We’ve got notable fights on Friday AND Saturday this weekend, with Shakur Stevenson defending his pair of 130 lb belts against Robson Conceicao on Friday night, then Joe Joyce taking on Joseph Parker for an interim WBO heavyweight title on Saturday from the United Kingdom.
Those fights and THREE MORE! Who ya got this weekend?
Shakur Stevenson vs Robson Conceicao
Scott Christ (63-29)
There’s nothing Robson Conceicao does better than Shakur Stevenson, I don’t think. Stevenson might coast to a 12-round decision here, but I think he might be looking to inflict some damage, especially if he breaks the Brazilian’s spirit by dominating the first half or two-thirds of the fight, which I expect he will do.
So I’m going with Shakur by stoppage. I think he’s getting to a point where he’s gaining that confidence that might see him take some more risks in fights where he’s dominating. If I’m wrong, well, you know, whatever, man. I see this being one-sided regardless. Stevenson TKO-10
Wil Esco (73-19)
Shakur Stevenson is certainly one of the finest young boxing talents in the game. His methodical style, which is largely based on a mastery of range and defense, usually doesn’t make for the most thrilling fights to watch, but you can’t deny his effectiveness.
Robson Conceicao is a pretty decent fighter, but he doesn’t have any special attributes that I think gives Stevenson any real trouble. In fact, I’m expecting this to be rather one-sided on the cards, something like 11-1. Stevenson UD-12
John Hansen (70-22)
Barring a fluke injury, Shakur Stevenson wins this fight handily. The question is, will it be remotely entertaining?
Shakur Stevenson is boring. If that reads inappropriate or harsh, take it up with Shakur Stevenson. The man himself said he’s very sorry about being boring. He’s taken tentative steps towards entertainment since then in his fights with Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez. It’s a commendable effort, and hopefully the trend continues.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats in recovery is harmful relationships with people that trigger and encourage your unhealthy habits. And Robeson Conceicao vs Stevenson is like yin and yawn. Opposite forces, perfectly intertwined. Dance partners in drudgery.
Conceicao fought a baffling strategy of limited engagement and outright evasion in a losing effort against Oscar Valdez. Stevenson later dominated Valdez, who couldn’t use his power to shake or threaten Stevenson across twelve rounds. Boxing isn’t fully transitive, but Conceicao lacks Valdez’s power and aggression, and arguably at least some of his talent. It’s a recipe for tedium, and the reason Scott and I competed to see who could squeeze the most syllables into the word “suck” during our podcast preview of this fight.
Shakur Stevenson is a tremendously talented fighter, and I really want to enjoy his work. Hopefully, this Conceicao fight is just a cheat day on his boredom diet, and not a full relapse into monotony. Stevenson UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (75-17)
One of boxing’s sadder recurring storylines is “man, but what if he could punch?” There have been so many great fighters who were just a little bit of pop away from being genuine monsters. That’s Robson Conceicao; he’s a great offensive fighter with visible and audible bloodlust in his punches, but his lack of finishing ability puts a hard ceiling on his potential.
That’s going to be especially apparent here. While aggression is hypothetically the best way to deal with Stevenson, Conceicao doesn’t hit hard enough to keep Stevenson from capitalizing on the openings he leaves as he throws. Stevenson has to be hesitant to counter and too damaged to move properly if Conceicao wants to win and I’m not sure the latter is capable of making that happen. He may find some early success on the front foot, but once Stevenson gets his timing down and brings his far faster hands to bear, it’ll get worse for Conceicao in a hurry. Still, I expect him to have a bit more success than Oscar Valdez just on the strength of his pedigree. Stevenson UD-12
Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker
Scott Christ (63-29)
A part of me wants to pick Parker here, and as far as any “competition” with this thing goes, I’m well out of the race, in large part due to things like, “A part of me wants to pick ___ here,” and then I do it, and nope!
