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Ryan Bivins and Scott Christ discuss the big, non-Salido vs Garcia fights of the weekend: Golovkin vs Rosado, Campillo vs Kovalev, and Martinez vs Burgos.
It's a nice Saturday night of fights, as along with Salido-Garcia, we also have a pair of solid HBO undercard matchups, and a significant 175-pound fight on NBC Sports. Ryan Bivins and Scott Christ give their thoughts on the weekend's other notable fights.
Gabriel Campillo vs Sergey Kovalev
Campillo is the better and much more experienced boxer while Kovalev is the better puncher. Campillo wins a decision (or gets robbed) unless he gets old or sees the ghost of Vyacheslav Uzelkov. I seriously doubt I'll score the fight for Kovalev, but his chances of winning by KO are decent. Campillo by majority decision.
Campillo is better than Kovalev, but he's better than Shumenov and Cloud and Murat, too, and he got jobbed against them. Kovalev has a lot to gain here. A win over Campillo is good for his credibility, particularly if he actually deserves it. I love this fight. I'll again say this is good matchmaking for the sake of good matchmaking. Main Events starts off the 2013 Fight Night campaign the right way with this one. Campillo by decision. Maybe. He might get screwed again for not fighting in a way that gives judges boners.
Gennady Golovkin vs Gabriel Rosado
While I'm not making an official prediction I believe Rosado's keys to victory will be using his height, reach, and technical skills (all things he sometimes neglects in favor of brawling). Rosado says he expects to stop GGG, but he better not try to force it. Inside fighting will favor Golovkin. Rosado can make things a lot easier on himself if he keeps the Kazakh at range. It won't just be Rosado's best chance to win; it will also be his best chance to win by KO.
I'm a big Rosado fan; he came up in a way you don't see much anymore, and he's trained and fought his balls off to get to this stage. Furthermore, he sees a guy, a weight class up, that everyone is raving about, and he just shrugs his shoulders and takes the opportunity, because he figures it to be an opportunity, and not a sacrifice. I think Rosado is going to come to fight; like Ryan says, brawling is probably not his best option here, because Golovkin is a tank who can put punches together beautifully, and Rosado has a habit of leaving himself open to get hit. I don't know whether that's pure machismo or what, but if Charles Whittaker can bang with him as he did at various points, Golovkin can probably stop him in that same type of fight. I actually expect Rosado to come to fight hard, and probably hurt his chances in the process. That said, I also expect this to be excellent while it lasts, and Rosado's going to have some moments that make people think about Golovkin going forward. Golovkin by TKO-5.
Rocky Martinez vs Juan Carlos Burgos
I expect Martinez to get another dubious decision here. This fight won't be pretty, but it should be fun. Martinez by split decision.
Back when Burgos "upset" Luis Cruz on the Pacquiao-Marquez III undercard, I called that one, and I said, "See?! See?!" but really, that wasn't so much about how great Burgos is, as it was about how painfully mediocre and oversold Cruz was going into that fight. Burgos is a good fighter, but not exceptional, which is about what Martinez has going for him, too. This is very evenly-matched, and it's a good sign, I think, that HBO chose to air this fight; these guys should make for an enjoyable clash of styles, and it's a meaningful fight at 130 pounds. Usually, you wouldn't really expect to see HBO graphics for this without it being on a PPV undercard, because these aren't star fighters or guys about to face star fighters. It's just a good fight. Nothing wrong with that. Burgos by split decision.