The editors at CompuBox were nice enough to send over their analysis for Saturday night's event, focusing on two fights: the rematch between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, and the middleweight prospect clash between Danny Jacobs and Dmitry Pirog.
The crossroads fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz is the most compelling of story lines and on Saturday two men who once were among the elite will seek to regain that status by meeting a second time.
Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz produced a Fight of the Year candidate and those promoting it hope the stylistic magic is still there. Is it? The oddsmakers don't think so, making Marquez a 4-1 favorite. The CompuBox stats may provide a clue, as well as factors that may determine the result.
The first time around: Marquez's KO overshadowed what had been an extremely competitive fight through the first six. Marquez, who had averaged 50 punches per round in his previous three, went blow-for-blow and came out ahead over the first six as he went 192 of 517 to Diaz's 176 of 547. Moreover, Marquez out-landed Diaz 128-122 in power shots and was more accurate (44 percent to 33).
The fight turned in the seventh as Marquez landed 65 percent of his power shots (20 of 31) to Diaz's 33 percent (17 of 52). Marquez went on to out-land Diaz 61-42 overall and 42-22 in power shots in the final two.
Diaz drew Marquez into his kind of fight (81 punches per round to Diaz's 87) but Marquez's more rounded skills prevailed. The results: Marquez out-landed Diaz 288-252, out-jabbed him 98-91 and out-powered him 190-161.
Recent form: Marquez's only fight since was a lopsided decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Marquez was reaching too far against a younger, faster, stronger, fresher and skilled natural welterweight and the huge gulf in numbers was telling. Mayweather landed 59 percent of his overall punches (290 of 493), jabs (185 of 316) and power shots (105 of 177). Meanwhile, Marquez landed 12 percent overall (69 of 583), seven percent of his jabs (21 of 288) and 16 percent of his power shots (48 of 295), a far cry from 35 percent (overall), 26 percent (jabs) and 41 percent (power) in 16 previous CompuBox-tracked fights.
Diaz has gone 1-1 since meeting Marquez, though most would argue he lost both fights to Paul Malignaggi. Diaz's struggles were two-fold: First, Malignaggi's mobility and activity prevented Diaz from finding his groove and second, Diaz's volume was nowhere near what it was in his prime.
Malignaggi out-threw Diaz by nearly 24 punches per round in two fights (72.9 to 49.1) and out-performed him in total power connects (199-147 in two fights). In 14 CompuBox tracked fights Diaz averaged nearly 20 more punches per round (68.4).
Diaz without volume is like pizza without tomato sauce - bland and difficult to stomach. To win, Diaz must crank it up and defend better. Diaz was cut badly over the left eye in the Malignaggi rematch and in his loss to Campbell. His right eye was cut in the first Marquez fight.
Prediction: The nearly 37-year-old Marquez appears to have more left than his 26-year-old rival. For Marquez, the Mayweather fight was the result of "Money's" talent rather than his own slippage and he will find Diaz's aggression more to his liking. Also, the fight will be at a more agreeable 135 pounds. Just like the first time there will be action, there will be blood and Marquez will come out the winner.
DANNY JACOBS vs. DMITRY PIROG
Jacobs (20-0, 17 KO) is favored to capture the vacant WBO middleweight title against Russian Dmitry Pirog (16-0, 13 KO), but whatever the result the numbers indicate an exciting and explosive contest.
Despite their KO ratios both bank on volume. When forced to go longer rounds (against George Walton and Ishe Smith), Jacobs unleashed 90.7 punches per round and landed 42 percent of his 46.6 power shots each round. He limited Walton and Smith to 42.3 punches per round.
When Jacobs is in KO mode, as he was against Victor Lares and Tyrone Watson, 62.5 percent of his 67.3 punches per round were power shots as opposed to the balanced ratio against Walton and Smith (51-49 in favor of power).
Pirog is a poor-man's Antonio Margarito in that he wears opponents down with volume rather than force. Pirog thrives against aggressors as he averaged 95.3 punches per round against Kofi Jantuah and 101.7 against Sergei Melis, landing a combined 39.4 percent of his power shots to his foes' 20.8. But against mobile survivor Eric Mitchell, his output dropped to 63.2 and he landed just 26 percent of his power shots to Mitchell's 29. Therefore, versatility may be key for Jacobs.
Prediction: Pirog is making a quantum leap up in competition and he'll pay the price. Jacobs has superior size and talent and it appears he's back in the KO groove as his last two fights have ended early. Expect a repeat here.