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Vic Darchinyan figures to have his hands full with Abner Mares

HBO, Showtime finish strong
with competing doubleheaders
  Another massive week of fights in boxing land, with competing doubleheaders on HBO and Showtime. This though, will bring an end to the weekends which have multiple blockbusters. Here are this weekís predictions.
Showtime fights
Vic Darchinyan vs. Abner Mares
  Fighting at bantamweight is still fairly new grounds for Darchinyan. When he has gone up he has struggled to really affect his opponents with his power, as much as he did at 115 and 112. He lost a close decision to Agbeko, and looked a bit small at that weight.
    Mares was impressive with his draw against Perez. Both guys gave it their all in a fairly entertaining bout. Mares has the better boxing skills than Darchinyan and is nine years younger then Vic (at 25, compared to the Armenian at 34). Vic has the experience and will give Mares a good test. But expect the younger, quicker fighter to come away with the win.
Prediction: Mares by Decision.
Yohnny Perez vs. Joseph Agbeko
     A rematch from their first fight which was a solid battle from bell to bell. Since then Perez had his draw with Mares but Agbeko hasnít fought since. Perez is actually the older fighter but has had less professional fights. I think heís determined to make a statement and is the lankier fighter of the two. While Agbeko is a solid fighter, I think Perez has more weapons in his arsenal, and more versatility and thatíll be a huge factor come fight time.
I think Perez will be using a more controlled pace, and some of his boxing skills against Agbeko. Heís the better boxer of the two and I expect him to use that.
I hope itís a war again though, because more fight of the year candidates are always welcomed.
Prediction: Perez by decision
HBO fights
Victor Ortiz vs. Lamont Peterson
   Rarely do we see big fights for young guys that are so important. Both have had recent setbacks which makes this fight even more important for the two. Ortiz has rebounded a bit after his loss to Maidana but hasnít looked spectacular during that time. Peterson on the other hand has had only one win since his loss against Timothy Bradley. This fight with Ortiz will take place on the same weekend that Peterson lost to Bradley last year.
   Both guys like to abandon their boxing abilities and slug it out, which makes this fight a crowd pleaser. Peterson, even when hurt and knocked down by Bradley, never gave up and was game for all 12 rounds. Ortiz on the other hand checked out when the fight became too much to handle against Maidana.
This fight may come down to who wants it more. A loss is a major step backwards for both fighters. I think Ortiz had a lot of thinking to do after his Maidana loss and I think heís realized what it takes to be a great fighter. His heart will be tested in this fight. If he really wants it, I think the fight is his, and Iíll go with him because of his explosiveness and ability to put combinations together.
But it wonít be easy.
Prediction: Ortiz by decision.
Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana
   This is arguably the biggest fight of the weekend and most intriguing. Amir Khan is a star right now but all that can change with one punch (and it did at one point with his loss to Prescott). Khan has never been able to take a punch, but while under Roach heís been able to avoid them. Maidana hits like a truck with both hands and has improved his boxing skills in recent fights. He goes to the body a lot more and can cut off the ring.
That being said, I think people underestimate just how good Khan is. Of all the light welterweights, heís the more polished and has a bigger fan base then Maidana, Bradley and Devon Alexander put together. Khan is already popular in the United States and in England. Even though he was fighting Paulie Malignaggi at his home turf in New York, there was plenty of fans there to support Khan. Heís already used to the lime light and is one of the fastest punchers in the sport. Now he has a great trainer and strength and conditioning coach (Alex Ariza) on his side too.
    The only question about this fight is Khanís chin and whether Maidana can find it. If he lands a solid shot, it may be good night for Khan. But even then, I think Khan knows how to react if he gets tagged now, and Iím expecting a very good performance by the Bolton native. I expect him to use angles, move in and out and keep Maidana at bay. Sparkling speed leads to sparkling performances.     We know that Maidana will bring heart and power, but I think Khan will break Maidana down, similar to how Ortiz was able to do, except heíll finish the job.
Prediction: Khan by TKO, somewhere around the 10th.
You know, I donít know if itís the post office or what, but I havenít received my cut from all you winners out there who used my expertise for your financial benefit. Please re-send those cheques. It is greatly appreciated.
And come on, itís the Christmas season! Itís the time for giving! (For you. Not for me, I'll just take my cut!) I joke of course, but in all seriousness, enjoy the fights ladies and gents.


More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

Fighter of the year candidates for 2010

Who wants a piece of Sergio Martinez?

Pacquiao, Haye, Rigondeaux easy choices

A disappointing year isn't over yet; exciting fights loom

Cunningham's thumb, not his fist, ended fight with Troy Ross

The search for boxing's next 'star'

Monte Barrett: The career of a dedicated fighter

Allan Green was not Super Six material

The mess at junior welterweight

Khan & Ortiz figure to beat savvy vets

Haye and Adamek: A report card after 3 fights

Joan Guzman: Best welterweight in the lightweight division

Devon Alexander/Female Boxing

Impressive U.S. debut for Campillo

Williams ready to punish at 147

Happy birthday, Champ!

Stars to Shine in 2010

The Grinches steal Christmas

Malignaggi-Diaz showed why instant replay is needed

Williams, Martinez show why they're avoided

Lucian Bute impresses America, and the world

James Kirkland: So promising, yet so wasteful

Suspension for foul language? That's bull$#:+!!!

Pacquiao-Cotto: Who wins?

Super Six Will Still Have Controversies

Haye, Angulo proved little

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Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is a recent graduate from Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication Program, and is currently pursuing his aspiration of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.
  Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper. Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.
Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.

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