Revisiting 2013 boxing predictions from Matt Mosley, Jake Nazar and Radu

In July of last year, with the schedule for the second half of 2013 mostly set, Matt Mosley wrote a fanpost trying to anticipate and predict what would happen in the second half of what had already been a great year for boxing.

Myself and Jake Nazar answered and tried our hand at predicting some of the same fights.

Now with all the results in the books, I think it's fun to go back and see what people were thinking last summer about a few of 2013's main stage protagonists. In all honesty I think it would be really interesting to go back over pre-fight predictions more often, as most boxing fans are very fond of revisionist history and proclaiming their knowledge of events beforehand (a.k.a. the "I always knew David Price was shit" syndrome)

So, let's get right to the action:


The Fight: July 13: Kell Brook - Carson Jones II

Matt's Prediction: Brook by decision 117-111.

What actually happened: Kell Brook came back a man on a mission to avenge his somewhat shaky performance in their first fight. Jones was stopped in the 8th round.

Verdict: Good prediction by Matt, though even he didn't anticipate Brook coming in so determined.


The Fight: July 20: Derek Chisora - Malik Scott

Matt's Prediction: Chisora by close decision win.

What actually happened: In a close fight that had yet to establish a clear rhythm, Chisora dropped Scott in the 6th with a right hand. Scott seemed clear-headed and not really hurt by the punch but wanted to take a full 9-count on the floor to give himself ample time of recovering. But as he was rising at the count of 9, the referee shockingly stopped the fight. Chisora by controversial stoppage in the 6th round of a close fight

Verdict: Matt was right to predict a close fight in this one. At the time of the stoppage the bout could easily have headed either man's way.


The Fight: July 27: Andre Berto - Jesus Soto Karass

Matt's Prediction: Karass has a non-stop warrior mentality and i think this could be a sleeper FOTY contender, if Karass can drag Berto into a war. Berto UD.

Jake's Prediction: Karass by TKO11.

My prediction: Karass by TD

What actually happened: Berto and Soto Karass went to war. Berto apparently re-injured his shoulder early on and was eventually brutally stopped in the 12th round. Scores at the time of stoppage were 105-103 Soto Karass, 105-103 Berto, and 104-104.

Verdict: All three of us felt the upset brewing in this one. Jake called it with amazing accuracy with his TKO11 prediction.


The Fight: August 17: Daniel Geale - Darren Barker

Matt's Prediction: Geale by close, possibly split decision.

Jake's Prediction: Barker by SD

My prediction: Geale by a wide margin.

What actually happened: Geale and Barker put on a very competitive and dramatic fight, with Barker surviving a monstrous body-shot knockdown to claim a close split decision and his much-awaited world title.

Verdict: Matt and Jake both correctly picked the close nature of the fight, with Jake once again picking Barker by SD with amazing accuracy. I was way off.


The Fight: August 17: Nathan Cleverly - Sergei Kovalev

Matt's Prediction: Cleverly is too though and i think with home support and a solid chin Cleverly will outwork him, though could well get dropped along the way. Cleverly 115-113.

Jake's Prediction: Kovalev by TKO8

My prediction: Kovalev by mid-rounds KO or Cleverly if it goes to the scorecards.

What actually happened: Cleverly tried to trade with Kovalev and got absolutely destroyed. Kovalev TKO4.

Verdict: Jake and I correctly picked Kovalev by KO although it was probably even more destructive than we thought. Matt admitted to not having watched enough of Kovalev beforehand, which I am sure most people would have said in July 2013 and very few people can still say.


The Fight: August 24: Abner Mares - Johnny Gonzalez

Matt's Prediction: Mares TKO 8

Jake's Prediction: Mares by KO7

My prediction: Mares by KO3

What actually happened: The notoriously hard punching Gonzalez caught Mares in the first round and knocked years of momentum right out of him. This was a leading candidate for both the upset of the year and the KO of the year.

Verdict: As is the case with all Upsets Of The Year, almost nobody saw this coming, although you always have to figure a murderous puncher like Jhonny has a chance in every fight he is in.


