The most interesting fight of the weekend for this boxing addict is the rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras this Friday night on DAZN. Of course, the return of many hardcore fans idol Roman Gonzalez is always something to look forward to. On Saturday Showtime returns with a Tripleheader that may seem hoe-hum with a replacement opponent in the main event but don’t sleep on Custio Clayton. Also, two prospects in Xavier Martinez and Malik Hawkins will be in good tests on the undercard. Of course, we know it’s not as anticipated as last Saturday’s Lomanchenko/Lopez but all and all this will give us fans something to chew on.
The first time Estrada and Cuadras met was just over 3 years ago in September 2017. It was an entertaining fight that was decided by an Estrada knockdown in the 10th round. A minute into that round Estrada caught Carlos with a sharp right hand that put him down on the canvas. Cuadras started the fight winning 3 out of the first 4 frames then Estrada put together a string of rounds. The two traded punches and momentum swings down the stretch of a fight the judges were all on the same page scoring it 114-113. 3 years and change later it would seem that Estrada is in a better place of his career having lost a close bout and winning the rematch over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. As for Cuadras, he took another loss in his very next outing against McWilliams Arroyo, making it 3 out of 4 losses, albeit the third coming from Chocolatito. Cuadras has won three in a row coming against inferior foes and not looking at that great in his last go-round.
Estrada claims to have not been fully prepared for the fight because of an injured knee which limited him in training camp. Just today Keith Idec from Boxingscene.com posted an article reiterating the subject. This rematch almost didn’t take place from a false-positive but luckily for everyone involved Cuadras has tested negative for Covid-19 twice now. Look for this redo to be still competitive with just enough two-way action but this time there will be a clear winner in a fight that Estrada gains control in the 2nd half. If that is the case Juan Francisco will likely be getting a long-overdue rematch against Roman Gonzalez.
My Official Prediction is Juan Francisco Estrada by Unanimous Decision.
Speaking of the former pound for pound boxer, Roman Gonzalez returns fresh off his triumphant return from a TKO win over Khalid Yafai. His opponent on Friday is Israel Gonzalez who lost to Yafai in late 2018 and Jerwin Anacajas in early 2018, as well as an early loss to a prospect Argi Cortes. Clearly every time Gonzalez has stepped up in class he hasn’t fared well and this time out won’t be any different.
My Official Prediction is Roman Gonzalez by mid to late TKO.
Switching over to the Showtime Tripleheader which was originally scheduled to be Sergey Lipinets vs. Kudratillo Abdukakhorov but Visa issues put that out of reach even after postponing the event two weeks. In steps unbeaten prospect Custio Clayton. Having not seen a bunch of Clayton, (speaking for myself) but also a late-planned fill in could make for a close fight. In fact, the odds are super tight with Clayton sitting around a +170 to +180 on the betting books. Taking a peek at that 18-0 record, Custio hasn’t faced all that much competition besides a fringe veteran in Johan Perez and a super-faded DeMarcus Corley. Lipinets has a tendency to fight to the level of his opposition and doesn’t generally separate until midway to late in fights. This hack-of-a-scribe thinks Sergey’s power punches will take their toll as this fight wears on and the experience level and toughness by Lipinets will get him over the hump in a fun scrap.
My Official Prediction is Sergey Lipinets by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: Rounding out the action this weekend is a pair of undefeated prospects in Xavier Martinez and Malik Hawkins. Martinez will face a still dangerous Claudio Marrero and Hawkins will face fellow prospect Subriel Matias. Xavier is coming off a 1st round stoppage over Jessie Cris Rosales and looks to make a real statement versus a still powerful gatekeeper in Marrero. Hawkins is in for a true test when he fights Matais, who was on a fast track until losing earlier this year to Petros Ananyan on the undercard to Wilder/Fury 2.
My Official Predictions our Martinez by Late Stoppage and Matais by SD.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio