FANTASY PREVIEWS: GGG & CHOCOLATITO
The new games are up at ThrowdownFantasy.com and features two of the top pund-for-pound fighters in the world, GGG and Chocolatito. Here are the breakdowns of all the fights in the game. Games close on April 15th at 10pm EST so get your temas in now!
Don’t forget to make your predictions and score the fights live on the all new Throwdown Scoring Mobile. Just go to ThrowdownScoring.com on your phones and log in with your Throwdown Fantasy credentials to get started!
Gennady Golovkin ($5,900) vs. Dominic Wade ($3,800) – 4/23 on HBO
For GGG to win he just needs to be himself — come forward, exert intelligent pressure behind his stinging jabs, force a fast pace and nail Wade with his precision bombs to the head and body. Even though he’s vastly superior to Wade in nearly every way, Golovkin needs to channel that confidence and talent into his fighting, not by dropping his hands and allowing his opponents to hit him as he allowed Willie Monroe Jr. to do. For Wade to win he must control range with his jab (which was very effective against Nick Brinson — 6.3 connects per round — and Dashon Johnson at 7.3 connects per round) and catch Golovkin coming in with counter rights. He also must be active enough to keep the champion off him but not so active that he drains his energy supply, which has been suspect in his longer fights.
Our suggestion: Golovkin is an overwhelming favorite and for good reason. He’s knocked out his last 21 opponents and boasts an enviable blend of volume, accuracy and power. Wade, on the other hand, lacks the one-punch power to earn Golovkin’s respect and many say he should have lost his most recent fight against 41-year-old Sam Soliman. Not a good preamble to a middleweight title challenge, especially against arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. Worse yet, Wade was dropped in round one against high-grade journeyman Dashon Johnson, who Wade went on to dominate. Looks like another KO for GGG.
Roman Gonzalez ($5,500) vs. McWilliams Arroyo ($4,600) – 4/23 on HBO
For Gonzalez to win he must slip under Arroyo’s jab, pound the body and flood the zone with wicked up-and-down combinations that surely will rattle the controlled and composed Arroyo. Many of those combinations should include body shots because Arroyo is a scientific boxer who depends on his legs. Also, he can’t get frustrated by Arroyo’s high guard and excellent defense; it’ll take some time to break him down. For Arroyo to win he must stay at long range by jabbing frequently, then dropping his heavy-handed counters as Gonzalez comes in with the hope that one of them will shake the Nicaraguan to his core. If one of them does, Arroyo must seize the moment and not allow Gonzalez to regain his bearings. Otherwise, he should box, box and box some more to pile up points, frustrate Gonzalez and make him fight from behind.
Our suggestion: Arroyo is not an easy assignment for Gonzalez; he was a world champion at the amateur level (2007 Pan American Games, 2009 World Championships) and he’s very capable of delivering one-punch knockouts with either hand. That said, “Chocolatito” is at his positive peak and his more prolific trigger will, over time, break down Arroyo as it did the valiant Brian Viloria last time out.
Nikolay Potapov ($5,200) vs. Stephon Young ($4,200) – 4/15 on Showtime
For Potapov to win he needs to establish a fast pace because Young likes to survey opponents while on the move and be tricky in the ring, use the usual stratagems against left-handers (lead foot on the outside, straight rights down the middle along with wide hooks, and so on) and attack the body because Young sometimes uses the “ear-muffs” defense. For Young to win he must lure Potapov into traps, then spring the trap shut with flashy combinations. He also must try to slow the pace to one more comfortable for him because he fights best when he has time to think. Finally, he must attack the body to slow Potapov’s active legs.
Our suggestion: Both men are unbeaten but Potapov has faced better opposition and has knows how to pace himself for long fights (his last six have gone at least 10 rounds and two fights ago he navigated 12). Young does have the southpaw advantage but that’s mitigated by his lack of long fights (he’s gone past six once, and that was a very lucky draw against Antonio Nieves). Potapov is a neat, workmanlike “points boxer” who will be satisfied with taking what Young gives him, then walking away with the decision.
Yoshihiro Kamegai ($5,000) vs. Jesus Soto-Karass ($4,400) – 4/15 on Estrella TV and RingTVLive.com
For Kamegai to win he must temper Soto-Karass’ high-volume attack by exploiting his horrible defense. He needs to strike the Mexican early and often, immediately move to one side or the other and repeat the process. For Soto-Karass to win he must overwhelm the younger man with volume and draw him into the kind of trench war that Kamegai lost against Robert Guerrero a few years ago, a fight that saw Kamegai absorb 484 total punches and 411 power shots. For him, war is good for everything.
Our suggestion: What tips the scales heavily against Soto-Karass are three factors: First, he’s coming off a nearly two-year layoff. Second, he has lost his last two fights. Finally, he absorbed more than 50% of his opponents’ power shots in his last two bouts and 49% in his last five. Kamegai’s defense is nothing special either but he’s not the consistent sponge Soto-Karass has been of late. This will be a rugged, high-paced battle but the feeling here is that Kamegai’s youth, activity and somewhat better defense combined with Soto-Karass’ ring age and terrible defense will favor the Japanese fighter.
