Big time boxing is back and so are Boxingtalk's Team Predictions. Read on to see how we see Taylor-Pavlik, Berto-Estrada and Dawson-Mendoza.


Darren Nichols: If Pavlik can back up Taylor the same way he backed up Miranda, then he will become the new middleweight champ.  However, Taylor has got to know what's coming, and will use his superior boxing skills to ward off such an attack to take the fight into the championship rounds, and win by decision.

George Kimball: Taylor TKO10 Kelly Pavlik: Inasmuch as Taylor’s last five opponents over a 30-month span have all gone the distance and Pavlik has stopped his last eight foes this might appear to fly in the face of logic, but there’s been a vast difference in their respective levels of competition. Welcome to the big leagues, Kelly.

Matthew Aguilar: What a matchup. Pavlik will bring the heat, and, although he can box, he will be looking for the knockout. He seems to think that Taylor will fade in the late rounds. But...Taylor is not Edison Miranda. And you have to consider Taylor's quality of opposition - Hopkins twice, Wright, Ouma and Spinks (as bad as "Bad Intentions" looked in the last two outings). Pavlik may be the biggest, freshest fighter Taylor has ever faced. But Taylor is also the best fighter Pavlik has faced. By far. That will help the champ. Look for Taylor to use angles and box, to take a close, 12-round split decision in a fight where the rounds are almost too close to call and the final verdict will be debated for months. Rematch anyone? Taylor W 12 (split)

Michael Gonzalez: It will be a close battle where Taylor will win the early rounds by sticking and moving behind a resurrected world-class jab.  Pavlik will counter in the middle rounds with aggression trying to back Taylor up as he did Edison Miranda, realizing by the later rounds that Taylor is no Miranda.  Taylor is just as hungry, being that he feels he doesn't get the respect he deserves, add Manny Steward’s Clockwork Orange-like aversion therapy and you get a Frankenstein’s (Steward’s) monster with confidence.  That is, of course, if (big if) Taylor can withstand Pavlik’s violent right cross.

Brad Cooney: The Jermain Taylor vs Kelly Pavlik fight is an interesting match up.  If Jermain wanted a fight against a fighter who will stand in there and bang with him, well he's got his man in Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik looked impressive in his knockout over Edison Miranda, however, Taylor has faced MUCH more difficult opposition.  Taylor via TKO in the late rounds.

Socrates Palmer: Taylor KO7 Pavlik


George Kimball: Andre Berto W 10 David Estrada: A fight that figures to be the most competitive of the night on either network should reveal whether Andre Berto is as good as we think he is, because as barometers go, Estrada is as accurate as they come: He’s beaten every opponent he should have beaten, but lost on the three occasions he overstepped his limits. The Cosme Rivera fight was, or should have been, a wake-up call for Berto, who will need to be all business in this one.

Matthew Aguilar:Berto showed his deficiencies in his last fight, getting knocked down by Cosme Rivera. Estrada is the same caliber opponent - tough, well-conditioned, hard to knock out - and Berto may struggle again. He'll take another close decision.

Darren Nichols: Estrada has fought better competition, but Berto has his power as the great equalizer Berto W 10

Michael Gonzalez: Estrada will give Berto hell, but Berto’s athletism and power will separate him in this one.  The young prospect still has flaws that will need to be corrected if he wants to compete with the cream of the welterweight division. Luckily for Berto, Estrada won’t be able to capitalize on those flaws.

Brad Cooney: Andre Berto will show why he's the real deal, and a future world champion.  Berto by KO

Socrates Palmer: Berto by close decision



Brad Cooney: "Bad" Chad Dawson is exactly that, he's BAD meaning really good. Dawson by KO

Matthew Aguilar: Dawson biding time against sub Mendoza - who is tough, but not in Dawson's league. Look for the young hotshot to record another impressive victory on his way to an eventual showdown with Antonio Tarver.
Dawson TKO 7

Darren Nichols: Dawson by knockout

Michael Gonzalez: Dawson UD “Bad Chad” Dawson will not miss Mayweather Sr. in his corner against Mendoza. He will have bombs buzzing by him for a couple rounds, then the southpaw will have his way.

George Kimball: Chad Dawson KO3 Epifanio Mendoza: This fight was originally to have been a mandatory against Adrian Diaconu, who fell out after the bout had gone to purse bids. Apart from the fact that Showtime needed the fight for its free preview weekend it wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, have happened at all. It figures to be a complete waste of time for Dawson, as well as for television viewers.

Socrates Palmer: Dawson by UD