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Boxing News – Diaconu vs. Pascal on Friday; Chavez Jr., Gamboa and Antillon Fighting on July 25th

By Jason Kim: This Friday night, World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu (26-0, 15 KO’s) will be defending his title against number #5 ranked challenger Jean Pascal (22-1, 15 KO’s) at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada. This will be the first defense for the 31-year-old Romanian transplant champion Diaconu, who now lives and fights out of Canada.

No one really knows how good Diaconu is, because his opposition through much of his eight year pro career has been poor to say the least. Diaconu does have good amateur credentials having fought in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but ended up being knocked out in the 1st round by Cuban Jorge Gutierrez after defeated Algerian Abdelghani Kinzi and Jitender Kumar from India in his first two matches.

Beyond his amateur credentials, the only fight that I can see on Diaconu’s record that’s worth noting is his narrow 12 round decision over Chris Henry last year in April 2008, a fight that was for the interim WBC light heavyweight title.

The fight was noted for the lack of defense on both fighters parts and not one of the more spectacular fights that has been conducted in recent years due to sloppy fighting. Pascal, 25, should be a good test of what abilities that Diaconu has.

Although perhaps a better test for Diaconu would be for him to have fought higher ranked contenders like Glen Johnson or Jurgen Brahmer, both of whom would have made Diaconu push himself hard if he were to hope to win. Pascal is a good fighter with fast hands and decent power, but he faded badly in the second half of his fight with Carl Froch in December 2008, and ended up losing by a 12 round decision.

Had Pascal been able to fight hard for the last six rounds of the fight he would have easily beaten Froch. I expect the same thing to happen in Friday night’s bout. Pascal will start fast, land a lot of blinding punches against the slower Diaconu, but will tire out in the last six rounds letting Diaconu win the fight through attrition.

Diaconu looked like nothing special in his last fight, an 8-round unanimous decision over Canadian journeyman David Whittom in April 2009. Those final judges’ scores suggested that the fight was a one sided affair. However, Whittom fought well enough to make the fight much closer than the scores handed down and had little problem hitting Diaconu all night long with hard combinations.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. TBA on July 25th

Undefeated light middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez (39-0-1, 29 Kos) will be seeing action on the 25th of July in a 10-round bout against a still to be determined opponent at the Cancun, Quintana Roo, in Mexico. Chavez Jr., the 23-year-old son of boxing legion Julio Cesar Chavez, has quickly moved up in the boxing rankings and is ranked at #3 in the WBO and #4 by the WBC, despite having fought mostly D level opposition with a couple of C class opponents in Matt Vanda and Luciano Cuello.

Chavez Jr. will have to look a lot better than he has against Vanda and Cuello if he hopes to have any kind of chance against WBO champions Paul Williams and Sergeii Dzinsiruk. Chavez would appear to have little chance against WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Martinez either for that matter.

However, it’s hard to say what Chavez’s goal is with his career. Getting a title shot might not be the best thing for him, because after all Chavez would likely get destroyed against any of the current light middleweight champions without standing much of a chance.

What Chavez might end up doing is fighting one of the big stars of the sport in a big money fight rather than going after a title. With Chavez’s unbeaten record, he is still an attractive alternative for setting up fights against the bigger stars of the sport, even though he’s probably not a top tier quality fighter as of now.

Also on the same July 25th card will be Urbano Antillon, and Yuriorkis Gamboa will be fighting in separate bouts. Gamboa, 27, will be fighting Guty Espadas Jr.

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