Kirkland-Julio, Guerrero-Yordan, Ortiz-Arnaoutis Tomorrow Night
By Manuel Perez: Tomorrow night for a change boxing fans will be served up an excellent fight card with light middleweight contender James Kirkland (24-0, 21 KOs) taking on Joel Julio (34-2, 31 KOs), super featherweight contender and former featherweight champion Robert Guerrero (23-1, 16 KOs) facing undefeated Indonesian Daud Cino Yordan (23-0, 17 KOs) and light welterweight contender Victor Ortiz (23-1-1, 18 KOs) facing ring technician Mike Arnaoutis (21-2-2, 10 KOs) at The Tank, in San Jose, California.
For a Golden Boy fight card, this is almost unheard of to have three seemingly evenly matched up fights like this, as most of the time Golden Boy fighters are matched up with dreadful competition which allows them to shine at the boxing fans expense. Tomorrow night, we may still ultimately see some mismatches but at least on paper, these fights figure to be interesting while they last.
Perhaps the more intriguing of the fights is the power puncher Kirkland vs. the equally powerful Colombian Julio. This fight has knockout written all over it. Both are pure punchers with no reverse gear nor much defense between the two of them. Kirkland, 24, trained by Ann Wolfe, has of yet not fought anyone good enough to test him. But still, Kirkland has been put down and hurt in a couple of fights and looked anything but a world beater. However, his immense power and high work rate seems to bail him out when things go wrong for him.
Julio, 24, may hit every bit as hard as Kirkland, but in his case he’s met up with two excellent boxers in the form of Sergiy Dzinziruk and Carlos Quintana who were able to stay on the outside and avoid Julio’s big power shots. A fighter with a jab appears to be kryptonite to Julio, who seems to have no plan B when facing an opponent with good boxing skills. It may not be a problem for him tomorrow night because Kirkland probably wouldn’t be able to box him even if he tried, and will be there for Julio to land his big power shots against.
Guerrero (23-1-1, 16 KOs) has knocked out his last four opponents and looked superb in stopping Edel Ruiz in the 1st round with some brutal body shots in January. The undefeated Yordan, 21, figures to be a lot tougher than Guerrero’s last opponent but how good is hard to tell, as Yordan has fought relatively soft opposition in the safe confines of Indonesia up until recently.
We do know that he’s likely to be in way over his head in this fight, because of his lack of quality opposition. This fight more than the others has the look of a mismatch, but with Yordan’s undefeated record and his seemingly good power, he could end up opening a few eyes by giving Guerrero more trouble than he expects.
Light welterweight Victor Ortiz, ranked #4 in the WBA and WBO, is making a big jump up from the usual fighters that he’s been facing. Ortiz, 22, is still maturing as a fighter and probably not ready to face a champion level opponent at this early point in his career.
While he has looked good as of recent, he’s still pretty much the same fighter that was defeated by Corey Alarcon and had to fight hard to defeat Emannuel Clottey. Arnaoutis, 29, probably doesn’t have the power to keep Ortiz honest, but if he can stay on the outside and stay away from exchanges with the more powerful Ortiz, Arnaoutis has a good chance of beating him.
Ortiz looked very average against Clottey and looked equally bad against Dairo Esalas. Ortiz getting hyped something fierce, but in my view he’s not ready for prime time just yet and maybe ever. He’s good but would probably lose badly against better fighters like Kendall Holt, Ricardo Torres, Timothy Bradley, Junior Witter and of course Ricky Hatton.
A win over Arnaoutis doesn’t prove much other than that Ortiz can beat a fighter with zero power. He won’t be able to say the same against the better fighters in the division and my thoughts are that he’ll hit an impenetrable wall when that time comes.