Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SNB Nuggets 3-9-11 (Cloud, Martinez-Dzinziruk, Cotto-Mayorga)

Tavoris Cloud still waits for his next fight.  As HBO has committed to a quasi-round robin with Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Chad Dawson, Cloud finds himself shut out.  Last weekend, Yusaf Mack became Cloud's mandatory with an uninspiring win over Otis Griffin.  Cloud believes he is ready for a big-money fight and his talent certainly supports that notion.  Cloud could do worse than fighting Mack next; Mack won't bring a lot of money or name recognition to a fight but he is certainly the type of fighter that can make Cloud look good. 

Mack has a good right hand and some boxing ability picked up from the Philly gym wars but he's tentative sometimes and lacks confidence in the ring.  I think Cloud could blitz him and knock him out in a few rounds.  What's most important for Cloud is that he keeps active and looks good in the process.  Perhaps Don King could put him on the undercard of the proposed Devon Alexander-Lucas Matthysse fight.  HBO might not buy a Cloud-Mack fight but their execs will certainly be there watching.
I have little interest in the Cotto-Mayorga fight this weekend.  If Cotto can't knock Mayorga out, then his days as a top-flight fighter are over.  Mayorga exists to be knocked out by good fighters and make them look sensational.  I'm not sure if there has been a better B-side in the last decade then Mayorga.   He's made some real money in his career and he has at least one more fight before the clock strikes midnight.
Michael Katsidis sustained an injury leading up to his fight against Robert Guerrero.  If the fight is cancelled, there is no reason to order the pay-per-view.  With the Macklin-Wright bout already scrapped, the card looks like it's in serious danger.  You can pretty much print this article out and burn it. 
The Sergio Martinez-Serhiy Dzinziruk fight features a number of interesting angles.  Martinez is going to have to be disciplined to win.  Martinez's last few opponents (Williams, Pavlik, Cintron) made enough mistakes or had enough limitations that Martinez could eventually prevail in a slugfest or knock these fighters out.  (Ignore the Cintron decision, Kermit was knocked out and the ref blew it.)  Dzinziruk will not engage Martinez in that type of fight.  Dzinziruk's best weapons are his jab, ring intelligence and movement.  Martinez will have to force the action in the fight and get inside.  However, if he opens himself up too much, Dzinziruk could pick him apart. 

Although many ring observers have suggested that this fight may lack entertainment value, I think it will tell us how good Martinez can really be.  We have yet to see him fully dominate a 12-round fight against a world-class opponent.  If he does that here, literally the sky is the limit for him.  I think Martinez wins but I don't think he fully commands the fight.  I see it 115-113 or 116-112.  Either way, it would be a great win. 

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