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January 19, 2013

By Rob Soucy

Mikey Garcia (30-0) vs Orlando Salido (39-11)- The good news for Mikey Garcia is that he is getting in the ring with a fighter who, even at 32, could all of a sudden look "old" on Saturday night. The bad news is that he is fighting a sixteen-year veteran who has a huge advantage in big fight experience. Garcia is the much fresher fighter but has not fought anyone close to the caliber of opponent that he will face Saturday night. Garcia is a boxer/puncher who figures to have an edge in speed and skill. At first glance, it would appear that Garcia is getting this fight at the right time but one perfectly placed Salido right hand could put that notion to rest. Salido has won five bouts in a row all by knockout while Garcia has scored wins by knockout in his last eight. We know Salido's chin is granite as it's been almost 12 years since he has been stopped. However, the most intriguing thing going into this fight may be how Garcia reacts after getting tagged by Salido, particularly with the right hand. I can see this fight going either way, Garcia out boxing Salido over 12 hard fought rounds or Salido stalking Garcia and overwhelming him with his power. I think Garcia's youth and superior boxing skill will have him comfortably ahead halfway through the bout. At some point, Salido will land that right hand flush and I think that he will hurt Garcia significantly. The question is will Mikey Garcia be able to survive and overcome that kind of adversity for the first time in his career? I believe the answer is yes, therefore the official prediction is Garcia by close decision. I'll go with 115-113.

Gennady Golovkin (24-0) vs Gabriel Rosado (21-5)- The Golovkin Express should keep rolling Saturday night in front of a U.S. crowd and on American television for only the second time. Golovkin has brutal power and unfortunately for Rosado he is not hard to find. Rosado is a "B" level fighter at best who has really only stepped up once to fight at the world class level. The result wasn't good as he got steam rolled by Alfredo Angulo in two rounds. Now throw in the fact that Rosado is a natural junior middleweight and its not hard to imagine this fight producing an early candidate for 2013's knockout of the year. Golovkin is on another level and if there is a boxing God we will see him battle Sergio Martinez this fall. I don't want to sound like I am completely over looking Rosado's chances to win this fight but I guess that's exactly what I'm doing. He will go down fighting, but he will go down hard and probably in the first half of the fight. The official prediction is Golovkin by brutal knockout.
Gabrel Campillo (21-4) vs Sergey Kovalev (19-0)- Stylistically, this is an intriguing fight as it matches the pure boxer vs the puncher. Campillo is coming off of a great performance against Tavoris Cloud but unfortunately two of the Texas judges missed a great fight. Kovelev has been in very soft as Campillo will provide him with his toughest test to date. Campillo's somewhat awkward southpaw style could easily frustrate Kovelev as the Russian born light heavyweight contender looks to land the one big shot. Campillo is the more experienced fighter and that will go a long way in determining the outcome of this fight. Look for Campillo to survive some shaky moments as he did against Cloud. The official prediction is that he rises from the canvass at lleast once and pulls out a close decision win, 115-112.
Elvin Ayala (26-5) vs Curtis Stephens (22-3)- The last time Curtis Stephens fought at The Mohegan Sun he was basically booed out of the arena after a decision loss to Andre Dirrell in a horrendous fight. Ayala has looked pretty good against limited opposition since his 2010 first round destruction at the hands of David Lemieux. This fight also matches the boxer vs the puncher. Ayala won't be able to make many mistakes against Stephens or it may be "lights out" for the hometown fighter. Stephens will head hunt as long as the fights lasts and then will head hunt some more. However, Ayala knows what his opponent's game plan will be and I can't see him fighting Stephens' fight. Curtis Stephens knows that this may be his last opportunity on television if he doesn't impress. On the other hand the 32 year old Ayala needs a win to keep his chances of landing a big fight in tact. This fight is truly the definition of a crossroads fight. The official prediction is that Ayala out boxes Stephens until he gets caught. Curtis Stephens by late round knockout. 

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