Bradley-Holt, Andrade-Tsypko & Diaconu-Whittom Fight Predictions
By Dave Lahr: Perhaps the two best light welterweights in the World fight tomorrow night when World Boxing Council light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (23-0, 11 KOs) fights World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Kendall Holt (25-2, 13 KOs) at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada. Also on the card will be Librado Andrade (27-2, 21 KOs) facing Vitali Tsypko (22-2, 12 KOs) in a International Boxing Federation super middleweight title eliminator match.
Also on the packed card will be World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu (25-0, 15 KOs) in a non-title bout against journeyman David Whittom (10-7-1, 6 KOs).
Bradley, 25, is coming off a 12-round decision victory over Edner Cherry in September. Bradley, who has perhaps the best combination of speed and power in the division, captured the WBC light welterweight crown with a 12-round split decision over champion Junior Witter in May 2008. The fight was evenly contested throughout but Bradley’s sixth round knockdown of Witter was the telling point in the fight.
Holt, 27, won his WBO light welterweight title in a much less impressive fashion, getting dropped twice by big right hands from Ricardo Torres before ramming heads with him and knocking him cold in July 2008, capturing the title. The head butt happened so quickly that the referee Jay Nadly missed it. Incredibly, the fight results stood. In his first defense, Holt narrowly defeated Demetrius Hopkins by a 12-round split decision in December.
Holt is a good fighter with incredible hand speed, but his chin is his weakness as you would guess. Holt was hurt in both fights with Torres, and was also shockingly taken out in the 1st round by journeyman Thomas Davis in 2004. Bradley will be able to match him with his blazing hand speed and I see Bradley eventually connecting with something big enough to take Holt out. If Bradley can stun Holt with a big shot, then I fully expect that Bradley will take him out. This is what I see happening. Holt’s too chinny to take shots from a boxer/puncher like Bradley for a full 12 rounds, and he’ll probably be taken out at some point in the fight.
Prediction: Bradley by 6th round TKO
Librado Andrade, 30, ranked #3 in the IBF, was recently involved with one of the worst robberies I’ve seen in my life when he knocked IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute down in the 12th round, but had the unfortunate luck to see the Canadian referee take his time in administering the count to the badly hurt Bute.
The referee twice stopped the count and turned his back on Bute to tell Andrade to go to the neutral corner. Bute was eventually able to make it to his feet, thanks to the long count and the fight ended seconds after he made it to his feet.
Bute ended up winning due to his prior work in the other 11 rounds of the fight. The fight result stood and Bute remained the champion. Andrade wasn’t given an immediate rematch by the IBF despite the apparent long count and was forced to fight the title eliminator with the Ukrainian Tsypko. It probably won’t matter, because I don’t expect the weak-punching Tsypko to give Andrade much of a problem anyway.
Tsypko, 32, has faced mostly limited competition throughout his 10-year pro career, with Jeff Lacy easily being his best opponent during that time. The two fought in once in 2004, ending with a 2nd round no contest due to large cut that opened up on Tsypko’s forehead after clashing heads with Lacy. They later fought for a second time in December 2006, and this time Lacy won by a 10-round majority decision. Lacy tore his rotator cuff in his left shoulder in the 1st round and fought the remainder of the way with the injury. Even fighting with his one arm alone, Lacy was more than a match for Tsypko. That says all you need to know about Tsypko. He’s a good fighter but very limited.
Prediction: Andrade by 7th round TKO
Adrian Diaconu will be facing Canadian Whittom in an 8-round bout. Whittom, 30, has a good chin and not much else. Diaconu, 30, defeated Chris Henry in a narrow 12-round unanimous decision in April 2008 for the interim WBC light heavyweight title. The fight was staged in Romania, Diaconu’s home country and where he fought really well in front of the large capacity crowd. In terms of talent, Diaconu is a decent fighter. He’s not very fast and has poor hand speed and a leaky defense.
He gets a lot of press, but he doesn’t look all that good to me. Other than Henry, Diaconu has fought largely no one. However, given the extreme lack of talent in the WBC light heavyweight division, Diaconu will probably remain champion for some time due to the lack of quality fighters.
He’s not even close to being as good as Chad Dawson or Bernard Hopkins. However, he doesn’t have to worry about those fighters because they won’t bother facing him because of his lack of popularity with American boxing fans.
Prediction: Diaconu by 5th round TKO over Whittom.