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Three ‘Under-The Radar-Type’ Fights I’d Like to See in 2019

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  • Three ‘Under-The Radar-Type’ Fights I’d Like to See in 2019

    Click image for larger version  Name:	DUQO1I8XkAYXU9k.jpg Views:	1 Size:	211.2 KB ID:	11930 By Matt Andrzejewski

    THREE PUNCH COMBO -- We all know the big fights everyone wants to see in 2019. These wish lists have already been detailed in depth. What I would like to focus on are some makeable under-the-radar-type fights that I’d like to see happen this year.

    Raymundo Beltran vs. Alex Saucedo

    In February of 2018, Raymundo Beltran (pictured) realized his dream of becoming a world champion when he captured the vacant IBF lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Paulus Moses. But six months later in his first defense, Beltran lost his title to Jose Pedraza. That loss also wiped out a potential big money fight for Beltran against Vasyl Lomachenko. Now 37, Beltran is looking to make one last title run, this time in the 140-pound division.

    Like Beltran, Alex Saucedo had his own highs and lows in 2018. In June, Saucedo had his career best win stopping Leonardo Zappavigna in round seven to earn a title shot in the 140-pound weight class. Saucedo vs Zappavigna was a strong candidate for Fight of the Year and many thought it was Saucedo’s coming out party as a future star in the sport.

    But in that title shot against Maurice Hooker, Saucedo would suffer a major career setback when he was stopped in round seven. Saucedo’s defensive flaws proved to be a major determining factor in the outcome and now it is back to the drawing board to reset his career.

    Beltran will be making his 140-pound debut against Hiroki Okada in February. Though Okada is 19-0, he struggled mightily in his US debut against journeyman Cristian Rafael Coria last September and I suspect Beltran will have little trouble dispatching him. Beltran will then set his sights on bigger fish.

    Saucedo does not have a fight scheduled but I suspect he will get an easy confidence building tune-up type fight this spring. Afterward, he will look to get back into contention against a bigger name.

    With both Beltran and Saucedo in need of a big fight and with both being under the Top Rank banner, the fight is a natural. It is a fight ESPN certainly would be interested in as stylistically it should be a fan friendly contest.

    Both Beltran and Saucedo are aggressive, offensive-minded fighters who are not afraid to get into exchanges. Saucedo is younger with the much faster hands and more power behind his punches. But Beltran is a savvy veteran who can certainly make Saucedo pay for his lack of attention to defense. I see a competitive fight that will probably have plenty of back and forth action. With the stakes raised as well and so much on the line for both men, this could be just the type of fight that becomes a Fight of the Year candidate.

    Tevin Farmer vs. Joseph Diaz

    One fight that many, including myself, hope to see in 2019 is a unification fight in the 130-pound division between Tevin Farmer and Gervonta Davis (who is expected to beat Abner Mares when they meet on Feb. 9). However, politics and network affiliations probably do not make this a makeable fight in 2019. Since I am touching only upon makeable fights, how about instead we see Farmer face former U.S. Olympian Joseph “JoJo” Diaz?

    Diaz is signed with Golden Boy Promotions and will be moving to the 130-pound division in February to face Charles Huerta. This fight will be streamed on DAZN with whom Golden Boy formed a recent alliance.

    Farmer is also aligned with DAZN due to his co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn (Farmer is also promoted by Lou DiBella). It appears Farmer is ticketed to a date in March against Jono Carroll. Assuming both Diaz and Farmer win their respective bouts (and they will each be substantially favored), matching them makes a lot of sense later in the year.

    Farmer is a slick counter puncher with quick hands. He is also a defensive wizard and a tough puzzle for anyone to solve inside the ring. Diaz is an aggressive boxer-puncher who often throws a high output of punches. He is comfortable both with initiating an attack and countering. It would be very interesting to see if Diaz could solve the defensive puzzle of Farmer and how Farmer would deal with the athletic skilled volume puncher in Diaz. On paper, barring unforeseen developments, it is a true 50/50 bout.

    Adam Kownacki vs. Andrey Fedosov

    I am going to make a transition here from what would be a highly skilled bout between Farmer and Diaz to what would be a plain out heavyweight barroom brawl.

    Adam Kownacki, a high volume puncher with deceptively quick hands, is an all offensive minded heavyweight who has shown a propensity to get involved in slugfests. There are some very good parts to his offensive game but also a severe lack of defense in his overall game. He is not afraid to get hit or get drawn into a street fight.

    Kownacki is affiliated with PBC and I suspect those running things know exactly what they have in him. Though he is climbing the ladder, his lack of defense would clearly be a major issue against the elite of the heavyweight division. But matched right, Kownacki could certainly make for some fun fights.

    PBC has a relatively new deal with Fox and will be showcasing Kownacki on the network later this month against veteran Gerald Washington. I suspect we see a typical Kownacki performance in which he gets hit plenty but ultimately prevails. And my guess is that after this fight the executives at Fox will want to bring him back.

    This leads me to Fedosov. Stylistically, he is very similar to Kownacki. Fedosov is a come forward aggressive brawler who is not afraid to take a few punches to get in his own shots. He lacks some of the athletic qualities of Kownacki but is just a bit more technically sound in his overall game.

    Fedosov currently has no network affiliations so a fight against Kownacki would not be difficult to put together. And there is no way this fight would be anything other than a phone booth war. While Kownacki would be favored, there is enough subtlety to Fedosov’s game as well as enough lack of defense on Kownacki’s part to make for a highly entertaining and competitive heavyweight slugfest.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Good ones Matt. That last one in particular. Kownacki is a knockout waiting to happen. No defense whatsoever except a granite chin. Martin almost got to him late.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kid Blast View Post
      Good ones Matt. That last one in particular. Kownacki is a knockout waiting to happen. No defense whatsoever except a granite chin. Martin almost got to him late.
      Thanks KB. I agree Kownacki is a knockout waiting to happen. And I think those with PBC see that as well. Washington was very carefully picked to face him on Fox. I think PBC also knows what they have and will look to make action fights that get some buzz going one with Fedosov.


      • #4
        I lot of people have wrote about wanting to see Farmer-Davis later this year. There just seem to be too many mountains to climb to make that one and frankly I don't think Davis has any interest in that fight. I do hope we see Farmer in a substantial bout in 2019 and I think that could very well be against Diaz. I love this fight and no network hurdles to climb to make it.

        I also love Beltran-Saucedo and think that is very likely to happen in the second half of the year. Both need each other and I am sure Top Rank would be more than willing to put that one together. And for those who think Beltran could be beat by the undefeated Okada, I say check out the available video on Okada in particular his last fight. Beltran easily beats him (probably by early KO) and I am hoping to get some really good odds on this one as this is an easy outcome to forecast.