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Official picks thread for Saturday's Boxing After Dark tripleheader

A_20_20dsc_0174_15239_medium Get your picks in! This thread will close at 9:30 ET on Saturday.

Post your picks in this thread or I will not count them. I can't chase picks around 15 posts.

James Kirkland v. Joel Julio (Junior Middleweights)

Kirkland is a big time fan favorite right now because of his offensive powerhouse style. But what I worry about in this matchup is not Joel Julio being a great fighter (he's not, and he's not going to be one), but simply Julio being good and heavy-handed enough to put the first L on Kirkland's sheet.

Kirkland (24-0, 21 KO) has yet to meet any real resistance. Julio might well go down to one of James' big shots, but I've seen Julio hit pretty well before and he recovered from it. The jury is out on Kirkland. Brian Vera stayed in the fight a long time (relative to the obscene punishment he took) but was not a real test. Vera can't box and cares nothing for defense. He is tough, that's about it.

Julio is a big puncher, a guy with legit knockout power. He's also a solid boxer. Neither of these guys have great defensive reputations. It's a fight I cannot pick with any certainty, so I'm just going with my gut and nothing more. But I'd say it's 90% we get a knockout, 70% we get a damn good fight, and about 30% we get an absolute barnburner. That last number may seem low, but there aren't that many GREAT fights. I'm talking 30% chance we get a war we won't soon forget. Julio KO-9

Victor Ortiz v. Mike Arnaoutis (Junior Welterweights)

Ortiz fights with rare ferocity, like a man possessed. Arnaoutis fights like he's a master technician, which he is not. He doesn't have much of a punch and is going to top out as a gatekeeper with decent skills. It's a fair enough test for Ortiz, but I think he runs over Arnaoutis with little difficulty. There's not a lot more to say. Arnaoutis will hang around a while, but will never really be in the fight. I also suspect that unless he gets an "opponent" spot on Shobox, this is the last we'll see of "Mighty Mike" on the big two networks. Ortiz TKO-11

Robert Guerrero v. Daud Yordan (Junior Lightweights)

Guerrero's jump from 126 to 130 pounds takes him from the upper tier of featherweight straight into the upper tier of junior lightweight. Some folks like to wait a couple fights for a dude to "adjust to his new weight," but I only caution like that in rare cases. Guerrero was a top five guy at 126 and he's 25 years old. 130 is a very weak division and he's instantly top three in my view, along with Humberto Soto and 23-year old Jorge Linares. Ranking somewhat untested Guerrero and Linares that high may seem foolish. I ask you if you'd really pick Cassius Baloyi or Mzone Fana to beat either of them, because I damn sure wouldn't.

Yordan is an Indonesian with some promise, but his record is quite soft and my gut instinct is Golden Boy doesn't see a whole lot in him if they're matching him up with Guerrero this quickly. HBO is saying they want only competitive fights, but there were plenty of guys that Guerrero could've fought if Golden Boy were looking to really promote Yordan heavily. Guerrero returned in January to destroy veteran Edel Ruiz with a first round body shot, eleven months after beating the living hell out of Jason Litzau on Shobox. He's too good, and he's fighting in his backyard in San Jose, too. Guerrero TKO-5

(Photo courtesy Laura De La Torre /

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