The Fight: August 24: Leo Santa Cruz - Victor Terrazas

Matt's Prediction: Santa Cruz UD

Jake's Prediction: Santa Cruz by UD 118-110

My prediction: Santa Cruz by wide UD

What actually happened: Santa Cruz knocked the very capable titleholder Terrazas out in the 3rd round.

Verdict: Santa Cruz exceeded everyone's expectations with this (arguably) career-best win.


The Fight: September 14: Floyd Mayweather - Saul Alvarez

Matt's Prediction: I think this might be a bit too early in his career for Canelo, and i'm sure Floyd is aware of that too. Floyd by UD 115-113

Jake's Prediction: Floyd by UD 116-112

My prediction: Floyd by wide UD

What actually happened: Floyd totally schooled Canelo

Verdict: Although the more time passed after the fight, the more people popped up that thought the fight "could" have been scored close, what happened was that the fight was simply nowhere near as competitive as anticipated beforehand. In about a year's time I expect everyone to conveniently forget that before it happened the fight was billed as a very competitive matchup and there were people actually picking Canelo.


The Fight: September 14: Danny Garcia - Lucas Matthysse

Matt's Prediction: Garcia will be tougher than many are expecting and if he can stay away from Lucas' big power and box smartly, i would not be at all surprised if he came away with the win. Matthysse TKO 10.

Jake's Prediction: Matthysse by KO6

My prediction: Garcia by decision and people to go berserk calling it a hometown decision

What actually happened: In one of the most compelling and well-matched fights of the year, the two fighters tested each other throughout. Matthysse had decent success early and was able to hit Garcia hard several times, but Garcia stood his ground, outboxed Matthysse when necessary and fired back. A very relevant moment came in the 7th round when Matthysse's right eye began to rapidly swell and close up, which would impact his performance in the remaining rounds. Although Matthysse kept fighting and testing Garcia throughout, towards the end of the fight Garcia took the initiative and was doing slightly more to win rounds, even managing to knock the very tough Argentinian down in the 11th round. The result was a close unanimous decision for Garcia on scores of 114-112, 114-112 and 115-111

Verdict: I will not shy away from congratulating myself on this one. Not only did I accurately predict the close Garcia decision victory but I also correctly anticipated many people would complain about it. For weeks after the fight the site was awash with Matthysse fans and Garcia haters (of which I am both, actually) complaining that the referee allowed Garcia to clinch too much, that the knockdown wasn't really a knockdown, that Matthysse would have destroyed Garcia if not for the swollen eye, that his corner failed to control it and to top it all that even with all of these, that fight could/should have been scored for Matthysse. This was easily one of my best picks and Matt also had a sense this could happen.


The Fight: October 5: Miguel Cotto - Delvin Rodriguez

Matt's Prediction: Cotto UD

Jake's Prediction: Cotto by RTD10

My prediction: Cotto by tight UD in a boring fight

What actually happened: Cotto attacked Rodriguez early and overwhelmed him by the end of the 3rd

Verdict: While we all predicted the Cotto victory, his dominance took many by surprise against what was supposed to be a competitive opponent. Jake was closest with his prediction of a stoppage


The Fight: October 5: Wladimir Klitschko - Alexander Povetkin

Matt's Prediction: I think Wlad could get him out of there within 5 if he really let his hands go, but as usual he will probably take his time. Wlad by TKO/KO 10.

Jake's Prediction: Klitschko by UD 117-111

My prediction: Klitschko by SD. Both fighters to look crappy and people to start wondering if Wlad is losing a step

What actually happened: In Scott's words: "Wladimir Klitschko scored four knockdowns, won every round, and yet managed to have arguably his worst performance in years in shutting out Alexander Povetkin today in Moscow, retaining his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles via unanimous decision on three scores of 119-104."

Verdict: As expected, Wlad won. But he failed to stop Povetkin as Matt thought he would. Povetkin was also nowhere near as competitive as Jake and especially myself thought he would be. One thing I did get amazingly correct was that Wlad looked really lousy in this dreadful hugfest and I think as I anticipated, it is fair to ask ourselves if his best days are behind him. As a Klitschko fan, I do hope this is not the case.


