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Juan Manuel Lopez will be too much for Orlando salido
Smorgasbord for fight fans
with JuanMa, Amir Khan,
and Berto-Ortiz on the tube
    All right gamblers, I’m back!
   Busy weekend this week for boxing fans. Showtime and HBO will both be televising fights, so polish up your channel clicker skills, because between rounds you’re going to need to watch two fights at once!
So take my two cents, and turn it into millions. Don’t forget to send me my piece of the pie with the winnings! (Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any financial loss, only gains)

(WBO featherweight championship)
   We’ll start with Showtime in the featherweight division.
JuanMa is one of the most entertaining fighters in the world. He brings solid power, and also shows a bit of vulnerability, making him that much more exciting. Salido on the other hand, had some success against Yuriorkis Gamboa and is a tough customer. But, despite only being 30, it seems that the Mexican had his best years in his mid 20’s. In short, there’s a lot of miles on him and although I imagine him putting up a tough fight, expect him to succumb to Lopez’ pressure and accuracy in the later part of the fight.
Prediction: Lopez TKO 10

(WBC welterweight championship)
   While Andre Berto is still undefeated, he is still relatively untested against the top welterweights in the world. Last year, he was to fight Shane Mosley and perhaps that fight would’ve provided us with an answer to the question, of where Berto belongs not only in the welterweight division but also if he belongs with boxing’s elite. Unfortunately, Berto had to pull out and fly out on a humanitarian mission to Haiti because of the devastating earthquake.
   Although he is fighting a good fighter in Victor Ortiz, he’s fighting a guy who has been knocked out the only time he was tested, and has also shown mental fragility in recent fights. When the going got tough against Maidana, Ortiz decided to call it a night. In his last fight, Ortiz knocked Lamont Peterson down twice, but then coasted, allowing the Washington native to get back in the fight. Although the result of that fight was a draw, and most people thought Ortiz won, it did leave a sour taste in the mouth of the boxing public. What could’ve been a great performance, turned into a satisfactory one.
   Both fighters have had the same problem in recent years. They’ve always left more to be desired.
   That being said, Berto is the natural welterweight and bigger man and also has the advantages with his boxing skill. He also brings the power, and has shown heart in the pass. That should allow him to take Ortiz out, somewhere around the 8th round.
Prediction: Berto TKO 8.

(WBA junior welterweight championship)
   Amir Khan is scheduled to take on fellow top light welterweight Timothy Bradley in July of this year, providing that he beat Paul McCloskey. McCloskey is undefeated, but is a ripe 31 and has mostly fought on the domestic circuit. The advantage that the young Irishman has is that he’s a southpaw. That being said, Khan trains with arguably the best southpaw in the business (I’m sure you know who I’m talking about, but if not - Manny Pacquiao), and should have no trouble beating the Irishman. Khan has struggled a bit with guys with pop, but it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference, if any, without Alex Ariza in Khan’s camp.
   Regardless though, if Khan is taking his opponent seriously, then he should walk away with a stoppage win, somewhere in the middle rounds. I expect McCloskey to be tough, but a bit out of his league.
   Prediction: Khan TKO 7



More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

Mayorga has puncher's chance, but Cotto will prevail

Reward could be great if Donaire passes test vs. Montiel

Alexander-Bradley preview

HBO, Showtime finish strong with doubleheaders

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.

CLICK HERE to contact Rizwaan

CLICK HERE to find Rizwaan Zahid's podcast


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