Katsidis-Guerrero, Macklin-Wright, Kirkland-TBA on Maidana vs. Morales undercard on 4/9
By Jim Dower: The April 9th pay-per-view card with WBA light welterweight interim champion Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KO’s) vs. Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KO’s) in the headline bout of a huge talent rich card at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Besides the Maidana-Morales fight, there will be the recently added lightweight bout between Michael Katsidis and Robert Guerrero, Ronald “Winky” Wright vs. Matthew Macklin in middleweight action and James Kirkland facing a still to be determined opponent.
Guerrero vs. Katsidis
This is a make it or break it fight for the 30-year-old Katsidis, who is coming off a 9th round stoppage loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in November. Katsidis took a lot of shots to the head in that fight, and it’s surprising that Golden Boy Promotions is matching him so tough by putting him in with Guerrero. Katsidis is a good fighter but Guerrero will likely be too good for him in this bout. Even Marquez doesn’t want to fight Guerrero at this point, because he’s a tough opponent and there’s not much upside fighting him because he doesn’t have a big fan base. Katsidis had won his last four fights before the Marquez fight. He must really need a decent money fight because Guerrero is all wrong for him. Katsidis would have been better off looking to take on one of the British lightweights like Kevin Mitchell and John Murray rather than taking this dangerous fight. It’s not that Guerrero is a great fighter, because he’s far from that. Guerrero is vulnerable to certain types of guys that smother him. Guerrero looked terrible against Daud Cino Yordan in 2009 and Orlando Salida in 2006. Both fights ended in no contests, but Guerrero hardly shined in either fight. Katsidis has to smother Guerrero and use a lot of wrestling and roughhouse fighting if he wants to throw Guerrero off his game and get a win.
Winky Wright vs. Matthew Macklin
This fight is a toss-up, depending on how much the 39-year-old Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s) has left in the tank at his advanced age. Winky isn’t helped that he’s only fought two times in the past four years, losing both of the fights to Bernard Hopkins and Paul Williams. The good news that Wright has going for him against Macklin is that he’s not anywhere near as good as Hopkins and Williams. The Wright that lost to those two fighters would likely easily beat Macklin. However, it’s now been two years since Wright last fought and we just don’t know what he has left. If Macklin can take Wright deep in the fight and wear him down, we could see Macklin winning a decision. I can’t see him stopping Wright because Macklin is just too mediocre to stop Wright.
James Kirkland vs. TBA
By the time this fight takes place on April 9th, Kirkland (25-0, 22 KO’s) will have already fought on March 5th on the Saul Alvarez vs. Matthew Hatton undercard at the Honda Center, in Anaheim, California. Kirkland hasn’t fought since defeating Joel Julio in March 2009. Kirkland has been in prison in Texas for a weapons violation. Now out, he’s planning on making up for lost time by fighting frequently. He’ll likely be matched against a weaker opponent for the April 9th date, so boxing fans shouldn’t expect much in terms of quality for that date. It’s going to be a tune-up to see where he’s at and to get him ready for bigger fights in 2012.
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