The Fight: October 12: Tim Bradley - Juan Manuel Marquez

Matt's Prediction: I can't see Bradley outboxing Marquez so i think he will bring the pressure. He's tough and relentless, but JMM is the master counter puncher behind only Floyd in that regard, as far as i am concerned. Marquez 115-113.

Jake's Prediction: Marquez by TKO11

My prediction: Bradley by SD in a crappy fight where Bradley avoids engaging and is back at his hugging and headbutting best. Fans boo the fight, Marquez complains about the decision, Bradley is classless about it and everyone leaves with a bad taste in their mouths, calling the fight a bad style clash in retrospect.

What actually happened: Bradley won a 12 round split decision.

Verdict: In October, before the fight, I also changed my pick to Marquez. But apparently in July I had a clearer head and really was onto something with my prediction. Indeed, it was a SD for Bradley, it was a somewhat crappy fight (at least in my book), Marquez did complain about the decision and you could argue that people didn't feel they got their money's worth from that PPV.


The Fight: November 23: Manny Pacquiao - Brandon Rios

Matt's Prediction: Pacquiao TKO 10

Jake's Prediction: Pacquiao by KO5

My prediction: Rios by late TKO or bloody battering. Fight takes years out of each of their respective careers. Everyone praises Rios and starts putting him on P4P lists until he gets dissected and smashed up in consecutive bouts in 2014.

What actually happened: Manny darted in and around Rios for the full 12 rounds busting him up and shutting him out but never really went for the kill, showing respect for Brandon's presumed power.

Verdict: Jake and Matt definitely foresaw Manny's domination and outclassing of Rios. A more compassionate corner might even have stopped Rios towards the end of the fight. As for me, this was definitely my single worst pick. But if everyone tells you a year from now that the Rios fight was a total gimme for Pacquiao that everyone knew would be a laugher the moment it was signed, feel free to point them towards "geniuses" such as myself who thought Rios might actually be a difficult style matchup.


I also made a few picks on a few other fights that had been signed at that time:

The Fight: July 27: Keith Thurman – Diego Chaves

My prediction: somebody by early rounds spectacular KO.

What actually happened: Keith Thurman had to withstand some decent pressure and punching from Chaves before knocking him out in the 10th.

Verdict: It was a spectacular KO, although it wasn't "early"


The Fight: September 7: Ricky Burns – Raymundo Beltran

My prediction: Burns by come-from-behind UD in an excellent, excellent fight

What actually happened: Beltran generally beat Burns up, broke his jaw but found himself robbed by a really bad draw verdict after 12.

Verdict: I was correct in stating that Burns would have some coming-from-behind to do and I was right that it would be a good fight, the only thing that didn't happen was Burns' actual comeback in the fight.


The Fight: December 14: Adrien Broner – Marcos Maidana

My prediction: Broner by UD in a slightly better performance than the one against Malignaggi that will still leave many people unconvinced…

What actually happened: Maidana surprised Broner with his power, which Adrien was unable to avoid. Although Broner stood his ground and fired back for the full 12 rounds, he came out beaten up and loser of a 12 round decision. Maidana looked impressive.

Verdict: I think Maidana overpowering the "not-really-a-welterweight" Broner could and maybe should have been foreseen by more people. Even I took a "Broner-centric" approach and although I foresaw him looking crappy, it didn't occur to me that this might translate into a Maidana victory. In retrospect I think my thought process was along the lines of "how exactly would Broner win?". A result of the abundant Broner hype? Probably.


In conclusion:

I really enjoyed going back over these and I thought they provided excellent insight into people's thought process before some of the more relevant fights happened. I'm also glad I got a few excellent predictions in, especially if they included a correct assumption of the aftermath of the fight: Garcia - Matthysse, Bradley - Marquez, Wlad - Povetkin. The award for the best prediction in the original article is a tie between Jake's "Karass TKO11 Berto" and my "Garcia by decision and people to go berserk" picks.

I would actually be very interested in doing one more of these predictions fanposts when more of the 2014 boxing calendar is set.

I would also like to thank Matt Mosley for doing the original fanpost, which was just a great idea.

<strong><font color="red">FanPosts are user-created content written by community members of Bad Left Hook, and are generally not the work of our editors. <em>Please do not source FanPosts as the work of Bad Left Hook</em>.</font></strong>

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