, 14 KO’s), is from Akron, Ohio. This is the first time the 26-year-old will be challenging for a world title. This is a big step up for Porter. It’s a massive opportunity to show us whether or not he can mix it with one of the best fighters in the welterweight division. Alexander has beaten the likes of Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, so a win here for Porter would be something special. Porter will make a name for himself with victory and it would put him on the map and in line for bigger fights in the 147lb division.

Many in the boxing world expect Alexander to prove he is levels above Porter, so it’s up to Porter to show us we are wrong.

My prediction: Alexander via wide UD

Sakio Bika vs Anthony Dirrell

Anthony ‘The Dog’ Dirrell steps up in class when he challenges Australian Sakio ‘The Scorpion’ Bika for the WBC super middleweight title.

Bika (32-5-2, 21 KO’s), is a vastly experienced fighter and has been in with the likes of Joe Calzaghe, Lucian Bute and Andre Ward in the past. The 34-year-old has tons of heart, is tough and rugged, but he is not one of the better fighters of the super middleweight division and is no spring chicken anymore.
Bika claimed the vacant WBC super middleweight belt in June after a wild, action-filled brawl with Mexican Marco Antonio Periban that went 12 rounds.

Dirrell (26-0-0, 22 KO’s), a talented southpaw from Flint, Michigan, is aiming to claim a world title at the first attempt and this opportunity to become a world champion marks a remarkable journey for the 29-year-old.
Dirrell battled non hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006 and last year he was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. That forced him out of action for the whole of 2012. He is without doubt a true fighter in every sense of the word.

I’m picking Dirrell here. I think he will for the most part control the pace of this fight and will show us his talent and toughness too. He will also demonstrate that he has fast hands and sits down on his shots well also. Dirrell can be hit though and he may well have to come through some patchy moments in order to hear the final bell.

My Prediction: Dirrell via wide UD

Hey Paulie, you have a problem to deal with!

“Are you talking to me?…I said, are you talking to meeee?….Get the F##k outta here!” This has been the type of response from the ‘Magic Man’ whenever ‘The Problem’ opens his mouth and says his name.

Paulie ‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi and Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner have trash-talked a fair bit ahead of their WBA World welterweight title bout showdown. As we all know though, you don’t win fights with your mouth you win them with your fists!

The pair go head-to-head at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York on June 22.

Malignaggi (32-4-0, 7 KO’s), who has mixed it with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan in the past, clearly hasn’t taken a liking to Broner!

“Adrien is nothing more than a Floyd Mayweather wannabe. He doesn’t just fight like him. He talks like him. He breathes like him. He needs to get his own character.” said the ‘Magic Man’

“He doesn’t have his own personality. It’s a big insecurity.” He added.

“I’m smooth, I’m fresh, I’m fly” Broner (26-0-0, 22 KO’s), who has been labelled as ‘The heir to the throne’ and ‘The second coming of Floyd Mayweather Jr’ by many experts and fans of boxing, has demolished those who have been put in front of him. But, there are two bouts that many feel Broner lost but was awarded the ‘W’ – a majority points decision over Fernando Quintero in 2009 and a unanimous points decision over Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2009.

‘The Problem’ has indeed shown some respect towards the ‘Magic Man’, but in his own “unique” way.

“I take this serious but he’s a clown. He’s going to come in with a lot of colors, with big feet and colored hair and I’m going to punch his nose red!” said Broner.

The 23-year-old may act and have a fairly similar style to Floyd Jr, but he’s not quite Floyd Jr.

Broner, who was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, is confident of claiming the WBA World title from Malignaggi. If he wins then he would claim a third World title (even though many disregard this title as meaningful), in a third weight class.

Malignaggi, 32, is attempting to defend the WBA World 147lb title for a second time, which he claimed in 2012 from Ukraine’s, Vyacheslav Senchenko. The ‘Magic Man’ is the underdog in this bout in his hometown, but is confident of solving ‘The Problem’.

Me thinks Broner beats Malignaggi as the ‘Magic Man’ simply doesn’t have enough pop to keep Broner honest. Broner will counter Malignaggi all night long and has the power to really trouble him.

Malignaggi’s cruising for a bruising so he better conjure up a magic potion in order to beat Broner!