Errol Spence ($5,500) vs. Chris Algieri ($4,300) – 4/16 on NBC
For Spence to win he must set his usual hot pace and use his jab to work over Algieri’s left eye, which has swelled in each of his last two fights. He also needs to be the man moving forward because (1) he’s a half-inch shorter than the 5-foot-10 Algieri and (2) in Algieri’s two fights under John David Jackson he’s been far more aggressive and assertive than has been the case throughout his career. Thus, becoming the Alpha will likely thwart Algieri’s blueprint. Finally, he must unleash his usual blistering body-head combinations to best impose his superior power. For Algieri to win he needs to push Spence back — but not rush straight in — to let the prospect know that he’s in with a higher grade of fighter. He must initiate the exchanges and try to win the early rounds to put Spence into the kind of mathematical hole he has yet to experience as a pro. If Spence is forced to fight from behind, perhaps he’ll open himself up to unusual errors, which Algieri is smart enough to perceive and exploit. Also, he needs to extend the fight into the second half because Spence has only fought past round five three times.
Our suggestion: Spence is a heavy favorite because he’s the man on the rise while Algieri has lost two of his last three. He also boasts the southpaw advantage and the last time Algieri met a quick lefty he was dropped six times and thoroughly dominated by Manny Pacquiao. Spence is younger, bigger, stronger and faster than “The Pac Man” and we’ll see if he’s a heavier hitter as well. If Spence is the talent many say he is, he should dominate Algieri, if not stop him.
Krzysztof Glowacki ($5,200) vs. Steve Cunningham ($4,500) – 4/16 on NBC
For Glowacki to win he needs to take the fight to the long and lean Cunningham and force the 39-year-old former two-time cruiserweight titlist to fight at Glowacki’s 29-year-old pace. He must attack the body to slow the American’s already aging legs and take advantage of Cunningham’s shaky chin, which was dented at least three times by powerful left hands last time out against another southpaw in the 46-year-old Antonio Tarver. For Cunningham to win he needs to induce a long-range boxing match with his still-quick jab and his above-average movement. Cunningham must try to create an early lead, use his greater experience to build on that momentum and hold off Glowacki’s late charge.
Our suggestion: This is Cunningham’s first fight at cruiserweight in more than four years and while he struggled against a southpaw in Tarver in his last fight his last two defeats at 200 were to Yoan Pablo Hernandez, also a lefty. Hernandez dropped Cunningham in both bouts (once in bout one, twice in the rematch) and expect Glowacki to do the same here. Cunningham showed significant signs of decline against Tarver and his best hope is that his experience will puzzle the titlist — a possibility since Glowacki’s output has been low in several fights. Otherwise, his age and attrition combined with Glowacki’s youth and power will get the best of “USS.”
Gary Russell Jr. ($5,500) vs. Patrick Hyland ($4,300) – 4/16 on Showtime
For Russell to win he must shake off the 13 months of ring rust, bedazzle the slower Irishman with mobility and hand speed, then lower the boom with the right hook, the straight left or a body shot. For Hyland to win he needs to apply a similar blueprint to the one he used against Noel Echevarria: Cut off Russell’s escape routes, initiate all exchanges and pound the body relentlessly. The more time spent along the ropes, the better it is for Hyland because he needs to make this a rough, physically draining fight.
Our suggestion: Russell is coming off the longest layoff of his career but if he makes 126 properly then the gulf in skill level will shine through. Hyland is experienced against lefties (he beat lesser lights Echevarria, Manuel de los Reyes Herrera, Mickey Coveney, Manuel Sequera and Paul Griffin but his only loss came to Javier Fortuna) but Russell, if he’s right, is about as good as it gets. The guess here is that he’ll show why in this fight.
Jose Pedraza ($4,900) vs. Stephen Smith ($4,600) – 4/16 on Showtime
For Pedraza to win he must control range with his darting jab and he should move side-to-side — not straight back as he sometimes does — to force Smith to reset his feet. Should Smith get inside Pedraza should tie up and allow the referee to break them but if that doesn’t happen he has the capability of going shot-for-shot to the body. For Smith to win he needs to get inside Pedraza’s reach by bobbing and weaving behind his jab. Once there, he should unleash the robust body attack that was so effective against Devis Boschiero. If he’s able to sustain the body work he may be able to exploit the stamina issues that hurt Pedraza in his most recent fight against Edner Cherry and the uneven pacing that occurred against Andrey Klimov two bouts earlier.
Our suggestion: If Pedraza maintains his outside game he should be able to out-box Smith, who had some issues blocking the jab of the stick-and-move Pedro Navarrete and whose only loss came against mobile boxer (and current titlist) Lee Selby, who has a terrific jab.
Ivan Redkach ($5,400) vs. Luis Cruz ($4,100) – 4/19 on FS1
For Redkach to win he must back up Cruz with the jab, whack the body with both hands and force Cruz to fight at a faster pace than his thinking-man’s temperament would like. Redkach also appears to be faster on his feet than Cruz, so working off angles could be effective. For Cruz to win he needs to force Redkach to retreat and land the hook, which is his best punch. When he was winning fights, Cruz’s jab was an effective weapon and if he can impose a moderate pace — a possibility since Redkach’s volume has been down of late — his craftsmanship and counter-punching could produce an upset.
Our suggestion: Redkach is the clear A-side here and is in the process of regaining his footing after his devastating KO loss to Dejan Zlaticanin. Cruz was once a prospect to watch but has lost four of his last seven, including a ninth-round KO loss to Edner Cherry two fights ago. Both are tall lightweights with excellent reaches but Redkach is the fresher man with the quicker trigger and the heavier hands.