Anyway, I’m gonna go with Parker here. I think the smart money is on Joyce’s durability and pressure breaking Parker down in the later rounds, either getting a late stoppage of Parker avoiding it and making it to the cards. But Joyce also gets hit a lot, and clean, and Parker is a better boxer-puncher than Bryant Jennings, today’s Carlos Takam (who is still tough, mind you), or Christian Hammer. Parker, though, will have to respond the way I think but don’t know that he still can when the pressure is on, which is standing his ground and unleashing shots, or at least unleashing shots while he moves, because his last two fights with Derek Chisora have been awful preparation to fight anyone other than Derek Chisora. This is very much going to come down to whose style wins out, even more than most fights. Parker UD-12
Wil Esco (73-19)
In all fairness, I don’t really have a strong inclination on who’s going to win this fight because it can often be difficult to judge what you’re going to get out of Joseph Parker at times. Joe Joyce might be limited in some areas, but he’s certainly a strong and determined guy who’s going to make Parker work for it if nothing else.
In theory I think Parker should be able to use his swifter feet to keep Joyce from being able to set up his power, but I think Parker has a tendency to get lulled into lapses where Joyce will be able to close the gap. It wouldn’t surprise me if this fight was a bit of a stinker, but I think Joyce might just edge this on the cards as he impresses the judges more with his aggression. Joyce MD-12
John Hansen (70-22)
Joe Joyce’s win over Daniel Dubois made me appreciate him in a whole new light. One thing I didn’t remember before researching for this pick, though, was that Joyce was losing that fight on the cards at the time of the stoppage.
Face-shattering power is a wonderful weapon for a heavyweight. But, the Joseph Parker that faces Joyce on Saturday will be seven years older than Dubois was, and much more experienced against high level opponents. One of the biggest criticisms of Parker is his tendency to give Pass/Fail effort rather than really trying to shine, and that likely helps his chances here. He’s nicked cards and decisions against big hitters, and he was the first man to go the distance with Anthony Joshua and end Joshua’s 20 fight, 20 knockout start to his career.
Lots of reasons to second guess my initial instinct to pick Joe Joyce, for sure. Fights like this make me glad these predictions are strictly for entertainment purposes, and don’t obligate us to wager actual spendable money. I’ll roll with the big boy, while still giving Parker credit for his survival ability. Joyce UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (75-17)
A fully dialed-in Joseph Parker runs circles around Joe Joyce. “The Juggernaut” is the slowest man in the universe; he’s a sawdust-filled heavy bag that wished to be a real boy. The ghost of Vangelis follows him around and strikes up the tune every time he crosses the street. His fights can be filmed at 10 fps. Every time his brain asks his fists to punch, the request has to be filed in triplicate and reviewed by two senior-level managers. He’s the only living creature with 1200 ping. His 1-2s have commercial breaks in the middle. He’s been ticketed for using the left lane of the sidewalk. He floats like the Hindenburg and stings like it, too.
But let’s be honest, when was the last time Parker was fully dialed-in? Whether it’s a physical or mental block, the guy just can’t seem to slap his speed, technique, and footwork together into a full 12-round offense, and Joyce doesn’t need a whole lot of lapses to deal game-changing damage. Plus, while Joyce has an almost pathological aversion to protecting himself from right hands, Parker’s the far more likely of the two to hit the deck.
Parker’s going to use his head as a speedbag for uncomfortably long stretches of time, but Joyce is going to be thumping him with jabs and crushing his midsection in between. Expect a one-sided start for parker, a late snowball for Joyce, and Joyce nicking it thanks to a pivotal knockdown. Joyce SD-12
Amanda Serrano vs Sarah Mahfoud
- Scott: Serrano TKO-5
- Wil: Serrano TKO-6
- John: Serrano TKO-7
- Patrick: Serrano TKO-7
Hannah Rankin vs Terri Harper
- Scott: Harper UD-10
- Wil: Harper UD-10
- John: Harper UD-10
- Patrick: Harper UD-10
Maxi Hughes vs Kid Galahad
- Scott: Galahad UD-12
- Wil: Hughes SD-12
- John: Hughes UD-12
- Patrick: Galahad UD-12