by Cliff Rold
It didn’t like it could miss and it didn’t.
This week looks like it could and probably will. That’s okay. Every week can’t have a great fight. Can we at least hope for a good one? If so, it might come from the undercard on the biggest show of the week. It didn’t come from Australia, the Shane Mosley-Anthony Mundine fight dying before the opening bell already this week.
And, high drama or low, we get another in what has to be (right?) one of the final appearances of a genuine living legend.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick Sho: Hopkins-Murat & Quillin-Rosado (Saturday, HBO, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
The number one contender to Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KO) will be fifty soon. He can stretch. He can kick. He can still punch. Does #9 Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO) have a chance to punch him back enough to win? Most would say no but he might have a better chance than Tavoris Cloud. Murat has decent speed, throws good straight punches, and fights with energy. He certainly has nothing to lose. If Hopkins still appears a lock, so too is it the case in the other two fights on the show. Those come with better chances for a violent conclusion. WBO Middleweight titlist, #2 Peter Quillin (29-0, 21 KO), has a willing challenger in front of him in #8 Jr. Middleweight Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KO). He also has motivation by way of rivalry; will Quillin try to finish Rosado sooner than Gennady Golovkin did? It could mean fireworks. The night will also feature Heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29 KO) in what one hopes is the last of the development fights towards a 2014 where he begins to move towards real contention against real foes. Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KO) needs to be the last-a this kind of stuff.
Pick AWE: #7 Kell Brook vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko (Saturday, AWE, 3 PM EST/12 PM PST)
Brook (30-0, 20 KO) looks like he might be a comer at Welterweight but the jury is out on how high his ceiling can go. This week, he has a bit of domestic revenge to pursue. Senchenko (34-1, 23 KO), a former WBA titlist at 147, ruined the comeback of Ricky Hatton in his last outing. Can he derail Brook? This is an IBF eliminator, Devon Alexander likely still to be holding that belt next year. At 27, time is on Brook’s side. He has a chance to make a move on Saturday.
Pick Uni: Jose Lopez vs. Jerry Guevara (Saturday, UniMas, 11 PM EST/PST)
From contenders to prospects, this Spanish language main event is likely to be a showcase for a bright Puerto Rican hopeful. Lopez (10-0, 8 KO) goes by the nom de guerre “Wonder Boy.” He won’t have bracelets to protect him from incoming fire, but he should have a solid whack of the fist for Guevara (8-1-1, 6 KO)
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]