By Jake Donovan
Through very different means and from opposite sides of the United States, Brandon Adams of Los Angeles and Newark’s John Thompson have arrived in the Boxcino junior middleweight finals. The rising prospects will square off Friday evening at Omega Products International in Corona, Calif., as part of the series finale of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.
Adams (17-1, 12KOs) was forced to settle for second-best in the Boxcino Middleweight finals exactly 52 weeks ago. The Los Angeleno moved up in weight in hopes of making a splash in the middleweight division, but fell well short versus eventual tournament winner Willie Monroe.
A drop back down in weight proved effective for the 25-year old, who has since scored three straight knockouts following the lone loss of his career. All have come inside the distance and in 2015. His one fight outside of Boxcino tournament action in the past two years came in January, stopping late sub Lekan Byfield in two rounds this past January. The bout was a precursor to his placement in the junior middleweight tournament, where he has scored stoppage wins over Alex Perez and Vito Gasparyan to advance to the finals.
Thompson (16-1, 15KOs) was a wild card entering the tournament, having not fought since a stunning 2nd round knockout loss to Frank Galarza last January. The 13-month ring break helped the Brick City boxer clear his head, opening the Boxcino junior middleweight tournament with a six-round win over Ricardo Pineal in February.
A narrow split decision win over previously unbeaten Stanyslav Skorokhod in April’s semi-finals put Thompson’s career basically where it was while he was an unbeaten prospect—on the verge of big things with just one more win.
Will the pure boxing skills of Thompson be enough to get the job done? Or will Adams’ combination of ring smarts and newfound power propel the two-time tournament finals to the promise land?
Read on to see how the staff at BoxingScene.com believes the junior middleweight action plays out.
BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS: BOXCINO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT FINALS
Ryan Burton (Adams UD): Adams has faced the better competition plus has the experience from last year. Should cruise to an easy decision win.
Jake Donovan (Adams TKO6): Whether it’s a reduction in opposition level or a resurgence in power, Adams looks to be a different fighter now that he’s back at his normal weight class. Thompson doesn’t possess anything that will force Adams to step back, leading to a clean sweep of knockouts and the Boxcino Junior Middleweight crown for Adams somewhere in the middle rounds.
Takahiro Onaga (Adams Dec.): I like this fight a lot and Adams has style I really like. I think he wins base on activity.
Cliff Rold (Adams Dec.): Adams has garnered enough experience in two tournaments to figure out how to outwork the taller man.
Victor Salazar (Adams Dec.): Brandon Adams fell one fight short last year in Boxcino, losing to Willie Monroe Jr. This tournament was his to win in his natural weight class. Adams should outbox Thompson winning a decision and the Boxcino title.
Alexey Sukachev (Adams TKO8): Should be a good fight. Adams has experience of fighting in such tourneys, he is durable but Thompson is a better boxer. A loss against Galarza tells me he has problems with the chin. Adams should take an advantage of that.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox