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Holt vs. Bradley, Andrade vs. Tsypko on April 4th

Kendall Holt Librado Andrade Timothy BradleyBy Jim Dower: WBC light welterweight champion Kendall Holt (25-2, 13 KOs) will face off against World Boxing Organization light welterweight title holder unbeaten Timothy Bradley (23-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round unification bout at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada on April 4th. This fight matches two fighters with extraordinary hand speed, easily the best in the entire light welterweight division. Going into this fight, Bradley looks to be the slightly stronger fighter due to his power advantage. However, that can all change in an instant if Holt is able to catch Bradley with a shot that he doesn’t see coming.

Holt, 27, recently defeated Demetrius Hopkins in an exciting 12-round split decision victory in December 2008.
Holt had been involved previously in a controversial 1st knockout of Ricardo Torres in July 2008, a fight which later showed that Holt had actually knocked Torres out with an accident head butt rather than a punch. The victory still stood up, however, and Holt moved on despite the lingering controversy.

The two had fought in September 2007, with Torres trailing in the 1st half of the fight and then coming on late to hurt Holt with a big left hand in the 11th, knocking him down, and then pounding him until the fight was stopped after he got up. The fight created controversy, because Holt felt that the stoppage was premature because he was still fighting at the time of the stoppage. The rematch, unfortunately, proved little due to the head butt being the cause of the stoppage.

Bradley, 25, only 5’6”, was largely unknown to the general boxing public until defeated WBC light welterweight champion Junior Witter by a 12-round split decision in May 2008. The fight was closely contested throughout, with the Bradley’s 6th round knockdown of Witter proving to the crucial blow that earned him the victory.

Following that, Bradley defeated the tough Edner Cherry by a 12-round unanimous decision in September. Bradley led all the way through the fight, making it look relatively easy until the 12th, when Cherry staggered Bradley with a big right hand as he desperately tried for a knockout.

In the undercard, Librado Andrade (27-2, 21 KOs) will fight Ukrainian Vitali Tyspko (22-2, 12 KOs) in a 12-round IBF super middleweight Eliminator bout. The winner of the fight will be facing IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in the near future.

Bute, 30, for all practical purposes should already be the IBF champion after being victimized in his fight with Bute in October 2008, in which Andrade first hurt Bute with a series of hard blows and then dropped him with a hard right hand.

The bout, which took place in Bute’s adopted country of Canada, had a Canadian referee working the fight and he seemed to take his time in administering the count to Bute after he was knocked down. Instead, the referee twice motioned for Andrade to go to the neutral corner and wasted a lot of time in doing so.

By the time that Bute made it to his feet, he would have long been counted out had the referee focused on giving him the count rather than stopping the action to focus on Andrade. Under ideal circumstances, Bute should have given Andrade an immediate rematch to clear up the controversy of the bout. Instead, he chose to fight a lower ranked fighter in the IBF, Fulgencio Zuniga, whom he easily defeated by a 4th round TKO on March 13th.

Tsypko, 32, has fought precious few top fighters in the super middleweight division, with a 10-round majority decision loss to Jeff Lacy in December 2006 being his main claim to fame. The fact that he was able to survive the fight and not end up being knocked out, seems to be because Lacy tore his rotator cuff in his left shoulder in the 2nd round and fought the remaining eight rounds of the fight using mostly right hand.


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